Sunday, January 13, 2013

Single doesn't suck.

Today in my teenage angst, I'm going to write a book. I'm going to write a book and it's title will be "The Single Girl's Guide to Not Sucking." Because I think we need this.

I've been pretty single for a while now and I will not lie to you; I love it. I love being single. I love being free from the complications of a relationship. I love having to factor no one else into my plans. Plans which mostly consist of being as lazy as possible, i.e. watching as much television as possible. I love that my anxiety doesn't spike daily from having to go on fruitless casual dates. And I love that while I'm loving being single, I still get to watch all of my non-single friends go through relationships, make mistakes, get engaged, be happy and essentially do the work for me, all the while developing a philosophy of romanticism and relationship that I would probably be too blind to develop within one.

I have had relationships. Really short lived ones. They were good and necessary, but ultimately ended badly. And they've always ended because they were founded on something unhealthy, like my anxiety disorder. That's not a joke. Over the span of five months, I dated two guys who both (honorably . . . kind of) wanted to save me from myself. I always laugh when I think about it because I must have looked like the subject of a song penned by Chris Carrabba. Sigh.

I started watching Girls on Thursday night and finished the first season within 48 hours. I just really love Hannah Horvath. I don't see as much of myself in Hannah as I do in Marnie, but I love Hannah the most. Though Shoshanna is so hilarious. Every scene she's in I just want to hug her. The point of this is that people love Girls because it's so real. It's so honest and Lena Dunham's clear approach is so effective. The problem with Girls, and what makes it so awesome, is that it doesn't encourage forward movement. Yes, Lena Dunham gives the viewer the room to be an early-twenties-something and not know where she's going. That is amazing. But what I want, at the start of every episode, is for Hannah to wake up and say, "This shit stops now. I will be treated well, and I will treat well." And maybe she will. I'm crazy with anticipation for tonight's premiere. Which I'll watch tomorrow, online, because you actually pays for HBO?

I really don't want this to come off as a love yourself before you love anyone else type of post. That makes me want to gag. But there's a lot of truth in the statement, so I'll word it in a different way. If you hate being single, ask yourself why? If you don't have an answer but still find yourself hating it, you have got to find that answer.

Even calling it "single" implies something that feels related to a missing appendage. Like if a person had a single arm they might be unbalanced for a while. But I like to think of it in terms of singles tennis. Doubles tennis is way more complicated and gets way less press than singles. And it's most likely that the stars of singles tennis will win the doubles tournaments. You can't play doubles tennis until you can play singles.

The single girl's guide to not sucking, is to 1) stop watching effing Romantic Comedies. Those are full of either really satisfied single women who get what they didn't know they wanted, or really sad high strung single girls who get what they didn't know they could have. That is stupid. And that is untrue. And it only leads to the disappointment that our lives didn't go this way.

2) stop looking for qualities in guys. Stop asking, is he really what I want??? If you knew what you wanted, you probably wouldn't have to ask that question. Once you can figure out what you want, every other useless opportunity probably won't seem as appealing. And if you can't figure out what you want, you're likely better off seeking that out alone.

3) stop obsessing. This is another Hollywood at fault thing. We've started to think that if we try hard enough, we will get what we want. Which is okay in a career-type situation, but romantically it's just not as wise. How many characters have you watched who have been obsessed with a guy for like seven years and then magically he turned around and looked at her differently and she finally got what she wanted? I've seen a billion varieties of that character and I see a problem.Why would we invest so much time and energy into something that has only a small percent chance of happening? If you read yesterday's post, allow me to connect this to that. That family spent close to a year, arduously preparing and changing the course of their lives for something that ultimately did not come to be. Let's again imagine how confusing and devastating that must have been! What I'm trying to say is, live your life. It's yours to live. Don't stray from it in order to try and live in some one else's.

Okay. This is really long. But when I think about how happy I am, and how often people ask me if I "have anyone in my life," I get to thinking about how I wish we had a better understanding of why being single is hard, and the reasons for that. So here it is. Take what you will, grain of salt and all that. I just know my own experience, and it's been really awesome. I just want yours to be awesome too.


Mich said...

Good post Hannah! I definitely agree.. I feel like I am (was?) a pro on being single and it not sucking - if I'm allowed to say that! haha Love your tennis analogy - that's bril!

Shauna said...

this was awesome Hannah!! totally agree with you and am happy to say i'm excited and glad to be single!