My dad asked me, for the third time in these last few months, "Why are you alone?"
This question never ceases to amaze me, especially coming from my father, who never really used to show much interest in my love life, even when I actually had one.
I had to inquire of my mother about this mysterious phenomenon; dad's sudden burst of concern for my romantic well-being. She said that lately they’ve been going to a lot of weddings for their friends' children, and that it had my dad worrying about the fact that my sister and I haven't found our life partners yet. Since I’m a few years older than my sister, I will have to guess and say that I’m the more ‘urgent case'.
To be honest, the question is not ‘Why am I alone?’ the real question, as so subtly implied by the title, is ‘Why I choose to be alone?’
Now that is a question, and an answer, that I usually don’t even bring up among my friends and family. Choosing to be alone is probably one of the worst taboos there is, right? Who would want that? God forbid, I’ll have the nerve to mention it around my single friends that are so desperate to find a partner... and start their lives already!
So why would I want that?
I’m afraid the answer will disappoint you. There is no big trauma in my background or a deep psychological issue causing this decision. At least as far as I know of… The answer, surprisingly enough in a travel blog, is related to travel.
I want to travel.
But what does it have to do with having a relationship you ask (you and everybody else on the planet)? The thing is, I don’t think I can do both.
I’ve been wanting to travel again for a long time, and now that it’s closer than ever I don’t want anything to interrupt it.
You might be thinking it’s a comfortable excuse so I wouldn't have to deal with this issue, and you might even be right. I don’t want to deal with it. I don’t want to deal with going into a relationship and then telling that person that I’m going away for an unknown length of time. Especially when I can’t consider anything else but travelling alone.
My friend Nina, who is the only person I thought would understand me, and therefore one of the few people to hear about this 'quirky perversion' of mine, was unfortunately not understanding at all.
“Jane, that is the lamest excuse for not having a relationship that I have ever heard. Can’t you see you’re just blocking yourself from having one? The best thing you could do is to let yourself get into a relationship and when you decide to travel, if this guy is worth it, you just come back after two or three months.”
Well, my answer to that is: pbbbbbbt!
Which is the sound used to describe the action of me sticking out my tongue and blowing hard, making a farting noise, and expressing my total displeasure and contempt.
My mature answer to that is: That’s not what I want (although I liked my first answer better).
I don't want to find someone I care about, then go alone to the sort of travel I’ve been dreaming about for years, only to be totally and utterly obsessed about this guy I left back home and ruin my trip (as I’ve seen so many other travelers do), quit my trip after a few months and rush home to settle in, with this imaginary guy, only to regret for the rest of my life not fulfilling my big travel dreams.
Some people will never understand, and that's ok. They don’t have to. The only person that has to understand it and live with this decision — is me. I’m not saying that I’ve decided to be a nun for the rest of my life, I do want to have a meaningful relationship at some point. But for now I think I’ll keep it solo. Now I need to wander on my own. Without anything or anyone weighing me down.
As the saying goes: “Man plans, God laughs”.
So God, if you don’t mind, I think I want to be alone for a while and just see the world.