Welcome to the Singlution!

No more desperate dating, pitiful pining and wahhhh-wahhhh-waiting!

New to the Singlution? Check out the Singlution FAQ.

Spread the Singlution LOVE! If this blog tickles your fancy, post a link to singlutionary.com on your facebook, myspace, twitter, forehead or just email all your Singlutionaries. Become a follower! Subscribe to the Singlution!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Happy Singlutionary Holiday Venting!

Oh! The holidays are stressful for everyone: If you're single there are minefields of "+1" invitations, awkward questions and family pressures. If you're coupled there is the ordeal of sharing family time between double families, in-laws (or in-loves) and having to buy way too many presents.

Or maybe there is none of that!

How about a pressure free, come-as-you-are-and-celebrate-your-life-holiday this year?

Too simple? Too trite?

The only way to get through a stressful time is with humor and a place to vent. So, for those who need some venting, here it is! Vent to your hearts content right here! No holes bared. Secretly, all of us will understand. In the good nature of venting, nobody is allowed to rain on anyone's venting parade! Venting ONLY!

Single people, married people and anyone in between.

Vent your holiday frustrations. My only requirement is that you at least TRY to be funny about it!

May 2012 come quickly and may the 1st 11 months of the year last long.

Love, Singlutionary

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Singlism on Prime Time!

So the comedy show "Whitney" has an episode about singlism! In this episode Whitney and her live-in boyfriend are denied adopting a dog because they aren't married. Of course this isn't about singlism in the "living solo" sense since they are a couple, but singlism is still getting some attention! I know this will spark some conversation amongst my blogger friends!

Here is the link which hopefully will be active for some time:

What do you think of this?

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Singlutionary's Scuba Story

SCUBA diving isn't something you can do solo. You need a buddy.

I've got lots of buddies but none of them are into scuba diving. In fact, I'm surprised that I'm into scuba diving. As a kid I was alternately enchanted with and terrified by water. I'm not athletic and although I am adventurous, I've never been into activities that require a lot of gear and investment. So I've enjoyed activities which require little startup costs: hiking, running, biking, swimming.

But last year I went and surprised everyone, including myself, and got SCUBA certified. I took a class at my school where I am a graduate student. It is a Physical Education class and was filled with mostly 19 year olds. Everyone was skinnier and younger than me including the sexy hick instructor. The financial considerations were difficult but possible to overcome: I just had to postpone paying off debt and invest in a wetsuit and pay the extra fee instead.

I figured it was a gift to myself for my 30th birthday.

When the class was over, I was certified to dive but I still didn't have anyone to dive with. None of my young classmates were potential buddies and I didn't really know anyone else who dove. So I took another class. In the Master SCUBA Diver class, I had 3 classmates: Two almost identical looking 19 year old boys and another woman in her late 20s. I was excited about the other woman, thinking I might make friends with her -- until we dove together. I had to help her put together her gear because she "didn't like that part" so her boyfriend usually did it for her.


This shit keeps you alive underwater. You'd think you might want to know how it works!

She was a nice person but not buddy material. Plus, she already had a built-in-buddy -- one who would do her thinking for her.

So a couple weeks ago, for my 31st birthday I went on a dive trip to this spring fed pool in West Texas that I'd been dreaming of going to even before I began scuba diving. Imagine a giant swimming hole with crystal clear water in the middle of the desert? It is a full 6 hours from any major (or minor) city. This place is called Balmorhea and it is a mirage -- but a real one.

I signed up for a trip with other divers, thinking that there would be other people going without a buddy and I would have a whole bunch of potential future buddies to choose from -- kinda like a singles mixer for scuba divers. Of course I had to pay double the "per person" rate because I didn't have anyone to share a room with. A month before the trip was about to depart my best friend and roommate, the Handywoman, decided she would come. I had already paid for the room so all she had to do was drive (not an easy task really since Balmorhea is the very definition of "middle of nowhere").

Handywoman doesn't dive but there was swimming and hiking and lots of other activities.

We got there late on Thursday for the night dive. There were already some other divers in the water so I waited for some new divers to arrive. I saw one girl getting her gear together and undaunted, trotted up to her and asked if I could join her.

"What?" was her response. She acted like I was an alien -- maybe I was, I mean, we were near supposed alien territory -- the Marfa Lights.

"Do you mind if I get my gear and join you?" I asked again.

"Well. I already have a buddy" she said awkwardly and yet at the same time proudly since she obviously wasn't an alien like me trying to make friends with the already buddy-ready humans. "I don't know," she continued "are threesomes allowed?"

They were -- since the water was so clear and shallow but I could tell that she definitely wasn't interested in having a threesome with me and her boyfriend.

All of a sudden I felt like the uninvited guest to an orgy.

"Nevermind, I'll just wait for someone else to come down." I said.

And I did.

But nobody else came.

The next day was similar. I showed up to the pool at about noon and asked the group leader if anyone else had come without a buddy. She listed off a bunch of names and said another group was arriving at 2pm. I waited until dinner time but no other lost aliens-sans-buddy showed up at the pool. I did some swimming and taught Handywoman how to snorkel. I ate cheese and crackers and watermelon in the sun. I had a good time. But I was waiting.

I wanted to dive.

And more than wanting to dive, I wanted a dive partner. I wanted to make a new friend to dive with in the future. Someone with similar skill and interest and someone who would be fun to talk to in a car for 2 hours. It didn't seem too much to ask for when I had paid the double fee.

It was time to go to dinner and I still hadn't been on a dive. I was being positive on the outside but honestly I was frustrated. I had missed the night dive and now I had missed a whole day of diving. The next day was slated for hiking. I had to be more aggressive if I was going to find a dive partner. The dinner was my only hope. It was a group dinner with the other people on the trip and I hoped that I would meet some of the other buddyless divers there.

I was quickly disappointed. There were the dive instructors and their families at one end of the table, a mother daughter team and then an entire family of which only the mom & dad & daughter dove. The daughter was a teenager and the parents were parents. Plus, they all had each other to dive with and could afford to go on week long dive trips to exotic locations. I needed someone who could dive locally and, like me, would have to save up to go on a big dive trip.

To add insult to injury, in walks the humanoid-buddy-girl and her boyfriend. At first I attempted to make conversation with them but after overhearing a conversation she had with my roommate (which made no sense what-so-ever) I tried to avoid eye contact. That was fine with her as she proceeded to get drunk and interrogate her boyfriend about his family. It was impossible not to overhear but it was also like being on someone else's first date. I was impressed that people could be an official couple and know so little about each other. No wonder she was so reluctant to have a "threesome".

I did end up diving the next day. I just got in by myself and found the other folks who were down there -- an older couple who had told me that I could join them. I tried to get another night dive in but everyone else was done with diving by then.

The trip wasn't a total bust. I enjoyed it, enjoyed the time spent with Handywoman and got to see a place that I'd been dreaming of for a long long time. I got to dive once and the place is so small that I saw everything there was to see. Although I would really have liked to do the night dive because critters come out at night that hide during the day -- like turtles.

But I didn't find a buddy. Everyone already came coupled -- and not just with a scuba buddy but with a partner. I realized that scuba diving is something that couples do together. They get certified so they can go on vacation together. It is a couple-y thing to do.

Whenever I've wanted to do something that you're "supposed" to do with a partner, I've just done it by myself. But what happens when its an activity that can not be done solo? My first response was to join a group. But what if the group is already made up of unalterable partnerships?

I'm not sure what to do next to meet single scuba divers who need a buddy. There is a scuba meetup in town that I can attend when I have time. Meetup tends to have a lot of solo people looking for folks to do things with. But for right now diving is on hold. Plus, its getting colder and the drought has left our already nasty lakes even nastier.

Finding a scuba buddy is turning out to be a lot like finding a mate: a pain in the ass. But while I can continue to live my life without a partner, I can't go diving without one.

At least I have until the spring to save up enough hope to try again.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Sticky Single Social Situations

Every activity comes with a community, even something as solitary as blogging. Of course, my blog friends never invite me to go out for drinks after a long day of blogging. And this is just fine with me (although in the early days of Singlutionary, Onely & I discussed a Singlutionary-Onely camping meetup somewhere in the USA).

The social nature of a work community can be an important one. It can also be incredibly annoying. I love my co-workers and I think they're good people but they're not my best friends. I don't want to go out after work with them to drink and I don't want to hang out with them outside of work. I am happy for them and their lives but for the most part I'm not interested in celebrating their birthdays, graduations, baby shower, moving, etc.

If I'm going to carve out social time in my life, I would prefer it be with the good friends that I rarely get to see.

What is the best way to politely decline social invitations from co-workers? I appreciate their humor and commraderie at work but I'm not interested in extending that work-friendship into what would be a social obligation outside of work.

Let me put it this way: If I'm not being paid to be around them, I wouldn't choose to be.

That is so RUDE! I know. But it is true.

So how do I avoid these social traps, these persistent invitations?

The 1st rule is: Don't start. Don't say "yes" ever. Sometimes I accept the offer once because I think that then I'll have put in my time and I won't feel so bad about saying "no" next week and the week after that and the week after that. But it doesn't work that way. I say "yes" once and suddenly there is this outside-of-work-bond, an expectation that there will be more socializing to follow.

The 2nd rule is: Always be busy. It is harder single and childless people to beg off from after work social activities. It is rude to say "Oh, I'd love to go out with you tonight but I have this book that I am really into" but it is totally OK to say "I'd love to go out tonight but my partner is waiting for me". So, as a single person, you have to make up "important" things to do that someone else will hold you accountable for the next day -- like another job or homework or some kind of volunteer activity. Or you could just tell the truth. But honestly, if we're talking about people who would be understanding of my desire to read a book rather than shoot the shit with them for 4 hours, they might actually be outside-of-work-friend material.

The 3rd rule is: Be vague. If you say, "I'd love to but I run at 6am every Saturday morning" you might find yourself with an unwelcome running companion or being asked to join every running group under the sun. Maybe this is welcome to you -- if so, great! That means that your work community is a good match for you socially. Currently, mine is not. So here is a vague answer, "I'd love to but I have to get up super early tomorrow to get some stuff done before noon".

These are my well practiced tactics for avoiding the after-work hangout but what about the facebook invite? People invite you via facebook and they act like its a real invitation. The 1st line of resistance would be to not have a facebook or have a facebook that is so secret that only your most inner circle of 5 people can find you. Of course, that totally defeats the whole purpose of facebook which is to kill time by making yourself feel depressed about how sexy and successful all your former classmates are.

I like to pretend I didn't see the facebook invite. But what do I do when I get asked about it in person? What do I do when I really do like and appreciate the person but simply don't want to spend non-work time with them when time is at such a precious premium?

I don't know. Not attend? Attend for a few minutes and then leave? Get them a card and give it to them at work in lieu of attending said celebration.

I am sure that the celebration would be fun. But it just isn't high enough up on my list of how I'd like to spend my time.

Coupled folks can always use the other person as an excuse but singles have to get creative.

There are all kinds of important relationships and work relationships have sustained me many times through out my single life. But at this particular juncture, at this particular job, I'd like to leave them at work. No matter how much I appreciate them as humans.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

When Singlutionary is "Sick of Being Single!"

In my last post, I mentioned that, in part, my long hiatus from blogging was due to feeling "sick of being single": I felt like a hypocrite.

But Eleanore of The Spinsterlicious Life wrote a delightful comment which inspired me to write more about the very thing which prevented me from writing.

Being single is an adventure -- especially if you're someone who has never been single and suddenly finds yourself there or if you've lived a life where you've never felt comfortable with being single but suddenly realize that learning to be comfortable with being single is the most important thing you can do for yourself.

When I started this blog 3 years ago I was excited at the thought of learning how to be happy and single. I was fresh out of a pretty sketchy relationship with my former therapist. (Duh, bad idea, right?) I was still in and barely coming out of a deep-down-supper-shitty, bad-as-its-ever-been low point. I was upset with myself for making yet another bad decision when it came to a relationship (or relationship material) and upset at the universe for all the time and space I had wasted in my life wishing for some Knight in Badboy Armor to come trotting into my life only to rip my life out of my own hands and trample it under his sexy horse.

But after being single for 2 years, the gloss and struggle of singleness wore of. There was a honeymoon period that I had with myself and it was over.

But I loved the community I had found through Singlutionary. This blog fed my soul and my fellow bloggers were a rare light for me during a very difficult time. I felt sane and comprehended and like I was a part of something important when I wrote and read and commented and conversed in the singles blog-o-sphere. So I kept trying to keep this blog up.

But I was bored. I was bored with everything. After a traumatic experience, it takes a long time to feel stable again. And at first that stability is like this great and wondrous thing. It feels SO GOOD.

And then it gets boring. Suddenly, stability is taken for granted. I wondered what was next? What would I do with my life now that I had my life back in my own hands, mended of horse hooves and heartbreak?

I needed a new real life friend, some intellectual stimulation and a job that didn't suck.

And I wanted to be with someone in a sexual/love relationship because THAT seemed like the new adventure. And because I'd finally got enough confidence in myself and in the world to think that being in a relationship could be a positive thing -- as long as I did it Singlutionary style.

Well, the first relationship was a disaster of needyness. I was Singlutionary and the other member of this relationship was Needilutionary. It was over almost before it began, but not soon enough.

I was so glad to be single again after that 4 month 1st try.

But I hadn't had sex in over 2 years and I was on the prowl. But THAT story is the subject of another post.

The point of this post is that even if you're totally happy and comfortable with being single, sometimes you get bored. Sometimes you're bored because your job is boring or because your friends are all old farts or because you're an old fart and only like to watch old episodes of The Wonder Years on VHS and think about the olden days.

Sometimes you're horny because you haven't had sex in 2 years and you've just turned 30.

It is OK to crave a new adventure! Sometimes this adventure means going offline for a bit, or quitting writing for a bit. And sometimes this adventure means trying out that thing that we're all about doing just fine without -- a relationship.

What adventures are you craving? When do you know that you're entering into this new adventure not out a desperate need to get away from where-you-are but because you're ready to share where-you-are with the world?

Comment Away!


PS: The wordpress site isn't quite ready yet but getting a little closer every week. My new academic/work/social schedule permits me to check in, comment, read and post about once a week so it will be a matter of weeks before the transition to wordpress is complete.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Singlutionary Has Got Some New Moves

Hey. So, I'm back from outer space. I'm not sure what I learned there and I unfortunately wasn't able to master the native tongue of the alien people.

But I'm back. Several half relationships, several half jobs, a few whole jobs and maybe even some hand jobs later, I return to the blog-o-sphere.

I quit writing here not because I didn't love it but because my financial life needed attending, my physical self needed to be out of the house and off the computer and because, for a while, I just didn't know what to write about. I was at the same time sick of being single (what a hypocrite am I!) and unable to articulate how I felt about the few not-so-awful-but-not-really-great relationships or quazi relationships that I was going through or ending or starting (you never really know when a quazi relationship starts or ends, right?).

I had also exhausted a wealth of revelatory ideas about singleness and happiness. I knew that I was good at being single, that a lot of personal time and space suits me but I didn't know what else to say on the topic -- unless I started repeating old themes which was the most uninspiring proposition on earth. So I left for outer space.

So what are my new moves now that I'm back on the bandwagon? Just telling stories about my life and sharing insights about what other single bloggers are writing. And just being a positive source of entertainment for you -- be you single or coupled or something in between. I'm also beginning a project with my car, Tomatobot. I'm sure you can't wait to hear the stories that come out of me & Tomatobot's quality time together. Its like a slumber party with a giant diesel machine. The pillow fights are more like an oil spill.

I'm also moving my blog away from blogger and onto wordpress. I will miss my blogger community and it will take me a while to get all my blogroll and subscriptions back up to date but I look forward to easier blogging/commenting/subscribing.

I will post here again when the move takes place, but "singlutionary.com" will always take you to the Singlution.

It feels mighty fine & good to be back! And I look forward to settling in and catching up on my favorite blogs as well.


Friday, April 22, 2011

Living Single: Bella's Book on Singlism

Singlism activist Bella DePaulo is writing another book on being single -- this one is specifically about "singlism" and the prejudice single people experience socially, in the workplace, in advertising, on vacation and pretty much everywhere. Bella seeks to remove the stigma from single and she is very good at tearing down anti-single arguments. Both Bella and Christina and Lisa at Onely are my Singlutionary heroes, fighting the good fight to make single normal and not a state of emptiness or waiting or lovelessness as it is often perceived and projected to be. They even attempt to tackle institutionalized singlism like laws that make life shittier for single people. All I do is right this blog a few times a month. But Bella and Lisa and Christina actively fight singlism.

Bella has asked for contributions on her blog from other Singlutionaries and I encourage you to check out her post and her blog. She asked the following questions (please add your own to the comments):

  • Do you have a favorite answer to the question, "Why are you single?"
  • Have you addressed other people's false assumptions of what your single life is like? Which approaches have worked best?
  • Have you found any successful ways of dealing with singlism in the workplace? For example, if you have been asked to cover more than your share of holidays or overtime or travel, have you handled those experiences in ways that resulted in positive changes?
  • Have you ever let a business know that their advertisements or practices were dismissive of singles or unfair to them?
  • Have you ever written a letter to an editor, author, reporter, social scientist, or anyone else pointing out an act of singlism and explaining what is wrong with it? (Share your letter, if you are willing, and let us know if it was ever published or acknowledged.)
  • Have you ever stood up to a speaker at a public event and challenged their singlism? (Positive stories are welcome, too. For example, have you ever publicly thanked a speaker for acknowledging the real stories of singles' lives rather than perpetuating already-debunked myths?)
  • Do you write an enlightened blog about singles or maintain a website or run an organization or give talks or workshops that you would like more people to know about? If so, drop all modesty and briefly explain what's so great about what you are doing. (Please, no dating stuff.) I maintain a list of blogs and other resources at my website, but I'll probably only include in the book ones from people who tell me they'd like to be included and who offer their own description of what they are doing. I think it is important to have part of the book written in other people's voices.
  • Have you held political leaders (or other people in power) to account for their singlism or thanked them for their actions and policies that are fair to single people? Have you explained to any of them the kinds of policies and practices that would be fair to single people (without being unfair to anyone else)?
  • Have you knocked on doors, handed out pamphlets, given to advocacy groups (name your favorites), volunteered your time, or done anything else to raise consciousness or stamp out singlism?
Below is my contribution to Bella's project:

Fighting the good fight against any kind of prejudice happens on two fronts: There are changes in policy and there are changes in culture. My mixed race parents were married a couple years after the miscegenation laws were formally taken off the books in California. However, mixed race marriage had steadily gained cultural acceptance long before the law changed. The same could be said for singlism: We change policies as fast as we change culture and we change culture through changing laws. I've made a conscious decision to use my blog, Singlutionary, to work on changing the cultural perceptions and acceptance around being single. It takes many voices to make a shift like this and I am proud to be one of them.

My blog, Singlutionary, is about my life: I have been single for all 30 years of it save a few months here and there. My longest relationship has been with my car. I own a house, have been driving the same car for 7 years (which I maintain myself). I also have maintained friendships from Kindergarten even before the advent of facebook. I have three roommates, a dog, three chickens and a garden. I organize family reunions and camping trips and meetup groups. I'm a failed actor turned academic.

So what is so great about all that? I do it single. I navigate this world not with one partner but with a community of friends, co-workers, roommates and neighbors. My life is full and valid and equally deserving of praise and presents as is the 25 year old married couple who just bought a house in a great school district. So when my cousin prods into my dating life and desperately tries to encourage me to desperately try harder to find a partner so that I can be just like her, well, I write about it. I write about all the comforts and discomforts of being single because I wasn't always so comfortable with it. When I began writing the blog it was during a time when all my single friends would come to me for advice, not realizing that I felt broken and wrong for always being single. I was their single hero yet I felt like I had completely ruined my life without even realizing it. I was 27 and had just broken up with a man who I thought I would marry. To be honest, I didn't even really like him. But I wanted to prove to my family that I was not a failure. I wanted to do something that would validate me in the eyes of the world -- that would position me as a fully formed woman and not a girl lost in a sea of indecision. I didn't realize that the sea of indecision was merely a subconscious acceptance of our culture's concept that a person doesn't really "grow up" until they "settle down". I was waiting to commit to myself because I thought I had to commit to someone else first.

There are so many states of being single. There are so many experiences. Some people, like me, are single for long periods of time and some people marry their high school sweetheart and are not single until much later in life. Singleness in not a space of lacking: It is a space of wonder and excitement and peace. It is also a state of frustration, confusion and sadness. Being single is not better or worse than being coupled. But it is where I am and how I live my life and right now, I am going to rock the Singlution.

That is what Singlutionary is all about.