I am better by myself.
This is a well-established fact, a real one, not like the quite fashionable alternative ones. I am better by myself because there is no one telling me what to do, who to kiss, who to sleep with, who to have breakfast with, and who to flirt with shamelessly day in and day out. Because that is what the essence of life is, live and let live. And when I grow old and weary, I will cherish those memories and be happy with myself that I’m still living the life I wanted, surrounded by my books, a bored pet and a nurse that is completely out of my league.
Damn, these do feel like alternative facts.
The bon viveur life takes balls of steel to master and live it through and through. Waking up in different beds every day or the same bed with different people, living the single life with the occasional interruptions of ephemeral flings and all in all fighting the “enemy”: loneliness that stems from an existential need to belong, to be needed and need someone to love, hate, and share the small things.
The small things which could be the toast with peanut butter and jelly that fell on the floor on the good side, so you can eat it and breathe out in exuberant happiness because you don’t need to clean the floor. Or that stray cat that you find at your window every evening, which comes in and asks you to pet her, only to leave an hour later (she too a story, although one for another time). The need to have someone that will matter in your bed both before you go to sleep and after you wake up, to share the big success, the harrowing failure, and everything in between.
Don’t get me wrong. This is not a romance. It is a biological need. People as a species are not hermits. We crave companionship, and no matter how many hardships we go through, we don’t lose hope that our other half is out there. In most cases it’s not: we construct it with the complicity of a stranger that becomes familiar, that becomes what we need, and we return the favor amiably.
Can we live without the feeling of someone loving us? Without feeling special through someone else’s admiration and need to be with us? Absolutely. It is a healthy thin to not need anyone to love us other than ourselves. Is it necessary though?
We all enjoy the process of offering feelings to someone and then, in return, being offered some too. We call it being in love, Love! But you might name it Jim for all I care. The generated euphoria does not change. Fact of the matter is, the improvement of the daily routine is bound to happen. And I hear you all out there, all the single and happy individuals screaming at the screen and threatening to punch it vigorously.
First of all, please don’t, it will be quite expensive to fix.
Secondly, I am not saying it is the only way to live. It might not even be the best one.
But I’ll be damned if it isn’t a really good one.
Beats the empty house after a tiring week every goddamn day.
And the secret of it all?
That presence does not need to be THE ONE. (Τhe capital, bold and italics “The one”)
It needs to be one that makes you happy. And one that you think of during your brightest day and darkest night as a lantern of hope and courage.
(Or you can get a dog. Or a cat. But careful there. Just because it feels like a human being, it does not mean it can take the place of one…)