Well I got nailed on that one!
I probably shouldn't have published it, as it was still in a stream of consciousness phase and I see now that I hadn't built to the point I actually wanted to make.
My point came to the surface though - in one comment I left on my last post.
So I'm getting flamed by those who think I keep some list of grievances - of every slight from someone who never paid me back, or never ever reciprocated a kindness. That's not so.
But here is what is real. We are put on this earth to serve one another. If we're all doing that, then by the law of averages, each of us should have at least one act of kindness done to us for every 20 - 100 acts of kindness we put out into the world. Clearly everyone's not doing that. And sometimes it's noticeable.
The fact is, couples and parents don't put as much out into the world, because they are focused on their families, and rightly so. They don't spend their energy trying to love strangers, or trying to hold onto friends. Sure, to some degree but not as much as one who is solo in the world. It's their job to grow the love in their own homes. I don't have that luxury. That would be vain.
Consider the single person. No one in the world is tied to them in ways that spouses and children are tied by sharing a home, sharing the chores, exchanging hugs and kisses.
When we singles show love - by a kind deed, by just getting to know someone new, by going above and beyond... or putting our hearts on the line... yet again, seeking love... more often than not it falls into an abyss.
You just did something kind. No one saw it. The one person who felt is going to walk away with it. sure, they may pay forward, but the odds are you'll never see it. You'll never know how you touched someone's life or what it meant. And that's fine. We're not always meant to. Not every kind action is returned. Not every act of love is reciprocated.
Think about that. A world in which every action you ever make has no response. Heck, that even defies the laws of physics!
Of course we all have friends who stay connected, and occasionally you learn how much you mean to someone. The effort we put into relationships as single people is risky. That relationship may not even be there next week.
By contrast, when someone who is part of a family, like a father, a mother, a child - demonstrates a loving act... it is felt throughout the family. Even if it's not acknowledged. When a mommy changes diapers, soothes a colicky child, cooks dinner, does the laundry - there's a rather immediate return on that investment, even if it's just seeing your children in clean clothes. If no one ever says thank you - you know you're feeding your child, supporting your spouse, building a better life.
For the perpetually single, there is no one to appreciate that we made dinner. No matter how delicious it was. Laundry? The satisfaction there is just seeing that nothing got destroyed in the process!
All the efforts humans make - just to sustain themselves... married people get some satisfaction. Seeing your spouse at the end of the day, knowing all the work you did that day, improved your lives together bit by bit. Watching your children grow, seeing them learn, hearing "I love you mommy." that's a reward. Simply brushing your teeth might result in an appreciative kiss!
So don't try to convince me that you love more unconditionally than I do. You're getting something back. Yes, it's intangible. But it's something. It may not be every day - sometimes not even every week. We all go through dark periods, but even in the worst times you're reasonably confident the love is there.
Single people get none. So yes... when it becomes obvious that you've showered love and affection and favors and effort - time after time with no reward or reaction - there's nothing wrong with feeling a little spent and a little disappointed.
Bringing it back to the parenting analogy - I think the only family-types who could understand are those with autistic children. Those parents love and they serve and they hug (and give up hugging) and sometimes wait a lifetime to hear, "I love you." back. They wait years for a breakthrough smile.
That's what I think the single life is like. It's like raising a dozen autistic children. (imagine the frustration and agony!) Everything you do to show love, to make a connection, to see a spark back from the love you're putting out there... just sort of splats off of a flat surface. It's frustrating and hard to bear. Even those mothers mutter wishes about being loved back.
That's what my blog has always been about. It's meant to be a window into a different way of life - so that we all might understand one another better and have compassion.
So much of the world sees singles as selfish, or non-commital, or as wild partiers with no responsibilities. I write so that sisters, aunts, friends and cousins can recognize some of the pain of the single life. So that the heartbreak can be shared, and hopefully divided. But mostly understood.
My previous post wasn't about any one person. It's a bit silly that troops were rallied for a comment that could have just as easily been about anyone. No one in particular.
Which ultimately proves my point.
11 months ago