Stay Single

by Charaf Sekkat

Ive been single multiple times and every time it was an interesting phase of my existence. I didnt say great, amazing, scary, frustrating, lonely or fascinating, I said interesting, which includes all of the above. How does your day go when youre single? It ranges from being this melancholic relationship-craving poet who never writes a single poem to this short-fused hunter-predator who smiles at women as if they were prime steak. No, realistically, remember Steve Carrell in the 40-year old virgin and Hank Moody in Californication? Being single is this thing which constantly oscillates between the two characters. You get the idea. Obviously, this chapter is going to be a little one-sided, the masculine side to be more precise, rated PG-13 or R depending on your sensitivity. Served spicy and crude. I also recommend you get a drink as you read.

Single people hate Sunday mornings. It doesnt matter where you live in the world, except maybe Dubai because Sunday is Monday, but the Sunday morning concept, no matter what day of the week it is, is the quintessence of reminding you that youre waking up alone. Again. On the most romance-cuddling-snuggling-adorable-and-cute-couple-oriented moment of the week. Horrible, I know. Sometimes you even have to visit with family on such a tragic day. Bonus reminder of being single. As such, all of you single savages and troubadours out there, be prepared. To either wake up late and hungover enough to dodge the tragedy, or maybe wake up in somebody elses bed. Maybe youll wake up cuddling with a one-night stand, who knows? Did I just mix cuddling and one-night-stand in the same sentence? Yeah. That just never happens. One-night stands dont cuddle. You cant get the best of both worlds. This is not the 23rd century yet. One-night stands is your chance for getting creative and developing the art of crafting the most improvised excuses ever, right on the spot, for one purpose and one purpose only. Vacate the premises. Something in the vicinity of Did I mention my aunt from Poland just died? Her funeral is in 45 minutes. Crazy. I know. to which the other person replies something like Oh, sorry to hear that. Im actually going to India today, to feed the poor and build a school for monkeys. Crazy. I know.

Dont judge. The one-night-stand arena is a very fair one. I had folks pull those artistic excuses on me too. The one-night-stand world is where a lot of single people hang out until they get hitched. Some never leave that place. Because its fun. Or they just cant get hitched. Or they cant shake off the need for the thrill of the most theatrical and senseless biological fluid exchange there is out there. But truly, when it comes to one-night-stands, the best part is usually the thrill. The random encounter, the random repeat encounter, the seduction, the game, the unknown unknown, but the conclusion is pretty straightforward and sometimes kills the buzz. Were love creatures. Unless youre a psychopath, a bit of emotion and feeling is required, especially in bed. What were you thinking? Even animals do it with a purpose. Now the question is, really, can you love someone for just 20 minutes at a time? The answer, for some of us, is yes.

But out of all the places Ive picked to be single, California is definitely the wildest. Not in terms of whats going on here, which should be enough. But this is the land of experimentation. This is the land that brought you hippies, denim jeans, sex coaches, the iPod, Kurt Cobain, dating apps, breakfast burritos and polyamoric communities. But here, its almost like everything is okay. Everything flies on this side of the planet. The stories I hear around here still fascinate me. When someone comes up to me and says things like I am in this open relationship with my husband and a donkey 2 years ago I would have been in shock. Now I respond something like Oh yeah, donkeys, of course. Cool. Really cool. I am not sure if my neutrality and judgment-free attitude is a good or bad thing sometimes.

I almost make it sound like being single is not always fun. Who am I kidding? Theres a reason why some people in relationships flee back to singlehood. As soon as theyre single, they scream it out loud as if they just got out of a maximum-security prison. Relationships are wonderful. But they can also kill you. They can make you fat, cause you all sorts of anxieties, make you realize youre a child living with another child and raising children, ruin your sex life forever, take yourself and another human being for granted. Shall I can go on? You thought you signed up for heaven but you get the ultimate apocalypse instead, on a daily basis. Here are a few reminders of why singlehood rocks. Anytime youre around those couples who get into passive aggressive fights in public. I do not get invited to couple dinners anymore. Especially those where a whole half hour can be dedicated to discussing why these napkins match the pasta dish. And oh my god, where did you get these forks? TJ Maxx? Honey, have you seen these forks? I dont have napkins. Or nice forks. I have forks. No one redecorates that man-cave I call my apartment. I dont have multi-colored and multi-design mugs. I have ONE mug. Its the multi-purpose mug. Its THE mug. I can stick whatever I want on the wall. I can get a pool table and put a bike in the living room. I can sleep on the floor with 6 other people. I can stand naked in my balcony with a glass of wine and wave to my cute neighbors. Pretty clear message when you think about it. Hi, I am emotionally unavailable right now, please leave a message after you get lost. l used to have a relationship club card but I cant seem to find it.

Why? Because, we single boys, want to take things slow. The light at the end of the single tunnel is called relationships, and its not a light. Its more like a broken curtain that doesnt let enough light in and you dont know how to fix it. Its that mirage in the desert that looks like an oasis, but as you get closer, it turns into a bird cage. We ought to take things slow and you cant blame us because we had all this relationship experience, and its been fun, scary, nurtured our personal growth and everything, but mostly scary and scarring. Obviously, a few things under that hood need to be reviewed. We want to get to know you first and do some damage control assessments. Due diligence. I mean, I am not sorry for not wanting to jump back into what statistically fails more than half the time. My deepest and most insincere apologies if I dont want to join that circus again. Compromise. Negotiate. Debate. Fight. Argue. Compromise again. Then more compromise. Its like the only fix they found for relationships. Relationships are not for everyone. Ive come to realize were not all penguins. Another thing I picked on the way is that communication doesnt always help. Actually, the more women and men try to communicate, the less they have a chance at a relationship. We do not speak the same language. Deal with it.

It used to be simple. You wanted someone for shelter, safety, food and sex. Men would carry the big stuff and play among themselves like idiots. Women would take care of the nice and cute stuff like napkins. Nowadays, were looking for soul mates, we want to connect with people at a deeper level, we want a friend, a hero in bed, a shoulder to cry on, a partner in crime, a hug giver on demand, a great kisser, a marvelous cook or sommelier if possible, someone athletic who can also enjoy ribs from time to time, and veggie nights, and someone cool, fun, energetic and down to earth, with a stable job situation or steady flow of money, who appreciates all our psychological flaws and crazy axes of dementia. The whole package with extras, appetizers, cocktails, and side dishes. We want it all because Hollywood said we can.

But the real question is how single are you? Yes, there are degrees of single. Theres the singelometer. No there isnt but I just invented it. Bottom starts around having 7 cats and enjoying going to book clubs and backgammon parties. Middle is that workaholic career-focused yoga freak who sleeps around or falls madly in love with another workaholic and never see each other again. Top is probably the party animal who multi-dates like a baboon, the one you never introduce your wife to, the one who has an armory of pick up lines and oozes of singlehood that they could make an eau de toilette out of it. Notice how none of the three sound that appealing. But really, let me give you a context where that question hits your head at the speed of light. 7 drinks later, youve been talking to this averagely attractive person for the last 2 hours, and obviously the attraction is seemingly mutual. Best part is that shes maybe asking herself the same question. Thats why theres all that incredible and mystifying conversation to allow both of you enough time to check your reading on the singelometer, meaning, how long has it been since you got any mattress sport action? How bad is it Doc? Because right now, you have enough liquor on your system to consider that person the most gorgeous you ever met. Those moments are the ones that define how single you are. The reading on your singelometer will also tell you how much youre ready to deal with that post-hangover awkwardness. But a great wingman friend of mine once said; Honey, Im single, but Im not that single.

But hey, I hope I didnt make singlehood sound amazing, did I? Really, its not always fun, and not always fun for everyone. Some hate it. Some wish and pray for a relationship at every hour of the day. Some cannot tolerate loneliness, not even one bit. Singlehood is not for everyone. The truth is, youre pretty much on your own figuring this out. The constant hunt is tiring. Some people would rather die than walk up to some stranger and strike a conversation. Seriously. Do you think its easy to just go out there and meet people? No. It takes balls, a lot of ego-swallowing and confidence, and more balls. Striking the conversation doesnt guarantee anything. How many awful and awkward dates does it take? How many mirages does it take to find the real oasis? Really. Have you ever dated? Its two people playing a game of oh we both know why were here but were going to play it as if we have no clue whats going on. No, I do not want to jump on you right now, but if you jump on me, I wont stop you. Until someone tries to kiss or grab someones body part, and everything goes Siberian or Saharan in less than a minute. Its the Russian roulette of human relationships that thing.

But who says singlehood needs to be fixed? Who says that it must bridge to a relationship? Some of us are definitely reviewing that so-called truth, established by society, traditions, cultural heritage and religion. We put singlehood and relationships as polar opposites or related concepts. But really, sometimes, it feels like were trying to relate cereals and rib-eye steaks. Maybe they have nothing to do with each other. Its like golf and basket ball, both sports, both involving balls going to holes, no pun intended, but really, two completely different worlds. Maybe singlehood is not the bus stop to relationships. Maybe relationships are not the crossroads of singlehood. Because you know what relationships could use? A little bit of that singlehood flavor and spirit. The one that makes you go out, have fun, go crazy, dont take anyone for granted, starting with yourself, and keep the seduction coming. And maybe singlehood could benefit from the sweetness relationships bring in our lives, that sweetness which tames the single hungry wolf or hyena you can become when youre single. So, on this magical rhetoric, to all of you single wolves and minstrels out there, I salute you. Stay fabulous. And single.

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