I Am Single in the Suburbs.
There is an awareness living in the suburbs that I had never experienced before. In the last couple of years I have come to realize some solid truths about myself. I am single. The fact is, I have been aware of this truth for my entire adult life. What I didn’t expect when I moved to the suburbs, four years ago, is how painfully aware I was about to become.
I am a single woman in my fifties. In my town, single feels like a four letter word. I am constantly being asked “why are you single?”. “Don’t you want to meet someone?” Believe me when I tell you, I am asked constantly. The subject came up again at a gathering. A couple of “coupled” friends asked me why I wasn’t “out there”, why I wasn’t dating. When I said I wasn’t interested, the bewilderment was deafening. I had one friend even go so far as to say, “I don’t know what I am going to do with you”. As if my being single is a problem to be dealt with.
Coupling is a big part of the lifestyle here, but isn’t it just about anywhere? So why is my single awareness more palpable in the suburbs than it was in the city? I dated more in San Francisco than I ever have in Arizona. Yet, there seems to be a lack of interest for me here. I am just plain not interested. This disinterest has me feeling like a defective. Perhaps it is because, as I said, I am painfully aware of my relationship status.
Does being in a relationship make you more valuable?
I recently had a conversation with a friend who is “out there”, she’s in the dating scene, if you will. One of the things that struck me most was her attitude about dating. If it isn’t working for her, she moves on. She knows what she wants, not only in a partner, also in her life. She knows if she doesn’t meet the right one, she will stay single. Being with a man doesn’t define her. I feel the exact same way. However, for some reason I seem to be feeling like the odd woman out for this thinking. Maybe it is ageism. She is much younger than me. Her generation is possibly more accepting of singledom. What if the late forties, early fifty somethings are the ones that feel like you need a man.
It is safe to say, it feels far more acceptable to be single in a big city, than in the suburbs. Not once did my “situation” come up when I was living in California. Is there a wider acceptance of lifestyles in a city versus the suburbs? I think so. city life moves a quicker pace, people are more concerned with themselves than what you may or may not be doing.
Maybe I am reaching here, looking for an excuse. Even still, it could be generational. At my age, I “should” be married by now. Isn’t that a societal norm? Am I challenging the status quo with my relationship status? It would be fair to say, there are times I wish I had a relationship. There are more times I am glad I don’t. And maybe it just boils down to the fact, I haven’t met the right guy. What ever the reason, it really doesn’t matter. I am single, I am a suburban dweller. This is my life…..maybe I’ll be ready to meet someone in my sixties…..maybe.