When I was at home in April, I had the chance to enjoy an evening of dinner and drinks with my Father and Mom. Being that I live a few thousand miles from hometown Seattle; these visits are a true treasure!
During dinner, my parents raised the subject of my being single. I tried not to react as I find myself normally doing when asked about that. They wanted to know if I were dating or interested in anyone. Of all the people on the planet; they have the right to interrogate me in such a fashion. It most definitely got me thinking.
Soon there after, a few of my friends at separate moments inquired about my dating life. One of my closest friends brought it up on a night out and about at Chicago's famed, Sidetrack. Although meant in love, it was clear that my confidence was more in question. On another occasion a friend looked at me saying, "We need to get you a husband".
Is it true? Is my confidence in ruin? Am I incomplete without a mate? Will my ability to "get laid" (Sorry Mom!) be encumbered by this sad state of being? Just typing all of this made me laugh out loud in the coffee shop! To be clear, I know the intentions of my well meaning friends and loved ones. They worry for my happiness. It's their care that comes through loud and clear. It still has brought a great deal of thought to my life.
Singleness Is A Choice
Truth be told, I am one picky son of a gun! I've been really blessed in the relationships that I've had! I'm still very close with all the guys I've called boyfriend. When my ex- boyfriend Isaiah and I broke up in 2006, we made a very determined effort to continue the investment in our relationship. Three years later, he remains my very best friend AND emergency contact in times of trouble. (Smiles) In my mind, the person to follow him in the boyfriend role will have to be pretty damn special.
I've found that many in the gay community give the title of boyfriend away quickly. One look at someone's facebook page shows this couple "In a relationship" or that person "now listed as single". Could it be that we've forgotten that boyfriend is more about friendship than companionship? Investing in friendship, experiences, and time, make for one quality boyfriend. That's worth the wait; if you ask me.
Confidence, I've found, comes from an understanding of who you are and knowledge of what those you hold in high esteem think of you. It's a stamp of authority on your life. You honestly can't make this up. If you try to portray something you are not; people will see it a mile away. You've gotta believe it. You've got to believe in yourself and the role you have on this planet. Confidence is as much for you as it is for others to see. With a strong sense of self-worth one finds the position of singleness to be a time of learning.
Not long ago, I wanted to see what my acquaintances on facebook would say to this status update: Greek lemon chicken and fresh corn on the cob! YUM! I should get a boyfriend sometime. Im too good at doing this stuff for just the old bitch and myself!. (Referring to my dog, Buffy) The amount of responses that I got was amazing. People commented, emailed, and sent messages; all with their thoughts on singleness.
My friend Tadeusz said, "Hey Bill stop complaining you're not only one. Ok!"
I think Ryan Genson offered a date when he replied, "UM HELLO! You cook, I'll bring the wine! I can't even cook mac and chesse!"
"We are single because we are single. There are no how, nor why, no judgments nor valuations", said my friend Pat Lee. It seems many have an opinion on this subject!
Old or Young, Singleness Can Be Fun
You will be no good to anyone until you're good to yourself! I've heard that a million times over the years. It's really true! Many just aren't comfortable being alone. I think it's a question of balance. I really like being out with friends, dining out, going on dates, and people watching. Equally, I really enjoy times of quietness and introspection.
Something I learned from Chicago Mayor Daley is the importance of taking Sunday's off. Sunday's are my day to catch up on the latest book, or to watch a few movies. Most of the time I make a really nice meal for myself or crack open a bottle of three buck Chuck. It's me time! Granted, I am blessed with (As of this writing) the presence of my very old dog. To an outsider looking in; I'm talking to myself. For me, Buff's been there for me for a long time. I treasure that time.
One impressive comment about the aforementioned Facebook status update came from my friend Rudy Z. "Bill, you'll find the right special someone some day, just hang in there, good things take time and the time you spend in between is best spent on yourself, your relationships like with your dog, family and friends and cooking great food. It's all practice and proficiency. I think you're on the right track!" He was SO right on! These times are moments that invest in us.
I'm Gonna Find Mine In 2009
Just because I'm comfortable with being single, doesn't mean I'm not open to a relationship. I am. I do, however, have better things to focus my attention on. I personally think we all do! The bumper sticker on the back of my car could very well read "I'm gonna find mine in 2009" but I don't want to send that message. I think it's more important to give attention to the causes and needs of my community (Personal opinion)
If I never have another boyfriend again, I will be just fine with the love and support of friends and family. If I do meet someone who I find I can share my life with I will be equally happy and proud to share that with the very same. Singleness is not a bad thing. Like most things it can be a treasure in disguise.