The single life: Is it something you yearn to put behind you or something you ache to get back? There's a saying that implies that it's human nature never to be quite satisfied with what you've got. But when it comes to being in a relationship, or not, where do you stand? We talked to 10 Canadian women about what they miss most about their lives as single gals.
Here's what they had to say:
"What I miss most about being single is not being able to pick up and go anywhere I want, any time I want. I'm a free-spirited person by nature and being married means that I have to consider another person's needs and wants, which isn't always conducive to spontaneity. I love my husband and I adore all of our travels together but sometimes I miss the fun and adventure I had as a crazy single girl who could hop on a plane and head off to the south of France at a moment's notice. Not that I did that all the time, but I loved the fact that I knew I could."
-- Tara Smith
"Generally I don't really miss being single, but there are some aspects that I do look back on fondly ... not feeling as guilty about the expensive shoes, only having to manage your own schedule and having clean clothes (as opposed to being dirty around the knees from sticky fingers). The one thing I miss the most, though, is having the bed to myself. That was huge and I never appreciated it until I had to share everything. All of these things seem minor though when you put it into perspective. I'm very lucky to have a husband who humours my whims and children who are delightful and healthy. So really, what's sharing the bed, in the grand scheme of things?"
-- Rachelle Lalonde
"The thing I miss the most about singlehood is being the sole master of my own life. The ability to go out when I wanted, with whom I wanted, and do what I wanted is a very precious thing that I never really fully appreciated until I didn't have it anymore. Being in a relationship has lots of terrific benefits, but the catch is that you have to consider someone else's feelings and needs along with your own. And most of the time, unless you really like conflict, you end up putting those feelings and needs ahead of your own."
-- Jaye Christenson
"What I miss most about being single is the freedom to just pick up and go on a whim, be it as simple as spontaneous plans for dinner with the girls after work or something bigger like a last-minute vacation. Everything requires more planning and coordinating when you're married and have another person's schedule to think about. Plus, it's just being considerate to let your partner know when you make plans. That said, as much as I miss those carefree days at times, I really wouldn't change a thing. Life with my husband may require more planning but it's also much richer because of him, too! It's a small sacrifice at the end of the day."
-- Sarah Rogers
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"What I miss most about being single is eating Corn Pops for dinner in front of the television in my pajamas. I miss hanging out with my girlfriends all night, crashing on a couch and sleeping off a hangover in the morning. I miss Sunday brunch while reading the paper. Now that I'm married and have kids, I'm always rushing from one thing to the next -- chasing time. I love my family and wouldn't change it for the world but it would be nice to walk through life instead of run. But maybe only for a week…then I'd probably get bored!"
-- Karen Hazan
"Luckily I'm married to a man that doesn't make me miss singledom very much. Socially, we continue to do most of the things we did as single people. Now, we just do a few of them together. But the one thing I do miss is making the seemingly insignificant decisions. For example, in the past, on a night I didn't feel like eating, much less cooking, I'd have a bowl of cereal for dinner. But cereal for two isn't such a big hit. And when I was single, it was easier to go on an impromptu shopping spree without feeling hampered by responsibility. Now I feel that pesky angel hovering over my shoulder whispering, 'do you really need that? There's a furnace to pay for.' For the record, my husband doesn't begrudge me anything. But being married is a little like being Catholic -- sometimes you just feel a little guilty."
-- Liz Walsh
"I don't really miss anything about being single, although I miss a lot of things about being pre-child, like time for me, time to read, time to sleep in, eating whatever I want when I want, etc. I suppose, if pressed, one thing I sort of miss about singlehood is just having one opinion (mine!) to consider when decorating my home. My partner is very opinionated about design and decor, so every decision turns into a huge discussion. On the plus side, he's willing to do the actual painting and yard work, so I can't really complain."
-- Yuki Hayashi
"What I miss sometimes is when single girlfriends go for brunch on a Saturday morning or make spontaneous plans to do things, like go shopping. It's not that I can't do those things anymore; I just have to balance time with my girlfriends and time with my boyfriend. And sometimes because I have a boyfriend, single girlfriends don't always think to include me because it's assumed I'll be spending time with my boyfriend. I also think all women would agree that they miss that first thrill of a new relationship -- those exciting days/weeks where you are getting to know a new person -- wondering if they'll call, what they think of you."
-- Tara Nolan
"Although some may be reluctant to admit it, when you're in a long-term relationship you can easily run the risk of going from a whole person to a half of a whole. What I miss most about being single is my time being my own. Not 'me time.' (I hate that term. Moms who protest about not having me time need a healthy dose of reality.) What I mean is not always having to account for my time with anybody else but me, and not feeling guilty when I do. I definitely think excessive, unreasonable amounts of guilt are a phenomenon of 'halves.'"
-- Paula Aquilina-Shin
"What do I miss most about being single? I miss the freedom to spend my days doing frivolous things. Like booking a day at the spa with my girlfriends. Hanging out at a friend's house, eating ice cream, watching chick flicks and flipping through magazines. I miss days spent talking on the phone and painting my nails. Don't get me wrong; I wouldn't go back in time and change the life I currently have, or give up my husband and kids, but there are definitely times when I yearn for those days, which seem so much more carefree in retrospect."
-- Jane Strazzeri
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