This just in: I'm single on Valentines Day.
More breaking news: I'll be single after my 40th birthday, too.
What's really surprising? I'm perfectly OK with my singleness.
I rarely talk about dating here - and this post is no different. I'm not talking about dating, or even how I handle not dating.
I'm here to talk about how much it seems to bother other people that I'm single.
I really am OK with all the links to articles about how to be single when I'm 40, or what people have learned being single in their 30s, or how to handle V-Day solo. My personal favorite was this one (Joe wasn't impressed, though - typical guy).
I'm OK when friends ask what is new, and I try to talk to them about Stella & Dot, or Big Brothers Big Sisters, or selling my house - or anything. I'm thankful some listen, and it's really OK that some don't. It's even OK when some immediately ask, "Are you seeing anyone?" As if every other accomplishment pales in comparison to the lack of romantic love in my life.
"What's that? You cured cancer?! Great. Were you able to find a date for that wedding? No? Well, don't worry - you'll find him when you least expect it. Maybe you should just focus on yourself for a while..."
Anyone else find it ridiculous that someone would offer "focus on yourself" as advice to someone who obviously already is?
The condescending smiles and encouragement are fine. Welcome actually.
They don't make me sad. They don't make me angry. I don't feel inferior, or inspired to marry the next guy who comes along.
The advice makes me smile. I remember (fondly) the times in my life when I was in a healthy, happy, committed relationship. I know how good that can feel - and what a blessing it is to find someone you love, who loves you back.
I'm happy for my friends who I know are happy - and who I know want the same for me.
But of course - not all the advice comes from those in happy, healthy relationships. Not all of it is about me being happy. Sometimes it's about the advisor trying to make himself feel better by making me feel bad.
Then I'm grateful. I understand how precious love is, and how easily it's lost. I know that no matter how much of an "expert" you think you are, you're never more than one big misunderstanding away from being single next Valentines Day.
So, to my friends who truly want me to be happy - Happy Valentines Day. Thanks for showing me what love is really all about.
To the others....maybe you should just focus on yourselves for a while.