Twelve years ago I was a frustrated singleton.
I went shopping for books on the subject, but I found, to my dismay, there was not much out there. This was the inspiration behind my book, Surviving Singledom.
Since then, to my relief, more and more books have come out about surviving, embracing and celebrating the single life. While most of these are geared toward women, I recently happened upon a book written for single men by a single man.
Talk about a red-letter day.
I spent some Skype time with the author, Craig Wynne, to chat about his book How to be a Happy Bachelor. We discussed the highs and lows of being single and childless-by-singledom. Craig identified himself as being ‘happily solo’ and ‘childfree by choice’.
Our conversation highlighted the sociology of romance in our culture. Craig suggested our culture is overly focused on romance, at the expense of all other worthwhile kinds of relationship. I readily agreed with Craig.
Our culture is overly focused on romance, at the expense of all other worthwhile relationships.
One only has to look at movies, popular songs and calendar events such as Valentine’s Day to appreciate the truth of Craig’s assertion.
Society appears to make two assumptions of singledom:
1. Singledom is a temporary state while people quest for the ultimate romantic relationship, which is, in and of itself, a reason to live; and
2. Anyone who is still single is therefore incomplete, unfulfilled and unhappy.
Singles who are content and happy are profoundly countercultural. Society rages against happy singledom, insisting singles get dating as soon as possible. Singles are often portrayed in a negative light in movies, as naïve, sad or cynical individuals, or as driven workaholics.
Singles who are happy are profoundly countercultural.
Yet it is possible to be happily single. Craig, while himself not a Christian, was quick to point out to me the famous singles in the bible. Among them were Paul and Jesus, neither of whom could be accused of being incomplete. In particular, the very notion of Jesus being unfulfilled because he was single is utterly ridiculous.
We need to reclaim singledom. There is much joy and meaning that can be found in single living. Some people, like Craig, actually prefer the single state and are better off remaining ‘happily solo’. A romantic relationship may arise in the future, but Craig is equally OK with this never happening.
I found it refreshing to hear Craig’s perspective. It encouraged me to hear that others are being true to their happy singledom, embracing it rather than apologising for it. Singledom requires no explanation and no defense, and I love hearing singles take ownership of it.
Singledom requires no explanation and no defense.
Even more encouraging is the fact that countercultural books are being written on happy singledom.
Craig’s book can be found at https://he.kendallhunt.com/product/how-be-happy-bachelor and his blog is at https://www.thehappybachelor.org.
Do you know any singles who are truly content? How can you help debunk society’s assumptions of romance and reclaim the positivity of singledom? Share your story. Let’s have a countercultural conversation.