Skip to main content

Quirkyalone (What Relationship Label Will I Accept?)

A new word for today: quirkyalone*. It's a neologism that wikipedia says refers to someone "who enjoys being single (but is not opposed to being in a relationship) and generally prefers to be alone rather than dating for the sake of it."

That is me.

Here's the thing, though. I don't really like the phrase. It's a compound of two words that I don't think accurately describe me - or at least don't flatter me.

First off, quirky. Sure, maybe I'm quirky. Everyone is a little bit strange in their own special (and sometime endearing) way. We all have little idiosyncrasies that mark as our own individual selves. But frankly, I don't think my contentedness and purposeful approach to dating is quirky, and I don't want that label attached to it.

And then, alone. If there is one thing I've internalized in the past three years of my life, it is that I am not alone. I have a plentiful network of friends and family who care for me deeply. I know people who are dating and/or married who experience just as much "aloneness" as I do; maybe more. To say that I am alone draws a distinction of haves and have-nots that I don't believe is true.

This conundrum has been brewing for awhile; I am just not satisfied with the most common options for explaining/defining my romantic status. And yet I recognize that these labels are inevitable and, at times, helpful. So which one do I stick on myself?


Single - carries the stigma of the ages, plus its social implications run parallel to those of alone.

Unmarried - anything that defines me by what I am not is instantly suspect. What other avenues of our lives do we do this in? Unemployed. Another loaded word... (Anything else?)

Not-yet-married - a doozy! Not only is it a negative descriptor, but it implies & assumes that I will someday marry, which we don't know is true! It's counting on a promise that can't be assured, and it builds up false hopes.

Independent - I tend to like this one, except that it inversely suggests that married or dating women are not independent. And while there is a measure of truth to that, it is not as if these women are dependent. They most certainly are still their own unique and contained selves who function and think and feel and experience life separately from their significant others.

Autonomous - same as above. Plus, I am not fully autonomous/independent. No human is. I don't want to pretend to be, because that isn't healthy and leads to a lot of pride and a lot of headaches and a lot of expectations I can't possibly meet.

Solo - I think this is my favourite. It has no implications on the partnered people. It doesn't carry any negative weight (I don't think?) and although I should never refer to myself as "riding solo," it is a term that has some presence/weight in popular culture.


What are your thoughts, friends? What terms do you like/dislike to describe your marital/dating/romantic status? Are there any common labels I've overlooked?



*thanks to Sarah for introducing me to this crazy word, via the wonders of Twitter and UberFacts (whom I often doubt, but were accurate today).

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Fostering FAQ: How Can You Say Goodbye?

It seems I finally have something(s) to say... Here's the first in a short (or maybe long?) series on Fostering FAQs. If you've got a question to add, feel free to comment/email/text/message me and maybe the next post will be in response.

--

8:30 am on Day 4 of parenting. I woke up in a panic two hours ago because I remembered that there is a baby and I am responsible for her (at least at 6:30am, when the man beside me will snore through anything). Now, I have put on clothes and eaten breakfast. The dogs are walked, there is a loaf of banana bread in the oven. My tea is steeping. Most importantly, Dream Baby is already down for her first nap.

Despite my morning efficiency, I'm already beginning to see that even with the happiest, most easygoing, and smiliest baby, like we somehow managed to be given, parenting is a grind. On Friday night, I couldn't join friends for $5 pints at a local joint. Instead, I blearily washed the same 8 bottles again, and then made another ba…

Fostering FAQ: How Long Will She Stay/Will You Adopt Her?

Our first foster baby came with about 18 hours notice; it was respite care, which means we had him for a few days while his regular foster family had a break/dealt with a family emergency. He stayed 3 nights, long enough to come to church and have a dozen people cooing over his little sleeping cheeks.  With each new visitor to our quiet corner, I explained again that he would be going back to his foster family the next day.

Barely a week later, we got a 9am phone call with a fostering request and by the same afternoon, we were snuggling her. This time, we had her for 4 days before church came around. Again, our community was keen to see the little one we had in tow. Again, the question, "How long will she stay?" And this time, "Are you going to adopt her?"

--

Here in Toronto, when a child is placed in foster care, it is always for an indefinite length of time. It depends on the parents' situation, and whether they are able to make a safe home environment for th…

Fostering FAQ: What's Her (Mom's) Story?

This is probably the second most common question I hear about the baby currently in our care, right after, "Will you keep her?"

It comes in many forms:

"So, what's her story?"
"Is her mom in the picture?"
"How did she end up in your home?
"Is her mom a drug addict?"
"How could a mom not love such a cute baby!"

I get it. It's natural curiousity, and I know I've asked similar questions of my friends who are adoptive parents.


But here's what I'm learning: a child's story is their own. And equally as important, the parent's story is their own.

Imagine how it might feel to hear that for the foreseeable future, you are not allowed to care for your child. On top of whatever difficult circumstances you are already in - perhaps poverty, social isolation, lack of adequate housing, domestic violence, intergenerational trauma, drug or alcohol dependency, low cognitive functioning, or a myriad of other complex strug…