AOH :: ALONE2.TXT|
Alone on the Ark (Part 1)
Sometimes it seems that the whole world is coupled. Where does a single
fit in? We explore our experiences with the expectation that everyone is
partnered, from institutional assumptions to social conventions. To
(:: Polly <host> ::) Welcome to Going it Alone! Sometimes it seems
that the whole world is coupled. How can we fit in as
singles? How do you create rewarding experiences
without a partner along for the ride?
(:: Polly <host> ::) OK, for those who might have missed it, the question is
how do we fit into a world when we are single and it
seems that the whole world is made up of couples?
Sometimes people for instance, will bring a friend
along with them as sort of camouflage.
(:: Michael I. ::) <sigh>I still remember the days when that applied to me.
(:: Polly <host> ::) I think that women do that more than men. Michael, how
did you cope with it? Was it hard?
(Conrad D.) I think so too. I wonder why?
(:: Michael I. ::) Pretty hard. I felt as if I was everyone's best buddy,
but noone wanted me as a lover.
(:: Polly <host> ::) I don't do it any more, Conrad, but I used to (really
still do) feel like I stick out like a sore thumb alone
<sigh> That wasn't really true, was it Michael? <smile>
(:: Michael I. ::) Well, I almost believed it for a while, Polly. <s>
(:: chael I. ::) As for these prearranged meetings - I absolutely hated
(:: Michael I. ::) them.
(Rick F.) Where do/did you feel you stick out like a sore thumb, Polly?
(:: Michael I. ::) "You got to meet XYZ - she and you have so much in
(:: Polly <host> ::) By prearranged meetings, do you mean blind dates?
(:: Michael I. ::) common". That was a sure way to make me clam up
(:: Polly <host> ::) When I'm somewhere where most people are in couples,
Rick, and I'm alone.
(:: Michael I. ::) No, not exactly blind dates, Polly. I'm talking about
friends trying to find a partner for yourself.
(:: Polly <host> ::) Michael, I understand! I always seem to want to prove
them wrong <g>
(Rick F.) I can relate, Polly.
(:: Polly <host> ::) Rick, how do you deal with it? Do you bring a friend,
or do you have a way of making yourself "fit in" to
feel more comfortable?
(Rick F.) Generally, try to fit in, or use the old *avoid* the situation,
tactic! Not so much anymore, though.
(:: Polly <host> ::) You've given up avoiding it, Rick? What made that
change? Michael, even though you aren't technically
"unpartnered" now, your SO isn't always with you.
Do you still find coupled situations uncomfortable?
(Rick F.) I think I came to the realization that nobody cared whether or
not I was alone. *I* felt uncomfortable, but nobody else did.
(:: Polly <host> ::) Rick, I think that's true.... I never am bothered by
someone else being alone .... in fact, sometimes it
makes them seem more approachable!
(: Michael I. ::) No, not at all, Polly. I feel very close to her even if
we're not together, that really helps. Sometimes I envy
couples that are too obviously happy, but it's much
easier to cope with these days.
(Rick F.) Sometimes, Polly, maybe *we're* our own worst enemy! <G>
(:: Polly <host> ::) Rick, true!
(:: Michael I. ::) Rick, <g>in my experience we're ALWAYS our own worst enemy!
(:: Polly <host> ::) I also find myself wondering, in my more malicious
moods <g>, whether those happy couples are *really*
(Rick F.) I think once we get over the "I have something to prove" stage,
we can just get along with our lives, and enjoy it. LOL! Me too,
(:: Mihael I. ::) <grin> Who hasn't!
(:: Polly <host> ::) Have any of you ever had others actually put pressure
on you not to be somewhere or do something without a
(Rick F.) No, have you?
(:: Michael I. ::) Yes, I have. You know the sort of business lunches where
you're expected to bring your partner?
(:: Polly <host> ::) Yes, Rick, I have. In the world of small-town
fundraisers, apparently it's required. Michael, in
*that* world, a woman is better off without a partner!
(:: Mihael I. ::) I've never thought about it from a female perspective,
(Rick F.) Don't you love it, when we live in world of facades!
(:: Polly <host> ::) Yeah, Rick <sigh> Michael, if I'm at a meeting with
other lawyers, they can bring their wives and sometimes
I'm expected to act like one of the wives ...
(Rick F.) Egads!
(:: Polly <host> ::) I can generally avoid that, but if I bring a date,
*he* becomes the focus, and I'm relegated to the
"wives!" It doesn't always happen, but enough that I
just don't bring anyone. <sigh>
Jeanne, do you ever bring a friend along just
to have someone to be with?
(Jeanne) Not really, Polly. I am pretty independent,,,even when I'm not in
a relationship, I do alot on my own. But the world is definitely
geared for couples
(:: Polly <host> ::) I asked because that is one of the techniques it seems
a lot more womenuse. How do you find that the
"coupledness" of life affects you?
(Jeanne) Well, at my age, most of my friends are married or have a
permanent SO. Sometimes that has left me out of the circle during
some casual events.
(:: Polly <host> ::) Jeanne, do you avoid those situations?
(ed) oh i am married so i will leavebye all
(:: Polly <host> ::) Ed, I'd be interested in your perspective, too!
(Jeanne) I hate it when you go to make a hotel reservation, and it is
usually based on dual occupancy (G)!
(:: Polly <host> ::) Jeanne, I agree! That's such a pain!.... Do you know
that when I travel with my children, they usually
designate one of the children as an adult because
it's apparently unthinkable for *one* adult to
travel with three children? <sigh>
(:: Polly <host> ::) Alice, my oldest, loves the policy, of course! <g>
(:: Polly <host> ::) Greg, earlier we were talking about the perception
that couples don't welcome singles at some events...
(greg b) like?
(:: Polly <host> ::) Do you ever feel uncomfortable when someone is
uncoupled, say at a dinner where most people are
(greg b) not really, although i think that person feels inadequate
(:: Polly <host> ::) Inadequate? Is that something you perceive? Or
have you been told that?
(greg b) they usually are uncomfortable with everything being talked about
(Jeanne) Yes, sometimes conversation revolves around the couples.
(greg b) they are the stronger societal unit, and often control the tone..
(:: Polly <host> ::) Would you rather that they not be there? Do you try
to generalize the conversation? Or just expect that
the single person will fit in? Jeanne, I wonder if it's
like the conversations between those of us with
children; sometimes I feel like I'm being rude!
(greg ) i'm kind of laid back...i'm not overzealous to keep them..
(greg b) once you have kids, they dominate conversation and life..
(Jeanne) I have also been with a group of my single girlfriends with a
girlfriend that is married,,,and the opposite happens,,,that
married person feels left out. So I just think it has to do with
what a group of people have in common.
(:: Polly <host> ::) Hmmm, Jeanne, that's probably it socially. I still
find a fair amount of pressure to "bring a date"
(Jeanne) I just missed a high school reunion because of no date,
Polly. I bet there were not many singles there.
(:: Polly <host> ::) Jeanne, were dates required?.... or did you make that
decision on your own?
(Jeanne) No they weren't,,,but that was one place I would have felt awkward
without a date.
(:: Polly <host> ::) Interesting, I have a reunion coming up in November,
and though I didn't really think of it as necessary,
I have already talked with Bill about going with me! ...
(Jeanne) A reunion usually is a place where people kind of "show off" how
they are doing....and I think most singles are looked at as a
failure. (at least at my age!!! (G))
(:: Polly <host> ::) Guess I'm more sensitive to it than I thought <sigh>
Jeanne, perhaps that's it! To be single --
especially if divorced, is a failure in many peoples'
(:: Michael I. ::) <sigh>The bad thing is that we tend to accept that view
too easily for ourselves.
(Jeanne) I don't agree with that,,,but society has a way of viewing singles
as the outside bunch.
(:: Polly <host> ::) How can we get around that perception, when as you
say, Jeanne, it's pretty much a societal norm? Bluffing
through might change what happens, but not how we feel.
(Jeanne) Well, I do believe times are changing,,,,I read in the paper the
other day that more adults are staying single longer, than ever
(:: Polly <host> ::) Hmmmm, I wonder if that will change perceptions,
though. People still carry around perceptions of
life that haven't been true for decades...
(Jeanne) that's true!! lol
(:: Polly <host> ::) like, for instance, that most Americans live in rural
(:: Polly <host> ::) Joanne, you're here to be our coupled view on the
single life, I hope! <g>..
We're talking about what it's like to be alone in a
world of couples....
(:: Joanne ::) I don't think I'd care to be alone.
(:: Polly <host> ::) Joanne, do you ever feel uncomfortable when a single
person is in a group where everyone else is coupled?
(:: Joanne ::) Our society lives in a world of couples. Never!!!!!!!
(Jeanne) I just think that the world generally revolves around couples
(politically, socially, religiously) and until there is a change in
that,,,the hotels, restaurants, reunions, even people will accept
(:: Polly <host> ::) I wonder if it's a survival thing? After all, without
couples, there wouldn't be a human race! <g>
(:: Joanne ::) I don't care who is alone or not and I am never
uncomfortable around people.
(:: Joanne ::) It could be...procreation and all survival of our race.
(:: Polly <host> ::) But that still doesn't help, really.
(:: Joanne ::) Not at all.
(:: Joanne ::) There are people out there that don't want to procreate and
they should not have to. I think that attitudes are changing.
I think that survey that came out a couple weeks ago shows it.
(Jeanne) And, Joanne, those people are usually looked down on also.
(:: Joanne ::) I think that is changing Jeanne.
(:: Polly <host> ::) What survey, Joanne?
(:: Joanne ::) I don't think that it is looked down on as badly as it used
(:: Polly <host> ::) True, Jeanne, if people don't show contempt, there
is often at least pity.
(:: Joanne ::) The survey that more women these days want to remain single.
(Jeanne) That's what I was referring to earlier, Polly.
(:: Polly <host> ::) Ah!
(Jeanne) And there is definitely a difference between being a single female
and a single male.
(:: Joanne ::) Do you think so, Jeanne?
(Jeanne) (Besides the obvious, (G))
(:: Polly <host> ::) I think so, Jeanne! But I wonder if Michael will
(:: Joanne ::) I think that attitude is changing as well.
(Jeanne) If it is, Joanne, it is changing slowly,,,,
(:: Michael I. ::) I'd tend to agree, Polly. Society expects males to be
agressive, and women to be more passive. It's really not
that different from HSX in that respect. <sigh>
(Jeanne) a man walking into a bar alone is viewed differently than a woman
walking in aone.
(:: Polly <host> ::) Michael, I think that's true, Jeanne, too, but the
reality isn't the same at all!....
(:: Michael I. ::) How do you mean that, Polly? In which way does reality
(:: Polly <host> ::) I think that despite the perception, women have often
dealt with the issues more fully than men, and we just
don't see the men who end up hiding out because of
their discomfort!.. Dan, we're talking about being
single in a world that is mostly couples.
(Dan C.C.C.P.) <--- single
(:: Polly <host> ::) Dan, is it the same in Russia? Is the world geared
(Dan C.C.C.P.) mmm...i think, Russia is geared for strong people.... no
matter are they couples or singles <g> frankly, i didnt notice
such a big problem...
(:: Polly <host> ::) Michael, back on your question, I see men posting in
Shyness who just don't make the effort to go into the
world because they don't know how to whereas women seem
to have at least an idea where the problems are, and...
(Dan C.C.C.P.) what do you mean i particular, Polly?
(:: Polly <host> ::) what they *could* do about them. Dan, for instance, a
single is often made to fel uncomfortable in a
group and institutions are set up on the
assumption that one is part of a couple; hotel
reservations are usually based on double occupancy, for
(Dan C.C.C.P.) don't know for institutions, but yes, in group the singles
are quite remarkable
(:: Polly <host> ::) Remarkable, Dan? You mean that they stand out as
(Dan C.C.C.P.) hehe Polly...the hotel system here isn't arranged to satisfy
even the basic needs <g> yes, diffferent
(:: Polly <host> ::) Dan, I gave the example earlier that when I travel
with my children, one of them is often designated an
adult, since it is inconceivable that one adult
would be travelling with three children.
(Dan C.C.C.P.) hmm... inconceivable from what point of view? hotel keepers?
(:: Polly <host> ::) Yes, the hotels and even airlines reqire that one
child pay full price... and be considered an adult.
(Dan C.C.C.P.) well...i hardly believe this has something with... any kind
of " apaertheid <g>
(:: Polly <host> ::) Hmmm, interesting label, Dan....
(Dan C.C.C.P.) mostly economical reasons i think.
(:: Polly <host> ::) may I borrow it for a CO title? <g>
(Dan C.C.C.P.) sorry...i couldn't find an appropriate word...
(:: Polly <host> ::) I need to wrap this up now.....
(Dan C.C.C.P.) my vocabulary is quite weak <g>
(:: Polly <host> ::) Dan, I think it's a great word! It's how many people
feel! Thanks for being here, and come back next week!
(Dan C.C.C.P.) Polly..nice CCO, thank you! -C <g>
(:: Polly <host> ::) See you later! Hugs!!
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