I came across a great (if a bit cynical) piece by Jim Friel on CNN.com today: http://www.cnn.com/2012/11/16/world/opinion-jim-friel-singledom/index.html?iref=obnetwork
Friel shares his frustration with constantly being asked why he is still single — a question he believes is ‘innately hostile’. He concludes that being single is an equally valid way of life to being coupled…and often preferred.
He is not denouncing marriage and family. But he is condemning the notion that he is somehow incomplete because he has chosen to be single. He is defending his way of life, just like so many couples tacitly defend theirs (“how are you still single?”…”you have no idea what life is until you become a parent”…and so forth).
My favorite line: “We don’t need stories of how to become couples. They are legion. We need stories about how to be single.”
In my first year out of college, when I was teaching, there was a much older teacher I came to respect a great deal. Charlie was in his early 60s, never married, and spent much of his younger years (30s and 40s) traveling the world. He brought a girlfriend to the Holiday party that year, but from what I heard he brought a different girlfriend each year. He was perpetually single, with no plans of marriage.
I can only imagine how many times in his 60+ years he had others ask him why he was single, what he was doing with his life, etc. This is a guy whose friends were not only mostly couples… many were grandparents.
The holiday season is upon us (and Valentines Day shortly thereafter) and many single people will find themselves dreading the inevitable ‘so are you seeing someone these days?’ conversation with Aunt Rose or Cousin Gina or whoever. We’ve all been there at some point, and it’s kind of a lousy feeling.
TruConnection is a dating site, of course, and my goal is for single people to meet and be happy together. I believe TruConnection members’ unique first impression of one another — photo and writing only — lends itself to more meaningful connections, and avoids the ‘shopping online’ mentality that is easy to adopt on other dating sites.
But there is something more I am after with this site, and it is difficult to articulate (but I’ll try): I think writing of ANY kind has a self-revelatory quality to it — it not only reveals to the reader, but also to the writer. When you add the wrinkle that other single people will read what you write, the dynamic changes a bit. The writing becomes more self-aware. A member can look back on his or her posts over a short period of time and grasp the ‘self’ they were perhaps trying to get across to others. This may lead them to reflect on themselves and their love life in a way they otherwise wouldn’t, and they might learn something about what they really want.
They might learn that a long term relationship is not what they are actually after. They might de-activate from this and all other dating sites and cherish their single life.
They are writing, thinking, reflecting, spending time alone not in front of a TV, not on a social network, not looking at photos of newlyweds and babies. But writing funny comments in the Discussion Forum, responding to the 5 Minute Write prompt, reading and commenting other single people’s writing. And I think this is so much healthier than other ways of meeting online.
TruConnection has over 500 members in Boston and NYC. Come try it out!