Vaxed & Waxed: Why are we still single? Are there any benefits?
Good news: It's not just you and I. Spending many hours deep in thought, reading bunches of articles and hunting for an answer, I still can't figure it out.
I found out that over half of people over the age of 18 years old are single, & not in a romantic relationship. If you need citations let me know. Believe me I've been doing much research! I celebrated my 42nd birthday this week, an exciting age, oh yes. All these articles are claiming that as you approach your 40's,or are in your 40's, it becomes even more difficult. Ain't that the truth. Throw a pandemic in there and 'Voila'. Thank you Rona!
Spoiler alert: There are a lot of benefits to being Single in our 40's. Get ready to settle in and stop worrying about settling down. It might seem like we're alone when we are single, but looking at the stats, we're actually in good company.
Personally, I've been able to travel, and be more available to the people that depend on me. I can say YES more often. I just spent a 4-day weekend with my closest friends in Dallas. Not sure how many miles I put on that Toyota rental last weekend, as I was zooming all over Dallas to make sure I saw all the ones I love & care about. If I had a partner or a child, they wouldn't have been too pleased with my busy schedule. I was very fortunate the traffic was nothing like in Los Angeles!
Can you think of how you have been able to say 'yes' more often in your singleness? Where have you traveled or where would you like to travel?
I have much more of a drive to get as tight and toned as I can while I'm single. I can go boogie boarding, hike, bike, paddleboard, climb walls, or go on a long walk and my schedule isn't cramped. Doing these things with someone is appealing, of course. To have someone making me laugh, smile, and help me get stronger would be lovely. In the meantime I go by myself or with friends, and I'm just fine with that for now.
Sure, sometimes I wonder if a bear might snatch me off the trail, if I might slide off the side of the mountain, if a wave might suck me into the ocean and never give me back to the land again, get kidnapped, etc. But why think of the worst case scenarios when there's so many adventures to be experienced?! When I moved to California I never realized how much more active I would be, it's quite the place to live if you want to explore and adventure. Let me know if you're around and we can go have some fun together.
Have you set goals to get ready for a trip physically, prepare for a photo shoot (boudoir), be a sexy date, or just get stronger so you can keep up? Are you content with where you're at? Good!
I have been looking at it also from another positive angle. I have more flexibility to fall in love. I'm a hopeless and hopeful romantic no doubt. Excitement wells up inside of my soul when I think of falling in love again one day. What area I will live in and how I will raise my children isn't something I think of anymore. What's most important to me is finding somebody I can enjoy my time with, whom I can explore and adventure with.
What do you find most important when you think of a future partner?
Friends Forever-Expand your network!
Getting back on track, let's see it from another perspective. I can enjoy the company of many people and have been so fortunate to form new connections. I'm expanding my network and I've had the time to foster these relationships as well as virtual friendships. Weird to consider those real relationships like that, but it's true.
Can you think of 2-3 relationships that are primarily virtual? Think about it....See! I can take my time to support others, I'm around when alot of other people aren't and I believe people appreciate that. Even if they are wanting to pull those George Washingtons from my pockets, it's still worth something. Yep, that's a thing here in LA.
The next one is double sided, I have fewer financial burdens but I probably am paying more in taxes. Apparently only 21 percent of single individuals owed money to their credit card companies. That's a relief if you're a part of the 21%. Apparently married couples who file jointly receive the lowest tax rates, as well as bigger IRA contribution deductions.
Can you find ways to save those Starbucks $, or go pick up the food instead of getting it delivered?
Grocery shopping for one is not easy at all. I have wasted more produce and food that I wanna admit. Sometimes I believe it's a waste of time. You buy, prep your ingredients and whip them up. This can take a couple hours. When it's all done, in 5-10 minutes you have to clean it all up and store the rest. Guess what happens? Yep, it sits in the fridge for a week or two and then I throw it in the trash. Does anyone else do this? Is it just me? Nah, I don't think so. Another plus is it's easy to find a table at a restaurant for one person. I don't mind going by myself at all. These days you can avoid getting coughed or sneezed on. Isn't that a good excuse to go by yourself? LOL!
Does anyone have any solutions to my grocery store food wasting dilemma? (I don't like to use my freezer, the food never comes out of there to be reheated again)
Lastly I want to highlight a few more positives:
We sleep more and better
We're more philanthropic
We're comfortable in our own skin
We aren't distracted and blinded by overwhelming emotions
We don't have to deal with relationship stress
We're more generous with our friends
Last minute vacations are completely acceptable (Kauai, Hawaii here I come in September)
We are learning so much about ourselves
We can live anywhere we want.
We are exposed to fewer germs = less likely to get viruses (like Covid-19 or it's variant)
We spend less time cleaning
Have the opportunity to get outside of our comfort zones
There's no pressure to settle
We get plenty of personal space
Makes us more confident
Finally..most people don't care if we're single
As I read my blog a few times over I was starting to almost convince myself being single is the best option. Although it sounds so appealing I still desire wholeheartedly to be in a relationship. I have found, inside a relationship, I have different motivations, perspectives and goals. Also, this isn't a message to my friends in a relationship, engaged or married to find a way out. Though it does probably seem appealing if you made it all the way to the end. Ha!
This was a message to myself and my single friends that we have so many things to be thankful for, and the minute you feel lonely or scared or pessimistic about the future you can dwell on the positives and those things that we have on our side.
Stay beautiful, unique and inspired
--Erika Lee Kline lives in beautiful Pasadena, California. She is fitness minded & enjoys hiking, biking, paddleboarding and wall climbing. She is a fully embodied Empath, a human rights advocate, ballroom/Latin dancer, a student of human behavior and an MI Practitioner. She is a Pediatric Diabetes Nurse working in Los Angeles at a Children's Hospital. You can find her on Clubhouse, TikTok & Instagram.