Hollie Grimaldi Flores: Greener grass? Singlehood vs. being coupled?
Special to The Union
For a variety of reasons, I find myself surrounded by more and more single adults.
The topic of being single versus being coupled has come up every now and again in a “grass is always greener” sort of way.
I commented recently that the thing about being in a relationship is that it requires the willingness to consider another person’s feelings and point of view in every decision and it requires the willingness and ability to compromise.
A friend responded: “Compromise, to me, means no one is getting what they really want. I like getting what I want.”
This friend happens to be a single woman with grown children.
She gets to make all of the decisions. She does not have to consider anyone else’s feelings. She does not have to compromise. She does get what she wants.
From the other side of the fence, I see all sorts of advantages to this being single thing.
Let’s start with the obvious — as a single unit, literally everything is half price!
It is much easier to do things when you only have to buy one plane ticket, one entrance fee, one entrée!
For that matter, it is cheaper to live in general.
More advantages: No one asks you, “what’s for dinner?” If you want popcorn, have popcorn.
Speaking of popcorn, you get decide what movie you want to see.
And if you decide to stay in, whatever you left in the fridge for dinner, is still in the fridge for dinner.
You decide if you want to watch a sappy night-time drama or 24 hours of sports on television.
Room temperature is your decision. Blankets on or off the bed you sprawl across — also yours to decide.
A friend calls and asks if you want to travel an hour to see your favorite band from the ’70s on a whim.
Why, yes you do! And off you go.
You decide where you want to vacation and how long you will stay.
And when you get back home, the towels are hung up, just as you left them.
The dishes are clean and put away or not — but they are exactly where they were when you left your house and they will stay there until you move them!
You decide how to spend your money on who and when.
Face it, single people seem to have a lot more toys!
Being single seems to me to be the best opportunity to be completely selfish without guilt!
Live for yourself. Give to others when you feel like it! And for those who are in it, relish it.
But, it seems many of my single friends are really searching for someone to partner up with, even as some are freshly out of a “I will never get married again” situation.
I have had discussions about “just wanting to have someone to do things with” but I believe it goes beyond that.
As human beings, we are searching for connection.
We want someone to share the ride with. We crave intimacy. We want to share our experiences.
And that does come with a price — one that is somewhere between the lines of compromise and selflessness.
I know I am lucky to have found someone I consider a partner in this life.
As in any partnership, there is give and take.
There is also support, encouragement, a soft place to fall, utter vulnerability, the joy and pain of a unique, shared history, of having someone who knows your good, your bad and your ugly and loves you anyway.
There is the security of knowing someone who has your back, no matter what.
As I get older, I find myself negotiating and compromising more than my younger self probably would have.
When I was much younger, I was quick to walk away!
As I have gotten older and a bit more “dug in,” I joke that when things are tough what keeps me from quitting is how much I hate to pack!
Of course, I am kidding (mostly).
With maturity comes the realization that riding out the hard times results in deeper connection and greater understanding.
I know this person I share my days and nights with really is my very best friend — my true companion.
He is worth doing the work for.
I believe true companionship, partnership, is what we are all looking for.
If compromising on what brand of “x” we buy or sitting through a movie that was not my choice is the price I pay for it, I will pay it with a happy heart.
Hollie Grimaldi Flores is the business development manager at The Union. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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