When the Universe is Telling you to Stay Single—Listen.


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I was on a dinner date not too long ago when I, point blank, asked my companion why I feel like I’m constantly chasing her.

She’ll do that thing where she’ll flirt a little and then not answer my texts or messages for way too long—and then, eventually, she will. We’ll go back and forth a few times in a day and—poof—she’ll disappear again.

It’s a maddening cycle and it happens more often than I’d like to admit. She told me it was my kids. Obviously, I was confused. My cute little girls? What could possibly be wrong with them?

She went on to say that she had already been through all of that early child-rearing and she was not looking to go through all of it again. We said good night out in the parking lot, I kissed her on the cheek, and thought to myself, “There are definitely other fish in the sea. Why stress out about it?”

As I lay in bed that night I was overtaken by the thought that maybe that was why dating has been so rough for me. I’m 48 years old. Maybe my mistake has been trying to stay in an “age appropriate” dating pool. Let’s face it, there are certainly not many women my age with pre-school age children.

Later that week, I was talking to another prospective partner when I brought up what happened on my previous dinner date. She laughed and said that there was nothing wrong with having small children, but as long as we’re on the subject, she too felt like we were not a good match. Her objection? My schedule.

I work about 55-60 hours a week as a local truck driver, I see my girls on weekend mornings, I play gigs on weekend afternoons, I blog pretty consistently, and I’m in the middle of writing a book. With all of that going on, she explained, when do I think I can possibly carry on any kind of relationship?

I suppose it’s a valid enough point, but in my mind, I can’t help feeling that if I have time enough to be lonely, I have time enough to have a partner. This kind of logic might be completely convoluted though. My friends who make their livings in the neuro-psychological and behavioral fields have concluded that simply not wanting to be lonely may not be enough to warrant starting a new relationship.

Perhaps I am in a period of my life where I need to learn how to be comfortable in my own skin, without having a beautiful woman to defer to as a gauge of my worth or definition of my character. It’s a thought.

A thought that was driven home once more when I found myself on a dinner date not too long after with a woman about 10 years younger than me. There we were sitting across from each other—she making references to things on television that I was utterly unaware of, and me smiling blankly like an Old Navy catalogue model.

Again, I wound up home later that evening wondering if that was worth the dent in my Amex card. Or my life expectancy.

I was slowly coming around to that elusive state of being comfortable as a single person, when I received an email from someone who read an article I wrote and mentioned that she’d be interested in getting to know me better. This sounded promising, but my enthusiasm switch was starting to wear out and flicker a little—so I took it in stride at first.

The correspondence back and forth began to get interesting, and at one point I convinced myself to just enjoy the feeling. So, I did.

Before long, like many of my other surreal dalliances, it simply petered out rather unremarkably. There was nothing tangible that I could complain about. It was there and then it wasn’t. Snore.

It did, however, lead me to try some walking meditation on a trail a few miles from my place, up in the mountains. There, amongst the singing of birds and buzzing of summer insect life I could feel a warmth ensconce my chest—a clear communication from the universe. “I am in charge of your reality,” she reminded me. “You can embrace what I give you or protest what I give you, but you cannot change what I give you.” The moment was rather humbling.

Omne ignotum pro magnifico est.

That’s Latin for “everything unknown seems difficult.” Scholars will have no problem arguing with the looseness of my translation, but it’s close enough for jazz.

In other words, there is nothing difficult about what is going on in my life right now. The difficulty is only with my not wanting to accept it. When the universe is telling you to stay single, your best bet is to just listen.

author: Billy Manas

Image: Her/YouTube

Editor: Lieselle Davidson


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Billy Manas

Billy Manas is a poet, singer-songwriter, and truck driver from the Hudson Valley in New York, where you can catch his act at wine tastings and breweries. His distinct voice in both song and poetry is likely the result of his degree in literature and his teenage years spent outside of CBGB’s on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. His new book “Rockstar Recovery” will be available everywhere Fall 2019. Catch up with Billy on his website.

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cmreyes21 Dec 23, 2018 4:24pm

Great article! I can totally hear you! Been single for 3-4 months now. I believe in divine timing and know the universe has my back! Now is my time to love me! All of me!

Happy holidays!

kssnflwr Dec 22, 2018 7:25pm

I guess I just gave up because I always feel like the universe is telling me I’m meant to spend the rest of my life alone, so why fight it?

Kelly Yeager Oct 8, 2018 3:48am

Seriously, love your articles. I don’t think I thought I would still be single three years after divorce. There is just something about having that significant other/ special someone always there on the side that puts a little pep in your step. Giving up the dating and finally listening to the universe is when I now feel things starting to click for me. And realistically I have so many things I want to do for ME, I honestly can’t focus on dating or a relationship. And I’m not ready to give up on all the things I want to do solo yet. Dating is just a distraction and I can’t say it was even a good one. It was a pretty awful adventure if I want to be brutally honest - dating that is. After 22 years of marriage. My word.. Like you said, doesn’t mean you’re giving up .. we are hopeless romantics after all. Just figuring out how to do ME right now. As corny as it sounds.

Erin Hendrickson Sep 30, 2018 12:11am

Billy Manas Agreed😊

Billy Manas Sep 29, 2018 8:46pm

And you are Mary.

Billy Manas Sep 29, 2018 8:46pm

Wow! Four years. Well, society puts too much pressure on us to always be coupled up when maybe it doesn't really work for everyone. I'm sure--at least for you--it's all going according to plan. You'll probably realize this at some point. <3

Billy Manas Sep 29, 2018 8:41pm

Aww...Linda. That comment just really got to me. <3

Billy Manas Sep 29, 2018 8:40pm

I don't know, Erin. I think it may be good for us to accept today for what it is. I think it's fine to hope for something incredibly fulfilling "soon." And I leave it at that.

Billy Manas Sep 29, 2018 8:38pm

Maybe it is today, but tomorrow may be a different story. <3

Mary Martha Sep 16, 2018 9:22pm

I've been single for a long time, so I'm listening! I understand how you feel and this is one part of your life. I wonder if that's what the universe is telling me. I think I finally said, I'm okay, no matter what.

Francesca Giacalone Sep 16, 2018 5:20pm

Same for me ! 4years in 😎

Linda Ficacelli Sep 14, 2018 12:09pm

Go on with your life Billy, I'm sure love will find you when you least expect it 🌸 Continue to be brave.

Erin Hendrickson Sep 13, 2018 6:31pm

Recognizing this in my own life quite apprehensively. It seems as if once we are aware and acknowledge this and accept it, there is a sense of freedom in it. Isn’t there? Or are we merely telling ourselves that? I guess that is my apprehension speaking. Thanks for sharing and validating. It is an interesting path we are on.

Roberta Smith Sep 13, 2018 8:31am


Sharyn Young Sep 13, 2018 6:52am

Good to read this right now. Sad to accept that this seems to be the path the universe has been trying to show me.

Billy Manas Sep 12, 2018 11:42pm

Thank you Michael

Michael Mitchell Sep 12, 2018 11:14pm

I get you totally brother. After 6 years of singleness I’m happier than I have ever been. Doing my inner work and paying attention to that little voice that says, “Not Now- be patient “. Ignoring that little voice can be disastrous. Stay the path! Become as whole as you can.

Billy Manas Sep 12, 2018 7:38pm

Thank you Madeline!

Billy Manas Sep 12, 2018 7:37pm

I will 🙂

Madeline Richard Sep 12, 2018 4:07pm

Being single and alone are not bad things despite what society wants you to believe. I am 64, never married, never had any pregnancies or children and I am loving me and my life. I don't feel lonely because I have family and friends. I date occasionally, but it's dating without expectations. If it grows into more, good; if it doesn't, great! Loving me and where I am is more important than having a partner. That one lady told you the truth. You don't have time to begin or establish a new relationship. Keep loving on you and your daughters. And, casual date.

Bobbi K Thomas Sep 12, 2018 3:21pm

Think about dating older women.

Billy Manas Sep 12, 2018 2:08pm

And thank you Pallavi for your kind words.

Billy Manas Sep 12, 2018 1:14pm

I think we're kindred spirits, Sukriti <3

Pallavi Deshmukh Sep 11, 2018 5:01am

I've lost count on the number of times that things haven't worked for some reason or the other so far, never been easy at all...it's heartening and inspiring to hear your story, Billy...and with all these experiences growth in this arena has been gruelling yet, with big lessons the hard way . Thank you for sharing your story and perspective!

Sukriti Chhopra Sep 10, 2018 6:44pm

The universe is definitely telling me to stay single, and I think I am so ready to do so. First time in my life, I am not going to 'fit' into anybody else's life but create my own, on my own terms. Love reading your articles Billy, most of which feel like you're writing my story.

Candice Eaton Sep 10, 2018 3:22am

I couldn't agree more. As soon as I gave up trying to find the relationship that I had been trained to need my life got exponentially better. I have never in my adult life been so happy and so myself than I've been since I gave up on this modern expectation of love and relationships. Accepting the universe's demand that I be single was the best thing I've ever done.

Marilyn Regan Sep 10, 2018 2:06am

Hey...I give you credit for being a hopeless romantic and putting yourself out there despite your daunting schedule. I have only one question: have you really given up? I'll stay tuned.