Weighing up the pros and cons
The week before St Patrick’s Day, a friend asked whether I had a date for the day. I remember her confused look when I failed to answer and instead stared at her as if she had grown a second head.
Suddenly it is necessary to have a date for public holidays? So when I go out into the thronged streets of Galway to have some fun, I need somebody to hold my hand?
I had always thought that it was a very American idea to have a date on such occasions. Mainly because we Irish are such sociable creatures - banding together no matter who we are with is a given.
All of a sudden this isn’t acceptable any more, or is it that women are just getting lonely? Have we realised that while we boast that being single means we can do whatever we want, we are still desperately seeking some kind of confirmation that we can get a man?
The idea frightened me so I decided that the best thing to do was to write out a pure and simple pros and cons list of being single and being in a relationship.
The single side came up with the normal, selfish reasons; I can do what I like without checking in with anybody, I don’t get hurt, I don’t have the stress of arguments, I can leave the country tomorrow without having to factor in anybody else etc.
The relationship side was extremely negative, probably because I’m not in a relationship and I want to justify my single status, so I asked someone else to fill it out for me.
What came back were all the things I had been thinking but couldn’t write down; there’s someone who wants to spend time with you and do things with you, you’re guaranteed never to be lonely at Christmas or on another birthday, you have an excuse to go on romantic holidays and you have someone to hold your hand when things get tough.
Dating isn’t always fun but I have to admit, I enjoy the thrill of it, and that butterflies-in-the-stomach feeling when you meet someone you like and find yourself connecting with them.
No matter what comes next, whether he breaks your heart or you end up in a relationship with him, nothing can beat the feeling of pleasure that comes with those first nerves!
Having said that, I really believe that there are good things about both sides. Because let’s face it - no situation in life is perfect, whether you have been single for years or married for years, you will always think the grass is greener somewhere else.