By Petra Pan

You know when people say that some circumstance in their life does not define them, whether that is being gay, dyslexic or vegan (not to compare the three at all!).

Well, I can tell you that being single in your thirties does define you…

To me, it means for instance going to my cousin’s wedding alone. Since I am already facing the horror of concerned aunts discussing – perfectly within ear shot, I might add: “Why hasn’t she got a fella”, “Is she gay?”, “Why hasn’t she got a girlfriend if she’s gay?”, I might as well volunteer to be the designated driver. Alcohol seems like a sensible way to survive the fact that I am the only odd one out in the celebration of couple-hood, yet I refrain, as it will most likely end in me wallowing in self pity – or worse, I might end up snogging the only other single there, which will only lead to more self loathing, as all experience tells me that he is bound to have as much personality as hair and/or visible bonestructure.

Planning my summer holiday starts with me dropping subtle hints in January to my only other single friend. By April my hints are not so subtle. Meanwhile everyone else is planning their maternity leave in Thailand, romantic weekends in Paris and second honeymoons in idyllic contryside cottages. Well then, fine! I’ll just sulk in the backseat of my parents’ stationcar, and figure out a way to spin that into something awesome before next lunch break with my collegues.

g-021-prince-charmingIn my experience, people see my relationship status as a carte blanche to point out everything they think is wrong with me. “You are simply to choosy” they say, which always have me quietly asking “So you just settled for the first person who showed you any interest?”. “Have you tried internet dating?” they ask, to which I reply: “No I prefere my shopping list to be entirely about groceries – not people”. “You’ll never find anyone by bar- and bedhopping” they say, to which I reply: “No but Prince Charming sure as hell don’t show up while I’m watching Downton Abbey alone on a Saturday night”.

Then there are the well-meaning comments, like “You looked so much prettier when you weighed 10 pounds less/had longer/shorter hair, used more/less makeup” and so on.

Apparently the lack of a partner means there’s something so disturbingly wrong with me that everyone is allowed to comment shamelessly on every aspect of me and ask me intimate questions to diagnose the cause of my sad existence.

So yes; being single is a important part of how I am defined by myself and by others – whether I like it or not.

But the thing is, that even though I might be a prime number among my friends, being on your own doesn’t mean that I am lonely. I enjoy my evenings of solitude just as much as I enjoy going out with friends, hosting dinner parties or babysitting the wonderful kids in my extended family of friends. I throuroughly enjoy returning said kids as well, I might add.

And perhaps someday when I am all grown up I might find a lost boy, who is ready to leave Neverland behind with me, but for now I quite like being free as a bird, because there is – actually – nothing wrong with me.

2 Responses to So What’s Wrong With You Then?

  1. Wellingtons says:

    Well done Petra Pan:-) and a warm welcome from a very loyal cinda-reader. I will be looking forward to post from your pen, it’s refreshing to read about other sides of life as well (being a mother of two myself). I hope you’ll make me laugh, cry and leave me with things to ponder when reading your posts.

  2. Cindafuckingrella says:

    Awmaaan, aren’t you wonderful to give her such a sweet welcome. I have the BEST-EST readers in da world!
    Cinda loves you!

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