Ain’t No Pity Party!
Lemme preface real quick and say that this is no woe-is-me post, this is simply me indulging in my love of psychology and weird ability to observe then write about my own feelings. Perhaps others have felt this way too and can relate, maybe even feel a little better about those feelings!
Single but NOT Alone!
So one time at a brunch with a bunch of people – some friends and some strangers (ok, friends of friends – for a birthday) the server was going around the long table asking who would be on the same ticket. Apparently I was the lone single lady at the table of all couples so when the server looked at me expectantly I proudly said “Single! But NOT alone!” which added some levity to the situation (it wasn’t an awkward situation by any means, I was just being funny). That was a couple years ago, or maybe one? The friend’s birthday is coming up so I guess actually less than a year. . . Man. My concept of time is awful.
Fast forward to today. I’m single. If you’ve read my other posts you know that I rather tumultuously exited a 2-ish year relationship with an awful fraud toward the beginning of the year then briefly dated (and “destroyed” a la Dresden Dolls Coin Operated Boy) a Very Nice Guy (who I actually tried to reach out to recently, have not heard a word, not surprised) and am now very definitively single. I have friends trying to play matchmaker but. . . yeah, no. Just. . . no.
Friends with Benefits
I’m not talking the sexy kind here. My “friends with benefits” are my BFFs – the ones I can hang out with and talk for hours on end about nothing, leaving them feeling worlds better than when I got to them. My BFFs are the people I love hugging. I *want* to be a hugger, and I *try* being one of those people who hugs people they first meet (only if the other party comes at me first) but I just can’t. I only like hugging people when I MEAN it. So my BFFs get all my good hugs – and I love the hugs they give me in return. My BFFs know all of my quirks already so anything that I do/say/think that’s weird to others, they’re already on the same page with me when I’m 10 minutes into whatever random story I’ve got going on in my life. My BFFs know exactly what to say to make me have an A-HA moment, or realize I’m just being -insert whatever I’m usually being here-, and to make me feel completely ok with everything – the good and the bad.
My BFFs live far away. My very best friend lives in another state – that requires a plane ticket to get to. She has odd work hours and I actually have to call her LAND LINE! Ok, she lives in the BEAUTIFUL mountains so it makes sense, and the view from her house it totally worth it, I just love saying land line in 2016. My other BFF lives in Indiana. I’ve only seen her when she comes to visit and she’s got tons of people to see when she’s here so our time together is rare. She’s also about to pop out baybay number 2. Another BFF only lives a two hour drive away. She’s actually going to put me through “Baby Boot Camp” with her new 2-month-old baybay so I can learn how not to break a baby. She’s hilarious and I really do need to hang out with her more.
Locally I have friends. There are a few people I have Deep Conversations with. There are people I hug and don’t mind it. There are people I love hanging out with on a week or weekend night. There are only a couple of people I could sit on a porch with for a few hours and just talk about life. THAT is what I miss. THAT is what I feel like causes Chronic Loneliness, at least in my life definition.
I had heard this term while watching a TED Talk on Mental Hygiene and it was new to me, but it immediately made sense. In the American culture, we tend to run around making these superficial connections through business or our cellphones/social media and seldom delve deeper than that with others outside of our pre-existing friends. CONNECTIONS seem to be lacking. I work 9-6 and when I was living with my ex, I would go home most nights and connect with him – only a few nights out of the month would I venture outside of that bubble to connect with other friends. Now, being single, I’ve been going out a lot more with different friends and we connect, but we don’t CONNECT. It’s still superficial. That’s not to say my FRIENDS are superficial, not by any means, in fact most of them are the opposite, but our connections typically are.
I suppose this is something that may come with time, developing a friendship to be deeper, but part of me wants to challenge people to have a face to face conversation about the deep stuff right up front. Just for funsies. Get to the real human grit. Can you make a new BFF in less than a month with a new friend? Would it take some sort of shared trauma? Or is that something only a romantic partner can achieve in such a short amount of time?
This whole ponderance comes from my insane desire to cuddle with someone after a really rough day today. Someone other than my adorable kitty because sometimes she gets sassy and bites. I’m pretty sure there are things like cuddle booty calls (ok, I know there are) but that’s not REAL. It’s not real human CONNECTION. And then I remembered the term Chronic Loneliness and started googling it – yay internet always giving you complexes you didn’t know you had! But when you’ve had a rough day, you just want someone to hold you and assure you that it’s ok, you’re ok, tomorrow will be better, and there are still rainbows in the world somewhere. People who don’t have that for years on end, I don’t know what that’s like. I’ve been single here and there, but not really for more than a year and a half (or so) at a time. I don’t know how I would handle not cuddling with someone for more than a year. I mean, according to this internet article (must be true!) loneliness can lead to all kinds of wicked bad stuff. Why aren’t we connecting more?
Try New Things
As part of getting out of my apartment I’ve been trying new things. I tried this crazy thing called acro yoga and it’s pretty much using all of your muscles to stack humans in pretty ways. If you’re really fancy, you can do “transitions” where you go from one position to another. It’s insane. I did three poses as a “base” and then was peer-pressured into doing a transition between two super basic “flying” poses. I was a hot mess and my muscles were sore the next day. However! The people were super cool. I went because of a friend I met through roller derby who happens to also perform circus acts – she’s pretty bad ass. I’ve definitely got to get some core strength, and like, arm and leg strength too, but man! It’s pretty rad when you can sit on the bottom of some dude’s feet without holding onto anything (except your fear, on the inside).
I’ll also be learning music things starting next week! The circus friend’s boo is musically-inclined and apparently likes teaching so we shall see how that goes! I wanna be able to play the keyboard and sing in key – make up my own songs and such. Just for myself – for funsies.
Super Awkward First Date Idea!
Ok, so I heard about this on a podcast, how to fall in love with anyone and I totes wanna try it one day. Do I have faith in it? Not likely. Do I think it would be super uncomfortable and weird? YES! Do I find it exciting to make a potential date feel uncomfortable and weird? DOUBLE YES! So you have to ask a series of questions, and then you have to STARE INTO EACH OTHERS EYES. FOR FOUR WHOLE MINUTES. As part of some leadership exercise I had to stare into a partner’s eyes for one minute and that was TORTURE! FOUR MINUTES??? WITH A DATE??? Oh man. Totes gonna do this ish.
Oh, and that’s related to this post because I’m pretty sure it creates a connection. Perhaps a temporarily superficial one, but come on, there’s no going back after staring into someone’s eyes for TWO HUNDRED AND FORTY SECONDS!