Saturday, 24 December 2011

On being single at any time & especially at Christmas

I am approaching my half century - well Im nearer to it than my 21st!I have lived alone for the past 11 years, not necessarily through my own choosing but my "knight in shining armour" has failed to locate me as yet. Im still hopeful but I have to accept his charger is probably lame these days, his lance will be bent, his armour rusty & if he has a satnav, well its one thats taken him the long way round!No sympathy required, I have had my share of boyfriends in that time but just none that went on to become anything more.

I dont mind being single.To be honest, Im not sure that I could or would want to share my life on a "full time" basis now. I know Im lucky in that I enjoy my own company and these days will head off to do most things alone. At least that way I get to do what I want to do. I am also blessed with some lovely friends so apart from being a bit short on hugs I dont feel I miss on much.

What does annoy me though is the attitude of society to single people. If you are a single, you are considered almost to be a liability, an oddball, misfit or that's how it feels at the receiving end. A few years ago, when I was ill and unable to easily travel home, a friend used to invite me to join her family for Christmas dinner. This arrangement went on for several years until one year she commented that the next time they were going to have just a "family Christmas" without the "hangers on". Now that phrase has stuck with me ever since. I would hate to be thought of as a "hanger on". I used to join them for dinner and leave afterwards, was careful not to outstay my welcome so that comment cut very deep.

Lots of folk seem to think Im mad for not heading home to my family, though my family understand and respect my decision which is after all, all that matters. It would involve a journey of a min. 3 hrs to spend 2 days, only to head back on Tuesday at a time of year when the weather is not at its finest. My folks were up the other week in any case to celebrate my birthday so its not like we dont see each other. This way I actually do get to wind down, relax, have a lie in, enjoy food at a time that suits me and do whatever else I please. I was chatting with someone last night who said he would love to be able to spend Christmas at home with his wife and no one else instead of which, they trundle from one relative to another as do countless other folks this time of year.

The media this week had a splurge on making sure that "your neighbour is not alone" this Christmas. An example, no matter how well meant, of making singles out to be requiring of sympathy and charity. Now I am all for keeping an eye on folk and making sure that they are not lonely but there is a big difference between lonely and alone. I am also a big believer in respecting and enjoying your "elderlies" they have such knowledge to impart and are great company - am sure they are very much under appreciated in today's society and that is such a shame.

When we have "do's" in the village - esp. of a dining nature, they are basically set up with couples in mind. Singles are positioned where it is deemed to be politically suitable or on a table by themselves as if a group of "lepers". When it comes to booking to go places, esp accommodation, we are penalised by having to pay a single supplement. A certain fee I can understand but some are really excessive.I am sure these fees are set by people who are in "couples" who may not have been single for a long time and forget how it is to be single.

I just wish that people who are lucky enough to have someone to share their life with would think before they make comments that upset those of us who are for one reason or another on our own. Even though Im happy to be single it doesnt mean I dont have any feelings. I also hope that firms will consider the marketing value of singles and stop penalising us. Our money is as good as the next consumer's and there are a lot of us out here in the real world.


  1. As a single person (who's quite happy about it) I wish to endorse these sentiments.

  2. Thank you, glad Im not the only one!

  3. Not single, but wish I were. Ignore foolish people and enjoy your life on your terms. Solitude is sanity!

  4. My mum, who had 13 siblings, used to invite all her single relations to ours for Xmas day, and my dad used to invite his best friend who was divorced, great atmosphere.
    "solitude is sanity" well, it's certainly cheaper and less hassle :)

  5. I often find that a lot of older folk also prefer to be on their own at Christmas and not trundled off for the day to a relatives house.
    Myself, I like to spend it with family but would also be happy to spend it alone should the occasion arise.
    Luckily I don't have a big family so we are not spending the whole day driving round visiting!

  6. Well said Mel. The insensitivity of your 'friend' saddened me somewhat, and I agree that there really does need to be a change of attitude towards single people.