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Culture & Current Events

The other day I received an e-newsletter from Gretchen Rubin, author of the bestseller The Happiness Project. It introduced Neil Pasricha, who maintains the website 1,000 Awesome Things.

Neil started a countdown in June 2008, marveling about one awesome thing every weekday, beginning with #1,000. He’s down to 230 yet-to-be-named awesome things, having celebrated late-night conversations (#234), juicy burritos (#239) and radio magic (#910).

Neil recently revealed awesome thing #240, an entry that has become one of his top posts (right up there with radio magic): “being single.” After acknowledging the occasional woes of single life (“We feel our parents pushing and we hear your chatty lips”), he proceeded to cite 10 reasons it rocks to be unattached.

I’m providing direct quotes, with parenthetical paraphrases.

  1. Some like it hot. (You pick the water temp.)
  2. One set of parents. (No burdensome in-laws.)
  3. Take back the night. (Stay up late and make noise if you like.)
  4. Don’t be an a##. (No salt & pepper shaker Halloween costumes.)
  5. Flirt like you mean it. (Old-fashioned fun.)
  6. Getting to know you. (Self knowledge trumps all.)
  7. Bargain basement holidays. (No stupid pink teddy bears just because it’s Feb. 14.)
  8. You can get with this or you can get with that. (Go make those midnight pancakes. Or go to bed early.)
  9. Own your bed, own your life. (Sprawl, baby.)
  10. Embrace your disgusting habits. (No one will raise an eyebrow.)

Neil wraps it up with a rhyming pep talk.

People, let’s hear it today for being single. Exploring the world, finding adventures, and scoping big scenes are hallmarks of being cool with being you.

Because look — falling in love is great and falling in love is nice, but that doesn’t mean going alone can’t also be sugar and spice.

Good days and bad days, setting suns and shining stars, it’s all about perspective and focusing on who you are.

Because if all you need is love, and all love needs is you, then it’s great to relax and enjoy… just being you with you.

Don’t you feel a bit more chipper now? Is your step springier?

So seriously…what’s missing from Neil’s list? Which items would you refute?

(This post has been read 4,946 times)

13 Comments

  1. Tanya-63933 June 5, 2011

    I understand the intent behind lists like this, and I understand there are benefits and drawbacks to all situations. However, I still have to shake my head in puzzlement when people put forth such things as not having to share the remote control and having the entire closet to oneself as the benefits of being single when, as a Catholic, I see those as really superficial perks when compared to being able to enter into such a blessed Sacrament as marriage. The other day a friend of mine remarked on this very topic, “After 49 years of being single and childless, I would be willing to give up the perk of being sole ruler of my remote control and closet. I would spring for another television and buy some storage containers for under my bed.”

  2. Jim-397948 June 11, 2011

    Sailing…Gtreat way to treat a lady to a fun day.

  3. Jim-730786 June 12, 2011

    HOw true!

  4. Susan-330819 June 15, 2011

    Are you kidding me?

    While I realize singlehood is truly a vocation for some, for the vast majority of Catholics who are “forced” into being single by divorce and/or annulment, there is little consolation in hogging the bed or staying up late ALONE when you imagined being married for life on your wedding day all those years ago.

    And it’s far more complicated when you’re single WITH CHILDREN. Then, you don’t get the remote to yourself . . . there’s no guarantee you’ll get to hog the bed when little ones join you in the middle of the night . . . and if you stay up too late, then Lord help you when the kids want breakfast at 6:30am and need to be taken to school.

    I’m glad someone’s trying to fnid the bright side of singleness, but I think this list missed the mark.

  5. Donald-585826 June 15, 2011

    This article seems a little out of place on CM, wouldn’t I want to know the 10 most awesome things about dating, or marriage or finding a soul mate?

  6. Susan-390329 June 15, 2011

    All this is very cute when you’re just a young kid. It isn’t so great when you’re older and wish you had a person to care about and one to care about you. Yes, I can eat what I like, sleep in the whole bed, but when time is getting short it would be a lot better and happier with a person you love.

  7. Colleen-571077 June 15, 2011

    A list like this might be comforting on those days when you feel like being single sucks, but I certainly don’t think they take it to the level of AWESOME.

    As for what’s missing, I would have gone with bigger stuff, like the freedom to travel the world. That’s the one my married friends always say they’re envious of.

  8. Dana-730560 June 15, 2011

    I SO agree with Tonya. Why do so many people harp about how great it is being single? Yes, it was fun in my 20′s and 30′s, but guess what? At my age (43), I’d love to find someone to steal the remote from me and share the other half of the bed. This list is ridiculous to say the least, but then again, I happened upon this book in Barnes and Noble the other day and realized just how stupid it was when the author (a male), listed something stupid about a bra as an “awesome” thing. This book is a cheap rip-off to the excellent book 10,000 Things to be Happy About. And what is wrong with CatholicMatch that they would put this list on here in the first place? Aren’t we all here to meet someone? Oy yoy yoy. Of course, this is just my opinion. Don’t waste your money on the book. It’s horrible!

  9. Thomas-669718 June 16, 2011

    I think all of the 8 posters above me get it. I agree with all of them. Why does CatholicMatch keep doing this? This isn’t the first time I’ve seen one of these stupid lists or an idiotic speech with ridiculous condescension and platitudes. If it’s so “awesome” to be single, why does CatholicMatch even exist? Do you even want customers? Because who knows, someone may be dumb enough to believe this, quit looking for a soulmate, and cancel their subscription. I’m already fed up with my job, the place I’m forced to live, and my lack of a girlfriend, and then I have to open my inbox and see this list in the subject line… Ridiculous.

  10. Barbara-677561 June 16, 2011

    Being single means being alone and lonely when all of your friends are either married or involved with someone. It gets boring when you always do it by youself.

  11. Cathleen-627627 June 16, 2011

    Although I think this article missing some more important freedoms associated with being single- such as time to give to others or ability to freely plan your schedule for the benefit or both yourself and others- I understand the perspective. It seems everyone who has posted has a great deal of sadness. Believe me, I understand the pains of being single and the longing for a companion, even though I am still young (not by my definition though, haha). The important thing to remember though is that we cannot become so caught up in the lonliness or even worse, despair, when God has a reason for the path we are on. When the time comes and you are no longer single, you will realize the grass is greener on the other side. Being single means you have a lot more freedom to be involved and give your time and money, whereas when you have a family, things will be completely different. God bless you all in your vocational journey :)

  12. Lisa-16574 June 16, 2011

    No. It sucks when you want to share something with someone, and there isn’t someone to share it with. Being the only adult at family functions who NEVER has a significant other to bring along. To have much younger sisters married and/or in long term relationships. To see high school classmates posting pictures of their grandkids on facebook. I’m sick and tired of people spouting the “embrace being single” schtick…

  13. Cate-291547 June 25, 2011

    This seems to reflect the view of a typical adolescent male commitment-phobe. In this case, I’m sure a lot of Catholic ladies agree that it’s awesome that HE is single!

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