Years from now if my campaign has been a success and this fireplug of an idea actually catches on, people will wonder how it came to be. And future adopters will want to know what the ideology of it was, what #committedlysingle was and wasn’t, what it stood for and what its message was. And to be perfectly honest, I want to figure out what it means too. I’m actually personally not that much into social media, my real self being almost a nonexistent entity on the interwebs. But Man is much more outgoing and is searching not only for an audience but for a community. So he tweets, he blogs, he takes pics, he shares, he feels. Or rather he should. Trying to learn new habits.
So what does it mean to be #committedlysingle? First off, I can tell you what it doesn’t mean. This is not an excuse for excessive self-indulgence. To be #committedlysingle does not mean that you are going out, blowing your savings, doing whatever makes you feel good and screwing everyone else. None of us are perfect and none of us can ever afford, in our limited time on this earth, to sit back on our laurels and stop trying to improve. I have a lot of hobbies. I’ve endeavored to learn a lot of skills. I learned to cook and I love cooking. I learned to mix drinks. I exercise and practice martial arts. I learned practical skills like home repair, car repair, budgeting, and finance. But I was doing this for others. I strove to be a better version of myself for someone else. And so in the periods when I was briefly single I stopped caring about myself and I fell backwards. I lost the impetus for change and the desire to improve. That doesn’t seem like a great way to live. To rely on others for purpose. And again I cannot stress this enough, it’s also not fair for the person you want to be with. It should not be up to them to make you a better person. You should just BE a better person to begin with. This is a hugely empowering and liberating feeling and philosophy. I don’t think I’m onto anything revolutionary or innovative here though. I’m no Tony Robbins. There’s a good majority of the world who have already caught onto the thought that ‘maybe I should work on me…for the sake of…well, me’. But I’m talking to myself and to You, dear Reader, the other part of the world who have sought long and hard for someone to give them purpose, who feel directionless without the companionship of others. I’m trying to tell myself and You that there is always purpose and that we are deserving of improvement and change simply for our own sake because we should want to be better. Every day should be a chance to redefine and change who we are and be more than we were before. We don’t have to wait for someone else to tell us this or to motivate us to change. And I promise you, our future partners will appreciate and admire our growth, and when we are the version of ourselves that attracts that person, we will still continue to grow and they will still see it and you can still motivate yourself then not only for yourself but now for them too. But until then, move ever forward. So when you go to the gym because YOU want to and because YOU see yourself in the mirror and seek change, that’s being #committedlysingle. When YOU take that class to learn that skill because YOU see its benefit and what to be able to call on YOURSELF in times of need, that’s being #committedlysingle. When you can learn to love and appreciate the thirst of self-improvement without having to rely on the attention or recognition of others, that’s being #committedlysingle.
#committedlysingle is also not the same as saying ‘Oh I’m in a relationship with me’ or ‘I’m learning to love myself’. These aren’t necessarily bad things, by the way. But it’s not the direction I am heading. The whole point of it is to purposely not be in a relationship. With anyone. Not yourself, not someone else, nothing. To be #commitedlysingle means to grapple with the reality of being a single individual, and yes to an extent really, alone. To grapple with loneliness. To take victories and defeats, have high days and low days. To say you’re in a relationship with yourself to me is still a relationship by proxy. No relationships. None. A hiatus. For as long as you want it to be or want to try to make it. For me, I am trying for a year of not being in a relationship and not doing anything to change that situation. There’s a difference between being single and being alone. Single can mean you’re looking. Wanting to change that status. You might have an account on CMB or Tinder or OKC and you can joke and say what you want but you catch yourself checking it maybe more times than you’d like to admit, and you can’t help but fall in love with every single man or woman you see. You find that you can’t go out with your friends without wondering if you’ll run into the love of your life and so you worry and fret and you prep and you primp and you forget how to enjoy yourself in the moment because you want to look good, sound good, smell good. You want the meet-cute story, you go to coffee shops but you hate coffee. You walk through Barnes & Noble hoping to find a cute girl reaching for the exact same book as you at the exact same time. Or perhaps you’ll be around when she tries to reach for a book that’s just beyond her reach and you gallantly come in and help her and browse the book’s title and realize you have something to say about the topic. I hate to admit it, but I have been guilty of all of these. How many moments have I missed out on, opportunities I didn’t realize I had to enjoy myself and the company I was already with, because I wanted to construct every moment outside as the potential moment I find ‘the one’. Just be alone. Be okay with it. You don’t have to spend every waking moment not in a relationship trying to be in one. Don’t force it or construct it out of thin air. Just be. The power to step outside, in all your single and alone-ness, and to enjoy the adventure in front of you either by yourself or with friends or with family, is the power of being #committedlysingle. Don’t wait to live your life. Don’t hold back because you don’t have someone. The experiences you allow yourself to have now will become stories to make you interesting and knowledge to make you better. I can’t begin to tell you, though I probably will in the future, of all the things I have held back on but had opportunities to do because I felt it wasn’t ‘worth it’ without the right person. But I’m worth it. And my adventures are worth experiencing.
This is what I’m about. This is what #committedlysingle is about. Enjoy the rush of life.
Man: 4 Loneliness: 0