I recently graduated college and most of my friends are already married or in the process of engagement. One particularly impatient friend has a baby on the way. And, being the selfish single lady that I am, I’ve noticed that their exclusive partnerships are causing problems for me. Most annoyingly, I’m struggling to find a roommate because all of my friends have relocated or have moved in with their significant others, which has left me alone eating Ben & Jerry’s out of the carton while watching late-night reruns of The Nanny on my parent’s couch.
Sure, I’ve dated; I’ve tried men in every variety: soccer players, car enthusiasts, photographers, frat boys, and even the editor of the university newspaper, but every man seemed to have a flaw. Men who ask for loans. Military personnel who are never in the States. Younger men with step-mothers your age. Older men with daughters your age.
No one seemed up to standard. I’ve been told I’m too picky and that I should settle, because, after all, I’m 22 and there’s still no ring in sight.
Songs, TV shows, movies, commercials, and even billboards are filled with messages that having a significant other will make you want to listen to Shania Twain’s “You’re Still the One” on repeat and hurry home to your rose-petaled bedroom after a long eight hours of being away from your “other half.”
Even completely non-romantic products are marketed towards filling some kind of void. I’ve even been tempted to call Just Breaks because “they really do care.” If only finding Mr. Right were as easy as installing new break-pads.
I was so stuffed full of “get married” messages that I was beginning to vomit teddy bears, flowers, and diamonds. And last week after my mom pried Ben & Jerry from my arms and sent Fran flat lining into a screen of black, I decided it was time to stop being lonely and start being alone.
Lonely is always alone, though alone is not always lonely. And if I’m learned anything from Beyoncé and Jay Z , it’s that all the single ladies have it pretty good and having 99 problems isn’t so bad, as long as a bitch ain’t one. Before they were able to become the celebrity power couple they are now, Beyoncé and Jay Z had to become celebrities in their own right. I’m no celebrity (though I’m sure I have quite the blog following), but I know that to be happy, I’ve got to embrace being single.
When I think realistically about my married friends, they’re not constantly skipping through daisy fields and coming home every night to strawberries and champagne and bubble baths. They’re complaining. Complaining about how the other doesn’t clean the place-mats, complaining about in-laws, complaining about how they don’t spend enough time with their friends. But most of all, they’re complaining about money.
In fact, financial issues are the cause of a great many divorces. Yes, I’m single and I’m not living a fairy-tale romance and I don’t have someone to curl up to at night (though I do have a poodle who is just lovely). But being single also means that I don’t have to share; not my time, not my friends, and not my money.
The liberation of being financially independent is almost as intoxicating as the martinis I’ve taken to drinking with my girlfriends on Thursday nights. Each week we meet at the bar, order our drinks, and live out our clichéd fantasy of being single and loving it. And now that we’ve realized we can keep our money, our friends, and our lives and still keep men in our beds, we’ve just got one question for you: why be with only one Mr. Right when you can be with seven Mr. Right Now’s?
This is a guest post by Jane Tiluda. Jane Tiluda is a blogger and personal finance expert from Atlanta, GA, currently happily living the single life. Stay tuned for installments in Jane’s ongoing series about finance tips for dating and living the single life.