It was late evening, around 8:30 p.m. The sun had set and in the darkness out came two shadows; a man, a woman.
I walked out of a bar with my date in tow. I was wondering how I would let him know as kindly as possible that he is not the one for me. He looked at me hopefully as we bid goodbye. I’d love to see you again and get to know you more, he said. I said sure, too quickly, feeling a little guilty, knowing already that this was never going to happen.
I am 37 and I am single and loving every minute of it!
It took me a heck of a long time to get to this stage to openly declare, embrace and rule my kingdom of solitude. In fact, it hasn’t been that long since the words “alone” and “loneliness” left my vocabulary. In the past, every time these words were spoken I was instantly engulfed in a wet blanket of shame and sadness.
I finally get it—and boy am I laughing my way to my throne.
How did I get here?
It wasn’t a process that happened over night. It was a journey that took six years and it will probably continue for as long as I live. It was sad, painful and messy at times, and other times hilarious!
I left a relationship and marriage of 10 years to discover true love, only to jump into relationships within few months because of my deep fear of being alone and childless. My urge to nest was strong. It was a ticking time bomb, and everyone around me heard the seconds counting down.
Right from the start of the relationships I bargained hard for it; marriage and kids within x years. You better get with my plan or else I will unleash the wrath of all goddesses and become the reincarnation of mother Kali herself. I danced wildly the dance of death; the death of love, death of intimacy and finally killed the relationships in my thirst, my hunger and quest for the ultimate prize for loving: wedding and babies.
The men I was dating at the time did not know what to make of my madness or of me. They had no choice but to be swept into the hurricane I unleashed. They were men who weren’t strong enough to stand up to my sword.
Needless to say, the relationships ended with us feeling exhausted and lifeless.
As soon as one quest ended, the search for the next one would begin.
Women gathered, gave advise on the newest foolproof idea to find the next one, and prophesied outcomes if I did not heed their sacred words:
1. Hurry some said, the womb is aging.
2. All the good men are gone; they are either dead or married.
3. It’s a numbers game baby, you got to keep them coming.
4. You’ve got to put yourself out there.
5. You have to be open.
6. You have to be feminine.
7. Learn to receive.
8. What are you here for as a woman if you don’t marry and bear a child? (Ouch!)
I heard and ate each word out of the palms of their hands and ran wild from Tinder to happn to Match.com, to parties to gatherings to work and back to Tinder again, each time hoping and praying that this time, this night, this man may be it, may be the one. The one who saves me from this endless search for acceptance from society, from my culture and community, from my family and friends, from me.
You see, as a society, at a very primitive level we are programmed to believe that the height of a woman’s success is to find a good husband and to bear healthy offspring. Whilst this attitude is changing in Western societies, in the East it is still thriving—and, in fact, big business. Haven’t we all heard of the booming wedding industry?
I come from a community where a woman who was unmarried beyond the age of 25 was the biggest source of shame for the family. I have watched my aunties being married off without their consent to men who were at least 15 to 20 years older than them, just so that the family could be rid of the stigma.
In the more progressive West it is not as bad, yet the conditioning lingers. Why else are so many women in a hurry to find a husband and make babies? Why else are we so many women in a hurry to offer our bodies to the first taker without even checking to see if he is worthy of that trip to the temple?
I would be a multi millionaire if I had taken a dollar for every time I am asked, “Why are you still single? You are beautiful, smart and a nice person.”
Surely there must be something wrong!
But a man who is single and 40? What a catch! He is a wild spirit, he is a warrior, they say.
The opportunity I received to be alone and in solitude for the last two-and-a-half years helped me realize that there was nothing wrong in being alone, lonely or single. This is how I came to this life, alone, naked and by myself.
I cherish the time I had with my nurturers, my family, my lovers who stayed with me as I grew. Now I am grown, a woman, a hunter, a gatherer, a human. I can walk this planet alone, enjoying simple moments without shedding tears of sadness with each step. In fact with each step I take, I reclaim my power.
The ticking clock in my womb has stopped. I have no need to nest. The planet is my nest and I am home now. I am a mother to myself and I am more than happy to be a part-time mom (a.k.a. sexy aunt) to my nieces and nephews. I am a mother to any child who is in my arm whether it is for few minutes or few hours.
What makes me sad and what I am observing from a distance right now is an interesting energetic war between men and women. The more women want to nest, the further men go to protest and renounce commitment, loyalty and relationships.
We can sit back and complain about men, their promiscuity, lack of commitment and reluctance to grow into “real men,” or we can gracefully accept the fact that we are an equal part of this battle.
I write this post after a deep and painful realization that every breaking or broken relationships on this planet adds to the collective damage and pain that men and women have caused, holding one another ransom over conditioned aspirations that are no longer true or valid for the times we live in now.
We are no longer at risk of extinction, nor do we need to grow our tribe to protect it.
If my destiny is to remain alone in this lifetime, then so be it. I will do this just as grandly as I did relationships. It will be messy and crazy at times, but hey, it’s worth it. The extent of pain and shame I fear, is really all inside my head and each time I chase what is not for me I add to this pot of darkness.
So now my phone is clean of the multitude of dating apps. I no longer seek a date, and I no longer plan and dream of meeting with my one and only each time I step out of my home.
As for men, yeah, I love you guys. You are awesome to hang out with, laugh, make love to, cook with and have incredible adventures with. When I meet you this is all I want to do with you.
I want no promise, I want no ring and I have no demands.
Walk into my temple when you are ready to be just as I am; free, wild and sacred beyond sacred.
I’ve held my body and blessed it for years and I will only open the gates to someone who knows how to worship it.
He may be out there, he may be not.
If he is out there, then I am sure we will run into each other at the dance class or as I walk to work, or while waiting for my morning chai. We will meet under natural and synchronistic circumstances steeped with loads of magic and surprise.
Our parents, our grandparents met each other in a world without a bustling social scene, Tinder or online dating.
Whether he is here or not, I know that there is one beautiful soul I will meet and fall in love with everyday and this person is me.
Here’s to all the awesomely beautiful alone, lonely and single women out there.
You are the true Queens, claim your kingdom now.
Author: Deepthi Amin
Editor: Emily Bartran