I Love Being Single

I have been single for about 9 years. It’s been an interesting near decade of ups and downs that I have tackled on my own. While social, I am naturally an introvert. That means that I have also spent a lot of time really getting to know myself.

During that time, I chose to stay single. I also met a lot of awesome friends and found my career path. In meeting new friends (or seeing old ones), I get asked the same questions all the time. “Why are you still single?” or “I never see you dating anyone.”  I know that it’s always out of a good place in their hearts and they want to see me happy. I really do appreciate the kinds thoughts and love. However, it’s that last part that irks me a bit. My response is usually a bit shocking to some people.

I love being single.

Yes, that is correct. Personally, I am so happy when it’s just me. Yeah sure, I have hung out with a couple of guys here and there, but only for short periods of time. The thought of starting something with someone doesn’t invoke positive or exciting emotions for me. I lean closer to dread and anxiety. People have a really hard time grasping the fact that not everyone wants to be with someone.

The purpose of this post is give visibility to two very large misconceptions about what it means to have a happy and fulfilling life:

1. Being in a relationship

2. Having children

For some people, being in a relationship, or with the “one”, is not an end game goal. For a lot other people, or the same people even, neither is having children. Some of us just don’t want that white picket fence life with 2.5 kids. Personally, I think it would be awesome to have kids, but as a gay man, I’ve prepared myself with the fact that will most likely not happen.

You do not need either one of those to be happy or feel fulfilled! I certainly don’t. I said I would love to have kids, but it isn’t the end of my life if I don’t. That doesn’t make me selfish or an asshole. It just means that my happy is different than other people’s happy. My happiness and fulfillment comes in the form of traveling and writing. It also comes from developing myself and my potential while become self-aware of who I am. It can be really frustrating when I open up to people that I am not interested in dating or relationships and they start giving me that shit of “Oh you just haven’t met him yet” or “You’ll meet him when you’re not looking”. That just takes away from my vision of happiness.

I am not looking because I don’t want it! That shit always makes me feel like people think I am one of those single people frustrated with dating and just “done” with everyone. I am not that. I am not frustrated with dating or relationships. I just don’t want them nor do I partake in them.

To dig a little deeper into who I am, I like the intensity and passion of meeting new people. It’s sustaining or working on that love the following days as a relationship is where I check out. I don’t think there is anything wrong with that.  It just isn’t a fun idea to me. It’s dreadful. To those who know me, that really speaks to my adventurer personality. I also like to keep my time to myself.

I am not interested in getting to know someone on that deep of a level, and vice versa.  Some people probably consider me a high-functioning sociopath, but I am okay with that. When it comes to the sex, I do not need to be in a relationship for that. I can meet guys for casual sex (being a gay man has its perks) or just jerk off. I especially love having sex with someone when we are initially attracted to each other. That stage is the hottest. After that I get bored. I don’t like the routine of it all and I like being able to flirt and have crushes on whomever I want.

I want people to understand that I’m happy. I am so happy. I know what I like and what I don’t. This free-spirit life, not being attached to any one person or thing, is who I am. I am not looking for my “other half” because I am not a half. I am a full person. A happy person.

Look, I think relationships are great for people who want to be in them. I respect that a great deal (the good ones, anyway) and I really do hope that those who are on the hunt for love find what they are looking for.  It just isn’t my cup of tea. So please don’t force that shit down my throat. Let me just be.

I make myself happy. I fulfill my own life. I don’t need anything more than that. I’ve found that the greatest love of all comes from learning to love yourself. Actually, Whitney Houston found that. I just believe it.

Single On Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day. One of the most hated “Hallmark holidays” ever created. Say Valentine’s Day to a single person and you may get some hostility and bitterness. I know from experience that people in the food service industry also loathe it. Seriously, who the fuck goes out to eat on the busiest day of the year next to Mother’s Day? Just stay home and have sex.

Being single, especially on Valentine’s Day, is tough. A lot of us grow up expecting that we are supposed to find “the one,” settle down, and be happy before a certain age. That is the life plan for almost everyone. For those who haven’t found that, Valentine’s Day is a nice reminder of that failure. For some people, it’s some serious business that invokes all kinds of feelings from anger to loneliness.

How can you tell? Just go on social media on Valentine’s Day. Boy, talk about some pissed off people! My Facebook and Twitter feeds were filled with single people sharing their anger with today.

Speaking of being single…

Last night I went to see the movie “How To Be Single” with some friends. It was a really funny movie (Rebel Wilson is in it, hello!) with a powerful message disguised in there. I learned that we are all in relationships from this movie. We are in relationships with our parents, siblings, friends, pets, co-workers, etc. Some of us found their romantic relationship, and some of us are still looking.

I believe the most important relationship you can have is with yourself. Yes, you have to love yourself and be happy with the person you are before you can even begin to make someone else happy! You have to be truly happy with yourself first.

How can you do that? The first thing is to get away from everyone. Take small trips by yourself. Go on vacations. Take a break from all of the relationships you currently have and just enjoy your own self. Oftentimes, we have to play a part or put on a different face for the people in our lives. Find out what your face looks like when it’s just you.

If you feel lonely when you are by yourself, then you may not be in good company. That is where you need to start.

Ask yourself: “Who the fuck am I?” You have to say it just like that. Dig deep and take your time here. Humans are complex beings with a range of emotions and feelings. Finding out who you are, what you like, and what makes you tick, is setting up a strong foundation for yourself to eventually build a relationship on. That relationship could be romantic with someone else, or it could be an enlightening relationship with yourself.

How do I know these things? I have been single for about 7-8 years myself. I’ve been spending this time discovering who I am as as a man and a person, and what I could offer someone if I were in a relationship. I am not the same person I was when I became single. I have grown, challenged myself, and uncovered new things I did not know about myself before. Learning about yourself is painful at times, but the payoff is worth it.

I think the most important thing for us to all remember is: Just because you don’t have the love you want doesn’t mean you aren’t loved.

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!

My Single Life #singleguyproblems

I have been single for the past 6 years. I’ve been so busy doing stuff for myself that it wasn’t a big deal. I wasn’t even worried about it or thinking about it. Until recently that is. For some reason, everyone has been reminding me that I am single lately.

Honestly, I’ve really been O.K. with being single. I never really thought it would be a permanent thing. After my break up with my ex, I just figured I was going through the “get to know yourself and grow” stage that usually comes with break ups. Only that stage took 6 years lol. A lot of great things happened though. I learned to become a stronger person. I learned what I wanted in life. I got into my awesome career of a Senior Training Consultant at Quicken Loans. I bought a house! I learned to budget and just be really independent. I’ve been hitting the gym to get into great shape. I worked through some of the bullshit in my own head. Once I did all of those things, my relationship status has become the next thing to focus on I suppose.

During that “growth” period I did meet a couple of guys that I liked. They never really panned out, but it was nice to know that I was able to put myself out there a little. I also learned that dating in the gay scene in Detroit is awful. There is no one out there. I do go out to the bars, but in reality you are less likely to meet someone at the bar than anywhere else. It is a stat I heard somewhere. Do I keep my eyes open when I go out? Of course I do!

I had always hoped that I would meet another gay Albanian guy to end up with. So the lack of gay scene in Detroit didn’t really bother me. However, meeting someone like me is nearly impossible thanks to our culture looking down on homosexuality. Gay Albanians just do not come out of the closet.

I had to admit to myself very recently that I can’t hold out for another Albanian guy to come along. I am fucking myself (literally and figuratively). However, between realizing that there is no one in the gay scene and there are no Albanian guys, I got hit with this huge wave of desperation. The feeling of “I am never going to meet anyone” hit me hard. I am 32 (almost 33). If I haven’t met anyone in the last 6 years, and I don’t meet anyone in the next 6 years, I’m fucked. I even caught myself contemplating guys’ advances that I am not even into.

In my desperation, I also found myself downloading Grindr, Scruff, Mister, OKCupid, and some other shitty apps. If you ever wanted to feel depressed, download those apps. Occasionally you “meet” someone cute, but they usually aren’t looking for what you are, or they aren’t interested, or you aren’t interested. I am also not very good at talking to guys “online.” I am an “in-person” kind of person. For a few minutes there, I was glued to my phone. Checking and waiting for messages from guys that may be interested in me. It didn’t really happen. The 40, 50, and even 60 year old single gay men looking for love or to fuck on those apps is a sad possibility of my future. I can’t be that. I won’t be that. I just uninstalled those apps.

Another challenge I discovered was myself. I am afraid that since I have been on my own for so long that I have become too independent. I do everything for myself. I am not even sure I would know how to knock back some of that independence if I met someone. I just do what I want when I want. I have the final say in everything related to me (unless it’s my mom lol). I think that is pretty hard to change. I would say this is the least of my concerns since I haven’t even met anyone to ponder how to change that.

The truth is I just may not end up with someone. The idea of true love and finding “the one” is nice, but it is a bit of a fairy tale. Not everyone ends up with someone. It just may not be in the stars for me. That is a crushing reality. Does that mean that I am going to just lay down and die over it? Not at all! I have started planning my life out to make it so adventurous and exciting! I want to take trips and try new things. I am going to make more friends and network so I am meeting my “socialization” quota as a human being.

I am not saying that it won’t happen, I am just saying that I need to prepare my life accordingly in case it doesn’t happen. I may not find love in someone else, but I can at least find love in myself.:

Living Single In Gay Detroit

I will admit, at first I was hesitant to write this post. This is pretty personal. Then I though, why not? I am not the only single person out there. I am sure being single weighs on everyone’s mind. That was enough reason for me to go ahead and start writing this piece.

I am a 31 year old gay Albanian man living and working in Detroit. I have a great job, live on my own, and just loving life. I am very health oriented. I work out and eat healthy. I love to travel and want to do it more. I am working toward building a better life for myself and moving forward. I am making goals and reaching them. I come from a very rich and colorful culture which has shaped who I am today.

The only part that sucks is that I am single. Now when you read that, and if you are single as well, you are probably thinking “Yeah being single does suck.” Let me make sure everyone understands this from the beginning: I do not have a problem with being single. I do not need anyone to make me feel complete.

The issue that I do have is that there aren’t any prospects out there. Being gay in Detroit is like trying to do a backstroke in puddle. It is rather pointless. Meeting someone here is so hard. The gay community is very small here so everyone already knows everyone. New faces rarely show up. If they do, they are either “12” or come attached to a boyfriend. Detroit wasn’t always like this. The gay scene was booming and there were so many people in the community! But that was 10 years ago. It has dramatically decreased because everyone has moved away from Detroit to bigger cities.

Being almost 32, I am at that stage where I am a little concerned that I will end up alone, on Grindr, and trolling guys to come over for “$ome fun.” Life is just starting to feel a lot more real now. I would love to go out and meet new people and go on dates. I miss the butterfly in my feeling stomach when someone I like calls or touches me. I could touch myself all day, but I am so used to me that even I pretend to have a headache to get away from me. Ha! I was in love once. That was such an amazing feeling to experience. The last time I was in a relationship was when I was 23-26. I have not really dated anyone since then. I miss having someone to text/call for no reason except that we just wanted to hear from each other.

When I started working in downtown Detroit, I thought that would be a superb place to meet new people! I even downloaded Grindr when I first started to see who was around. I quickly learned that no one I was interested, or they lived on the Canada side, were on. So I deleted that. Going to the gay bars suck here. Even with that, sometimes I will go just on the off chance that I might actually meet someone. I even started working at the mall again partly so I could just meet new people and break out of my life of routine.

I even created an OKCupid account to see who is out there. It’s the same people of course. What are the chances a good looking guy in his early thirties looking for something serious is going to be on there? Not impossible, but not likely either.

Part of the problem is myself. I know that. When I meet people, I can immediately tell if they will fall into the friend zone, or something more. I have never dated friends. Once we become friends, it just will not go past that. I am not the type to develop feelings either. They are there or they aren’t.

Another problem is When I moved to MI, I always said that even though I live here, my soul mate is going to be back in NY. It’s just a feeling I’ve always had. That could be a huge part. Maybe my future husband is in NY? I am going to plan trips down to NY I think. If not for that, just to travel and see friends and family.

I think I am a good guy. My friends say I am a good catch. I’m not the perfect guy, but I think I could make someone really happy. I just feel like I am in the prime of my life and it is all going to waste.

Wish me luck. It’s all going to workout however it’s going to, so at least I know there will be a resolution to this.