Absence really does make the heart grow fonder — along with the realization that being single is better than being stuck in a bad relationship.
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I once heard that any addiction can be cured in 30 days — at least the physical part, the part that isn’t just the obsession in your head. Manage to stay off sugar, tobacco or alcohol for a month and, although the mental fixation may linger, you’ll be free from the physical craving and free to confront the underlying issues that made you drink, smoke or overeat in the first place.
I think romantic relationships can be like that too. If someone calls for a time out and if that someone wasn’t you, the first 30 days feel like cold-turkey withdrawals. The pain is horrific, seemingly unbearable and then, just when you think life is over, you wake up one day — about 30 days later to be exact — and discover you actually like having your space. There’s a peaceful quiet in the house, a gentle serenity undisturbed by someone else’s drama. It’s an amazing moment when you finally grasp that being single isn’t a tragedy after all.
Even people who are married often learn that being single, or at least being able to experience that sense of peaceful solitude, is something to envy in their singular friends.
A good example is my pal Anne. Anne quit her job about a year ago and started spending a lot of time at home. She was really enjoying her new life until her husband was laid off from his job. Suddenly they were both at home and under each other’s feet with the added stress of worries about their finances.
When he finally got a job, it was in another city. She was relieved — not just because he had a steady paycheck again, but because she was getting some much needed time alone. After a couple weeks on her own, she started looking forward to visiting him on weekends, and then returning home to Los Angeles to spend the week living much like she did in her single days.
I guess that some would call that having your cake and eating it too. I call it the perfect arrangement. Katherine Hepburn once expressed herself on this matter. She said, “I often wonder whether men and women really suit each other. Perhaps they should live next door and just visit now and then.”
You don’t generally find this kind of insight in younger never-marrieds who’ve yet to feel the drain of an ever-present spouse. But those of us who have been married or in a live-in arrangement know that, although there can be some great perks to living with a partner, those perks are sweeter when the two of you have adequate time apart.
Yes, romance is always more romantic when you miss the one you love. And if you realize a relationship is more bad habit than good, remember that relief can be just 30 days away.
Copyright © Kim Calvert/2015 Singular Communications, LLC.
Kim Calvert is the editor of Singular magazine and the founder of the SingularCity social networking community. An outspoken champion of people who are living their lives as a “me” instead of a “we,” Kim oversees the creative direction and editorial content of the magazine and online social networking community. She secures contributors and is responsible for maintaining the fun, upbeat, inspirational and often-humorous tone of Singular, a lifestyle guide for successful single living.