Dear Dating Coach,
I am a single girl living in a neighborhood that has a lot of other singles and offers us many opportunities to get together. This is wonderful for most of the year as a means of support, encouragement, and fun – except in the summer! Every time we’ve gotten together as a group this season, there seems to be a competition to relay the trips and vacations that we’ve planned or taken with other singles as we use this “free” time to travel and explore. I don’t want to fly to Mexico or Japan to pretend that I am happy with my “free bird” status. So why do I still feel like I have to justify this feeling to my friends?
Traffic jams are the worst. Cars stuck, unmoving because of some sort of road blockage, beep and inch forward going nowhere. Ever been in one of those? Of course you have. The five stages of car captivity begin with denial, as you are sure that the road will quickly clear leading to smooth driving. Soon anger follows – at the other drivers, the first responders for their snail-slow response, the road for its obvious engineering flaws, and yourself, for forgetting to use the bathroom before you left the house. You bargain with the car ahead of you; every inch counts. Perhaps if you change lanes? Honk for a full minute while banging your head against the steering wheel? (Shockingly, this does not work.) You lose hope, depression setting in, as the minutes and hours tick by, sure now that your plans for the day are lost. Finally, you accept the unmoving traffic jam and use the time to catch up on your cousin’s podcast, that phone call you never made, the Tehillim you forgot, and all that deep thinking you put aside for later until any, (any at all) exit opens, offering you an open road.
Surely, of All the Wonders of The World…
Thank you for reaching out. I’m so glad that you live in a neighborhood that has enabled you to create a real sense of community. The opportunity to connect with other singles and to grow and learn from one another can offer a sense of comfort and support. Yet you feel that with the onset of summer there is some sort of unwritten bylaw that requires the singles in your group to plan awe-inducing trips to affirm the positives of the “single life.” You don’t want to travel and are content to stay put as you continue with your everyday schedule and routine.
Everyone is different and certainly there is no single code that requires you to travel to far-off destinations. Moreover, the ability to travel does not end with marriage, as spouses and families are still allowed on the open road, last I checked. Sure, it can be easier to travel as a single as many like to take the opportunity to explore exotic places with ease and a backpack. With only your own schedule to juggle, you can hop on a plane, grab a train, and switch plans on a whim. It is exciting for many to see parts of the world that they dreamed of and a single friend can be the perfect travel companion.
Is the Greatest.
You don’t need to fly anywhere of course if you don’t want to. Perhaps, though, you can take a moment to reflect on your unwillingness to travel outside of your comfort zone. Sometimes we can get stuck en route to a destination that has taken longer than we expect. We become so embroiled in getting there and the routine that we have created to sustain us until then, that we refuse to take any detour or open road that may become available. Every additional experience is the chance to learn something new and offers new memories and change to the status quo. A trip can enrich your life adding layers and interest to who you are. It’s not about where you go, but about the willingness to go there. Perhaps this is not about packing your suitcase at all, but about taking chances, and a new road filled with possibilities.