So today I attended the wedding ceremony of my tattoo artist. It was a rather unconventional wedding and though our relationship leans more toward the professional side of things (artist-canvas) rather than a totally peer-to-peer friendship it was hard to contain my emotions and, well, I did shed a tear. It was hard not to be happy for her and her newlywed husband. The two are, to be quite blunt, perfect for each other and it does make me happy to see two (or more, if that’s your thing) people make that commitment to each other.
I’ll be the first to admit though that I don’t much believe in the existence of soulmates. I do believe there is a small subset of individuals with whom a person would be a match for personality, interest and life-goal wise but the notion of soulmates just doesn’t jive with me. What also does not jive with me is the notion of “someone for everyone.”
Call me bitter, cynical or what have you, but I do not believe that every person on this planet has a compatible match or matches. I’m one such person, and you know what? I’m perfectly OK with that.
The longest any of my romantic relationships I’ve had last is six months and that was six months too long. I’ve always been miserable in relationships, including when I was dating someone who, from an outsider’s perspective, was almost a perfect match for me. Relationships make me feel handcuffed, stifled and suffocated. I just never have felt like I can be myself when dating anyone because if I was entirely myself I’d push the other person away.
When I finally realized that is when I accepted that I am, for all intents and purposes, unlovable, and that’s not a defect or a problem with me (despite society’s thinking single people are somehow broken or defective), nor is it a defect or problem of my neurological orientation (yes, I’m gradually warming up to the term) as plenty of people on the autism spectrum are happily married. I’m just not cut out to have a romantic relationship, and that’s perfectly OK.
Just because I’m not cut out for that doesn’t mean I can’t have a fulfilling life. That’s the thing I wish society would recognize about single people and why I wish the stigma that comes along with being a single/never-married middle-aged single adult would go away. There’s nothing objectively wrong with the bachelor/bachelorette lifestyle.
Again, I think marriage is a beautiful thing, regardless of how many parties are involved and the sexes of the parties (let it be known I am a full supporter of same-sex and polyamorous marriage so long as all parties are consenting adults). My problem is not with dating/relationships/marriage in general. My problem is applying that to my own life. As beautiful as it is, it’s just not the right life choice for me, and I’ve accepted that and the fact that the people who would judge me for that are the problem and not me.