July 5, 2014

It’s Okay to Be Single & Enjoy It. ~ Heidi Neumann


As long as I can remember, it’s been just me. The world of dating has been of little, if any interest to me.

What is it that makes some of us “need” to be with someone, while for others like me, it’s not such a big deal?

And, why now does it appear the time has come when all those around me are becoming “concerned?”

For those of us who have been single for awhile it’s not uncommon for friends and family—or strangers, even—to comment or question why we are not in a loving healthy relationship with Mr. or Mrs. Right. And now, midway through 36, I have become a “project.”

“Why don’t you have a boyfriend?”
“You must be lonely.”
“You need to get out more.”
“How are you going to find anyone if you are at the gym all the time?”
“If you want kids, you better start looking now before it’s too late.”
“I will get my friends to ask around for you.”

These are examples of real questions and statements that I have heard over the past few years. So to appease the world, I made a resolution to attempt two whole dates in 2014.

Now, in this wonderful new age of technology and ‘”faceless” communication, it seems I should start looking for Mr. Right online. Or so everyone says. Because that is apparently where people “meet.”

“Tinder is awesome, you should try it.”

Shamefully, out of curiosity, I downloaded it. And, red-faced, I swiped ‘”pass” on all the, erm, eligible, single men.

It actually became the new way to waste office hours, as our 59-year-old receptionist and I “mocked” the “contestants”—flashes of tatted-up, Corona-swigging, abs-baring and downright creepy pics.

And then, suddenly, a picture of someone I knew!

That was it for me. Red-faced as if that person could see me looking at them, Tinder was deleted.

“You need to create an online profile, I can help you!” was the next suggestion.

So as an “experiment,” a profile was created.

Within five minutes of going live, 21 new matches, five nudges for a photo and three “ice breakers” were received.

Hilarious, but not anything that appealed to me at all—I don’t want to nudge someone for a photo.

Alas, the end of experimental online dating. For those who are “fishing,” the online ocean is full, so dive in.

This past week I have been assaulted with talk of love and the apparent lack of it in my life. A picture on Facebook of an old flame with his new girlfriend and their new baby made my heart skip a beat.

I began questioning myself and my decisions.

As I lay in yoga class, trying to relax my mind in savasana, I found myself clenching my jaw tighter and wondering why I wasn’t seeing anyone. Why didn’t I have that someone in my life? Maybe it was the eclipse last week or the new moon or the ever conspiring Universe, but I began to doubt myself.

My head hurt and my chest hurt.

I thought I was happy being single…Wasn’t I?

My dam of emotions and confusion was about to burst. So after a soul-baring, heart outpouring to my most lovely friend, the question I suddenly needed to answer was, “What was it I wanted, before everyone started telling me what I needed?”

And that’s the thing, we need to all go back to believing in what we have and what we want.

No one can tell us what we are missing out on or what we should be feeling or what we should be doing except for ourselves.

We are the only one who has to live with ourselves and our choices.

I stopped and looked at what my life is now. I happily waste my free time at yoga, lifting weights, playing with my niece and nephew, going for walks on the beach and having coffee with friends. I like that I don’t have anyone to answer to, and that if I want to do double yoga, I can.

I love that I can pack my bags and jump on a plane to Nepal and camp under the stars for two weeks, or that I can splurge and live like a princess at the Four Seasons in Paris, rubbing shoulders with the likes of Eva Longoria for a week.

I like the freedom to come and go as I choose, I don’t get bored with my own company.

Some days, sure, it would be nice to have someone to walk on the beach with, or sit and watch TV together in the evening, cook dinner together or just get dressed up and go out on a date—and if that’s something that I really and truly needed, or craved even, then at almost 37, I probably would have tried harder to make it happen.

Swiping left or right on someone’s photo isn’t going to lead me to the love of my life.

It may get me my two dates this year, but as for what my heart needs or feels, If I’m to meet “the one,” I want it to be a spontaneous and accidental encounter.

Sometimes, it’s easy to let the voices of those closest to us become louder than our own. And we all really do love our well-meaning friends who want to make sure we aren’t missing out on that “extra” piece of life that can be wonderful and life-long and bring much happiness.

But we can’t forget to listen to what our hearts are saying, too.

Because we are the only ones who know what we need and we are the ones who have the power to change, or stay where we are.



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Apprentice Editor: Bronwyn Petry / Editor: Emily Bartran
Photo: Mo Riza, Flickr Creative Commons

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Heidi Neumann