Applause for those single people who have learned how to attend parties, dinners, travel adventures, even weddings without the need to bring a plus one.
A few weeks ago, I hosted two pop-up dinners in my new home in a historic district of Los Angeles. Finally, a big enough space for a dinner party! Friday was for my neighbors, and Saturday was for SingularCity.
The Friday night dinner was the one I was most anxious about. People I’d never met before — fellow old house restorers — would be coming to my home for the first time since I moved in last fall. About 20 people RSVP’d via the neighborhood community website.
On the night before the dinner, I received a phone call from a woman who wanted to know if there were still seats available for Friday. She thought it sounded wonderful and was very enthusiastic about attending.
“So you’d like to RSVP then?” I asked.
“I’ll have to let you know,” she replied, “tomorrow.”
She was so excited about coming. Why didn’t she commit?
The next day I received an email from her that read: Dear Kim. I so wanted to go but my date doesn’t want to. Sorry, I can’t make it.
“Say what?” I thought. “Your date doesn’t want to do something you really want to do, and which only happens once, and instead of attending yourself, you’re not coming? Why can’t you come by yourself and go on a date with him another night?”
That was my initial reaction — not voiced aloud, of course. And once again, I was provided with an example that despite how far single people have come with shedding those old negative ideas about being single, many still feel awkward about moving through the world as a party of one.
Then I realized I used to do the exact same thing — not wanting to attend a social engagement unless I had a date or a friend by my side. I’ve learned how to do it, and at times I still feel some resistance. It’s harder to meet new people when you can chat with someone you already know. But then you spend the whole night talking to your date or your friend, and don’t connect with anyone new.
That thought was followed with admiration for those single people (particularly single women, because it can be even more challenging for them) who walk through their fear and show up at a party alone, a wedding alone, or any social event alone — even though they know it may feel awkward.
We had a fabulous dinner that Friday night. People connected over their mutual interest in old houses and developing the neighborhood. The food was great and my home positively glowed with happy guests. But not there to enjoy it was that woman who so wanted to attend, but couldn’t, wouldn’t, because her date didn’t want to. I wondered how many others might have come if they had the courage to walk through the front door without an escort by their side.
So this week I congratulate those single women — dating or not, in a relationship or not — who have found the courage to walk through the fear of “it will be uncomfortable if I go alone,” “who will I talk to?” “everyone else will part of a couple,” and instead, put on their best smile and knock on the door, ready to experience the adventure of life on their own.
Copyright © 2015 Kim Calvert/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.