I'm a 50-year-old straight guy in great shape who enjoys a vibrant sex life with multiple partners. Except for one two-year relationship, I've been single my entire adult life. The fact is I enjoy it immensely. I have lots of passions, alone time, a great social life including male and female friends (gay and straight), and I also have the time to dote on my parents. That, in turn, brings a lot of love back. I think everyone around me can see that I'm basically happy, yet that doesn’t stop them from constantly harping on me to settle down and even have kids. There's an underlying assumption that there’s something wrong with me, even by the same people who are unhappy in their coupledom. How should I rebut their concerns? It’s insulting and rude.
He Said: I see this same phenomenon you describe in my gay friends, who should know better. I jokingly refer to them as "queer monkeys," because they are always grabbing the next banana that comes along after devouring the last one. They can't stand the thought of being alone, and this leads to all kinds of bad decisions and premature breakups. Oh, the drama of it all! When I advise them that it might make sense to learn to be happy alone first because it will make their relationships stronger, they claim that I must have "intimacy issues" for spending prolonged periods of my life single. Basically, they are simply enforcing societal pressure on the unwilling. In fact, there’s no one script that works for all people. Resist attempts to make you feel guilty for avoiding the relationship trap that so many people fall into. Stay true to yourself.
She Said: It seems to me that if you’ve got the skills to build such a full, well-balanced and happy life, especially an ongoing sex life that involves juggling multiple women without drama, you should be more than able to rebuff your friends’ biased proclamations with grace and wit. Since the family is the building block of our society, there will likely always be some level of social pressure to conform to “family values.” Marriage and parenthood require a lot of mental discipline and support, so spouses and parents tend to both seek out others in the same boat and create more of those others, in order to beef up their battlements, so to speak. Lone wolves like you pose both a direct and subtle threat to the nuclear families around them. After all, you might someday catch the eye of a harried wife and mother whose husband is not in such great shape and does not provide her with a vibrant sex life. Or your weekly poker nights with her husband might convince him that the grass is greener on the single side of the fence, where one has the time to both exercise and have sex. I’m half-joking, of course, but only half. At any rate, the next time some Coupledom Ambassador suggests you settle down, I suggest you respond in the most heartfelt, honest, and concise way possible. Look at him or her earnestly and slowly say, “I appreciate that but I am so. Happy. Being. Single. I just love it. I have zero desire to couple up.” Resist the urge to say anything more. Believe me, this will stick in your friend’s mind for a long, long time to come.
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