Posted by: Dr. Helen Fisher
Topic: Speaking from personal experience, what are the three best things about being single?
What an original question--the three best things about being single. Just a bit of background, first. Foremost, I have been single most of my life, by choice. Writing books has got to be the most time-consuming job on earth, at least the kind of books I write. And as I didn’t seem to ever have the urge to have children, and felt that the world was full of children and it didn’t need my children, I thought my time would be better spent pursuing an understanding of human nature. So I have chosen to read and write for a living and live with my partners, rather than marry. In short, these days single doesn’t necessarily mean “alone.” But I certainly have had periods of being without a live-in partner. And the three best things about these interludes have been very simple: First, getting up and going straight out into Central Park to take my morning jog, often in the dark. The park is a wonderland in the early morning, with the mist, the robins in the spring, sometimes I even see a raccoon. Second, making my evening plans without consulting someone. Third, enjoying my evening without worrying about getting home “on time.” But I also like working late without feeling guilty, eating dinner exactly when I wish, and taking off to do exactly what I want, with whom I want, when I want. In hunting and gathering societies, a husband and wife do not see one another all the time. One or the other often visits relatives or friends for days or even weeks. Our modern focus on being a couple and doing “couple things” is new. I like this focus, but there is something thrilling about varying the pace of life. And when I am truly single, I step to quite a different tune.