How I stopped being single

I am in love and I want to document the emotions as they develop so that I forever can read the memories.
I want to take note of my affinity for your presence.
I want to run on the streets naked (like Erykah Badu). Full of wild emotion.

I roll my tongue softly when I say your name – Love.

Last autumn when a long-term relationship came to an end, something unusual happened. I did not become single.

Before I proceed, I should explain that I could be considered the ‘relationship type’. I’ve been in relationships a greater part of my adult life than I have been single. I say ‘could be considered the relationship type’ because I don’t necessarily think people are or aren’t; beginning a relationship with someone often has to do with serendipity, or mischance, depending on how it ends. There is a fluidity to the way we move in and out of liaisons that has more to do with where we are in our lives than what type of person we are.

Either way, I’ve been single in long enough bursts to know what heterosexual female single life is supposed to be about. That single lifestyle that is sold to us via modern culture: the serial dating, the group of single girlfriends to go man hunting with, the viewing likeable men as potential partners rather than potential friends thus trying to tick off unrealistic boxes, the carefree attitude to sex. The lifestyle package that caters to the desperation: to find someone and become whole again.

But becoming whole has nothing to do with someone else, that’s the problem. Wholeness has more to do with love as a state of mind than love as a status.

As my friend Annie Q. Syed delicately said in a write up:

It is indeed one thing to be in love with love and quite another to live love. Life’s a dare and most just want to hug the truth.

I choose to live love. I might be at an auction for the single lifestyle, but I’m bidding everything I own on the love lifestyle.Whether I’m living it on my own or with someone else. I don’t behave different, dress different or have different friends depending on my relationship status, and that makes me feel whole.

Do you notice that there is a difference in how men and women are expected to behave as single? The concept of ‘single men’ and ‘single women’ is different because there isn’t really a concept of ‘single men’? (Try googling both to see what I’m referring to) I reckon this is because men’s lifestyles are not associated with a change in attitude depending on their relationship status, the way women’s wrongly are. What do you think?

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  • Roschelle

    The lifestyle package that caters to the desperation: to find someone and become whole again. – now that’s a mouthful and the god’s honest truth. i’ve been in an unhealthy relationship for way too long. the terror of letting go; letting someone else experience what i was never able to truly enjoy or call my own; the sobering idea/concept of being alone.

    all these things held me prisoner sentenced to unhappiness. it wasn’t until i realized that falling in love with me; nurturing my mind, body and soul instead of his; resigning myself to the fact that being alone isn’t the same as being lonely.

    once you decide to start living and stop merely existing …. wholeness is just a breath away.

    • MsAfropolitan

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts, they resonate also. Most profoundly.

  • Dave McInerney

    When you are old and grey and full of sleep,
    And nodding by the fire, take down this book,
    And slowly read, and dream of the soft look
    Your eyes had once, and of their shadows deep;

    How many loved your moments of glad grace,
    And loved your beauty with love false or true,
    But one man loved the pilgrim soul in you,
    And loved the sorrows of your changing face;

    And bending down beside the glowing bars,
    Murmur, a little sadly, how Love fled
    And paced upon the mountains overhead
    And hid his face amid a crowd of stars.

    W.B. Yeats

    • MsAfropolitan

      Wonderful poem!

  • Anna Renee

    Wow!! This is so nice. I love how you said it:

    “I choose to live love. I might be at an auction for the single lifestyle, but I’m bidding everything I own on the love lifestyle.Whether I’m living it on my own or with someone else. I don’t behave different, dress different or have different friends depending on my relationship status, and that makes me feel whole.”

    This is that process, this is that truth that we women all should come to and want to come to. In this, is the freedom to be oneself. We women shouldn’t be working so much at having a man as we should at having self knowledge, leading to self love, which is true beauty!

    • MsAfropolitan

      Thanks so much for reading and sharing! Self knowledge is true beauty!

  • MBA

    OMG dude! It’s like someone has articulated how I have been feeling for a long time but haven’t been able to articulate it. I have never been single. I have been trying to live love because I am not the relationship kind and people have no understanding of not wanting to be single and do the whole go out meet someone go on a date etc thing either. I am going to have to do a post on this. Thanks for adding another post to my already backlogged list ha ha ha ha!

    And yes it really pisses me off that men and women are expect to behave differently. Because of this when I haven’t changed my behaviour when I have been unsingled guys have said that I am like a man and not as a compliment like I am defective or something. Guys and girls both need to be educated as both are perpetuating stereotypes. The way people love is on a spectrum, some think its about changing behaviours and some don’t and there is anything in between with both sexes. We need to allow for differences and let people find their match and not make it seem like there is something wrong with someone when they don’t fit the stereotypes we take comfort in.

    I am so glad that you have chosen to not only live life in love but have also shared your thoughts. I am sure you are going to illuminate something much needed and very profound in others. xoxoxo

    • MsAfropolitan

      Thanks for this comment, it’s encouraging to hear that others too feel this way. And your welcome for the backlog lol 😉

  • Vickii

    I hate to throw my own gender under the bus but I think the expectation of how men and women are supposed to behave when they’re single is based on the fact that a lot of women define themselves by their relationship status and also change their behaviour depending on whether they’re single or coupled up. We all have those friends we only ever see in-between relationships, and we all know women who mourn their 25th, or 30th birthday because they haven’t accomplished their major goal; to be married. However, I do think men are also guilty of both of these things but perhaps it’s more difficult for them to show it because they’re not expected to think like that?

    But I totally agree with you that becoming whole has nothing to do with someone else. Our longest and most significant relationship will be the one with ourselves so it’s the one we need to put the most effort into.

  • Afrofusion

    Nicely written!

  • Agga

    I agree, you cannot really love somebody completely like they deserve to be loved if you don’t love yourself. If you do love yourself in every kind of way, you will act the same no matter who or what is around.
    Beijos linda!

    • MsAfropolitan

      Hey Agga! Thanks for stopping by. :)

  • Dasheen Magazine

    I am so right here with you on this entire post lady. I’ve been pondering singleness of mind, even within a relationship lately. This is an important milestone for women. I think everyone should read an come to their own conclusions. Thank you for sharing your heart and in such a beautiful way.

    • MsAfropolitan

      Thank you :)

  • George Dickson

    Hey Ms Afropolitan,
    Nice to see an UK afro blog on the scene. Interesting post here and the comments are even more interesting.

    I could really say something about whats being said here, but i think the main thing im learning nowadays is that females are having relationships with themselves and their dreams! lol.


    P.S. Im technically enabled when it comes to website design so if you need any help changing things up holla! (free of course)

    African United

    Why do women hold on to these dodgy relationships so much?

    • MsAfropolitan

      Hi george, thanks for sharing your thoughts and feel free to elaborate more if you wish. I write these articles to learn, teach and generate discussion.
      I disagree with what you say, in that case both women and men are having relationships ‘with their dreams’ given the high rates of divorce and single people around. After all men too, whether they like it or not, have to deal with the zeitgeist.
      To answer your question, some women hold on to dodgy relationships because as this article discusses there is a kind of desperation attached to the ‘single lifestyle’.
      In my opinion wholeness and happiness is within oneself and not acquired through another person, but of course that doesn’t mean that being in a relationship is undesirable just needs to be the right reasons.

  • George Dickson

    Thanks for getting back to me miss politan.

    I must say first that my comments where just kinda thrown out there (and so will this one) but in reflection what i was trying to say is how im against this “single lifestyle” becoming the norm amongst women.

    Oddly enough, yesterday i went to a comedy show packed full of women (ratio about 1 to 4 women) and the comedian asked put ladies to put their hands up if they were in a relationship….
    To even my own surprise barely any girls put theres hands up.
    You could think that was because they were shy but i actually believe these girls.

    Many of these girls were very beautiful same as yourself but were not taken and im beginning to find this theme common amongst young women.

    I know its a protection mechanism for women to say “let me do me” but the birdseye view that im getting of this situation now isnt positive.

    When i said the living with their dreams comment i was simply referring to the fact that singletons love the “tick box” kind of “relationshopping” for men that has women filtering out men for rubbish reasons like he talks funny or isnt tall enough. All these expectations are fabrications of what would potentially make them happy, but with little experience or adaptability in their mind. Thus a dream….an ideal….

    Thats kinda what i wanted to say.

    And the comment i said about dodgy relationships was something i (mistakenly) didnt delete before i sent the comment.

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  • Val

    I love this! Thanks for such a healthy view….it’s refreshing.

    • MsAfropolitan

      Thanks Val!

  • Maria Puyol

    Thank you for posting this Mimmi, I was just discussing this with my mother. There are so many rules and regulations for what a woman should and shouldn’t do once she is married/relationship that to me make no sense and this just proved my point. I don’t want to have to change the woman I am just because Im married and shouldn’t have to! I love me and if the person Im with doesn’t like it then they are the wrong person to be with. :)