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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).


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