According To A Guy I Know There Are Only Two Kinds of Single People

Island of Misfit Toys

I had lunch with a friend the other day and we were talking about being single. He informed me there are only two kinds of single people. People that are single for a season and people that are single for a reason.

Immediately, my mind exploded in a frenzy of worry. Is that true?! Because being single for a season implies that you’re single for a short amount of time and let be be honest here, it’s been a long time since I was in a relationship. A long time. Looooooong time. Oh man. I’m totally single for a reason. He was still talking about his theory while I was having this little internal meltdown, but I tuned back in just in time to hear- “If you’ve been single for more than a year, you’re probably broken. You belong on the island of misfit toys, you know?” And then my soul started crying and I couldn’t really hear what he was saying over my soul’s ugly sobbing. And then I was like, is this guy even my friend? Because he definitely knows I’ve been single for more than a year.

Once I was able to calm myself down a bit, I mentioned my concerns about his theory. He was undeterred. He maintained that his theory was correct and then spent the rest of the lunch trying to help me figure out what my “reason” was. When I suggested that my “reason” was just that I hadn’t met anyone I felt strongly about, he basically laughed in my face and then kicked me in the kneecaps and then taunted me in French. (In reality, he just chuckled but it was the most oppressive chuckle I have ever heard). Apparently, that is *not* my reason. Apparently, I’m broken in some way I’m still not very clear on. And things got real confusing when he referenced the island of misfit toys again, because I’ve always LOVED the island of misfit toys- I think it’s one of the best parts of that movie. So I was absolutely baffled as to why I wouldn’t want to be on the island of misfit toys, but he explained to me that when toys are misfits it’s cute but when people are misfits it’s not cute. I’m still a little fuzzy on the details.

I think he was a little offended when I decided I found the whole conversation laughable and loudly proclaimed I wanted to be Queen of the island of misfit toys (although I later found out it’s part of the British commonwealth so they technically already have a Queen). I’m sorry, but I just refuse to reduce my singledom to a rhyme. Basing your feelings regarding your romantic life on a rhyme is just a little too juvenile- I mean, if it was in iambic pentameter ala Senor Shakespeare, I would be more than happy to adopt it as my single-girl philosophy, but as it stands I’m afraid that rhyme alone just won’t cut it.  I have standards.

Methinks his theory is complete and utter shite. What say you?

88 thoughts on “According To A Guy I Know There Are Only Two Kinds of Single People

  1. I think being Single for a Reason does not make you broken – you could have a very good reason for being single – like you haven’t met anyone worth dating. A lot of the people who are Single for a Season are so because they will date anyone. I don’t want to date just anyone, I want someone I want! Doesn’t make me broken!

  2. As someone who is recently single…I’m suddenly afraid, very afraid.

    But, like several other people have said, I don’t think he’s necessarily right. What about not settling? What about people who want to be single?

  3. I have a question about your friend. You mentioned that he is never single for long. Does he stay in relationships long or are they short term deals? The reason I ask is because I think maybe there are some “committed” people out there who are “broken” because they can’t stand the thought of being alone. So rather than try being alone for any length of time, they latch on to the next person walking by and hold on until the new wears off or they get sick of each other or whatever wonderful drama happens. Then it’s on to the next drama-filled relationship. I have seen this with a lot of people I know. They’re too scared to stand on their own two feet and feel much more secure being propped up by someone else.

    1. Lots of mostly short-term relationships. Most of the time I don’t even get to meet them before they’re broken up. But I have other friends that definitely fit into the serial-monogamist relationships you were describing. I think that’s what was so confusing to me about this whole conversation because I was like “Really? Out of everyone we know, I’m the broken one?”

  4. I simply don’t understand your friend’s theory, I was single for almost 3 years and I never thought that I am broken or something… during those years I had a few dates but decided not to be in a relationship because just like you I have never met anyone that could be a “potential” partner.

    “Being single used to mean that nobody wanted you. Now it means you’re pretty, sexy and you’re taking your time deciding how you want your life to be and who you want to spend it with” — if I remember it right this is from Sex & The City…

    I guess its true we wont settle for anything less than what we deserve…

    very nice blog!

  5. Utter, utter shite. We’re single because we refuse to settle for something or someone that’s less than what we believe with our heart of hearts is out there waiting for us. Whether it’s a person or a place in life or even a pet. Never, never, ever settle.

  6. …Love is not love
    Which alters when it alteration finds,
    Or Bends with the remover to remove.
    O, no! It is an ever-fixed mark,
    That looks on tempests and is never shaken.
    It is the star to every wandering bark,
    whose worth’s unknown, although his height be taken.

    I believe that in this particular instance, your friend is full of the worst kind of shite. I do not know you personally, or even in any truly tangible way, but, as a follower of your writing, I can say that your voice shines through in your words, and your words are beautiful. As Senor Shakespeare would say, “At Christmas I no more desire a rose / Than wish a snow in May’s new-fangled mirth; / But like of each thing that in season grows.” Enjoy your life now as it is. When your season for love come around, you’ll enjoy that too. I have no doubt of it. Best wishes.

  7. Interesting post. I’d like to know his definition of “reason” as there are many reasons why people are single for many seasons. There are serial daters and serial monogamists (I’m one, but I’m hoping to end that situation someday). But unless one is devoutly anti-relationship I believe that long time singles are just picky in choosing a partner and there is definitely nothing wrong with that.

  8. I say singledom beats being in a twosome cos it helps you to fit in. I’ve been both in my time, single and married (twice). Lots down to chance and circumstance. and chance and circumstance are more fun when you are having fun, alone or with someone else. Your friend is WRONG!! but tell him not to take it personally, once he has opened his eyes to the gorgeous single people in the world, then turned around and looked at all the married people, huh!! Point made. xx

  9. I LOVE your blog! You are a great writer. He has a point, but just because you are single does not mean you are broken, maybe there are just broken men around you. 🙂 I think if someone really wants to be a relationship they will be, and they don’t they won’t. If you really want a relationship there is always online dating think of all the great posts you could get out of something like that!

  10. I have to say I like the firearms’ guy’s explanation.

    Here’s a thought. If you’re blissfully happy being single, and leaving it up to serendipity, that (?) might actually be a little intimidating to someone who might want to join you. I spent my 20s having a fab career and great friends and making good $$$ and traveling — and could never ever find a boyfriend. Men kept telling me how “intimidating” I was. Zzzzzzz.

    But I now, decades later, see their larger point — a guy has to perceive that there’s room for him in your life. I know single women who are so happy they really don’t leave any room for a guy (or girl) in it. Which is fine. But everyone needs to know they’ll be needed.

    One tried and true method (like firearm guy) is to make a very clear list of the qualities you want in a partner. Then don’t date anyone who doesn’t have the top three or five or ten. It worked for me and others I know. It focuses what you most want and allows you to choose — not just be chosen.

    1. Maybe. To be honest, I don’t spend a whole lot of time diving into the male psyche because I wasted a lot of my teenage years doing just that and it never really worked out. I figure, if they like me, they’ll make a move. I’m with you on the idea of making sure the guy you like meets at least a certain number of your ideal qualities. I imagine that saves one a lot of frustration and heartache. Thanks for reading!!!

  11. EVERYone is single for a reason. What’s his point?!
    By reason, I mean:
    – Sucks as a person
    – Has too many cats
    – Doesn’t shower enough
    – Just broke up with someone
    – Busy with work
    – Going through the healing process
    – Reevaluating / Spending time with self

    Now, those reasons can lead to singleness for a season, but how long is a season? Who’s to say that a season can’t last two years? Hmmm?

    Reason. Season. Whatever. The point is that it’s okay to be single. The REAL problem is people being in relationships when they really shouldn’t be, dammit!

  12. I am single, too. Why? Because I refused to put up with bull shite from my now-ex. Now had I smiled and nodded at his every stupid idea, we’d probably still be together. But I’m not a smile-and-nod kinda girl. I have a mind and I’m not afraid to speak it. And I think that is the reason why so many people are single. Others are scared of someone who has any semblance of intelligence or morals. Would I like to be in a relationship? Definitely! But I would rather be alone than lonely with someone.

      1. sounds good to me! 🙂 being with someone does not guarantee that you won’t be lonely or dissatisfied. i found that out in my last relationship. but at least i learned what i WON’T put up with! 🙂

  13. Wow – a lot of comments! Looks like you hit a nerve. I do believe people are single for a reason, many of which have been mentioned in other comments. But that does not equate to broken.

    As for me, I have been single for some time, but I would rather be alone for the rest of my life than be in the wrong relationship – just to be in a relationship. Life is too precious, I am too precious. And that’s a damned good reason.

    But it makes me wonder what your friend is going through that makes him believe single people are broken. He didn’t come up with that shite just for nothing.

    1. I don’t know. He’s never single for long so maybe it’s just a fear of single people. Sort of like a fear of zombies. 😉

      I totally agree that I would rather be single forever than be in the wrong relationship. And thanks for thinking I’m not broken.

      1. Haha! So he’s Single for a Season guy, huh? Next time you have lunch with him, I think you should spend the whole time figuring out his “Reason”. Then you can let us know just exactly how he’s broken.

        Also, zombie fear is a real thing, and as soon as I make up a super long and impressively multi-syllabled name for it, I’m going to start demanding some more respect around here.

  14. Brad says:

    No, you are not broken. Being in a commited relationship means one is readying oneself to for a long term bond, meaning marriage. Marriage means one holds his/her partner above all others. This is a huge commitment and can only be accomplished when one is absolutely sure about the voyage one is about to undertake. Most relationships that don’t consider these factors are doomed to failure. Keep your mind and heart open. Patience and wisdom are the elements for fullfilment.

    Please don’t be so hard on yourself. You never know what’s around the corner.


  15. I would rather be on the island of misfit toys than try on a relationship that didn’t fit any day! I have a feeling there were quite a few awesome parties on that island : ). I think people who have been single for a long time are just people who are strong enough not to latch on to something that doesn’t quite match what they were looking for just for the sake of being “coupled.”

  16. I like Tori’s philosophy: “…single, until you’re not.” So elegant. And sounds like your friend had an ax to grind. His take on things was bunk, total nonsense, pure horse hockey, absolute drivel, sheep dip, and, yes, pure and simple shite! You sound like you’ve got it together so don’t let old Sigmund there get into your head. Rock on!

  17. Thats kinda of a messed up theory. And to say you are broken… kick in the you know where!
    I agree with everyone… this theory of his was bull.
    People always need a reason to define others who aren’t fitting in the norm.
    Do you know how awesome it is that you are doing your own thing on your own terms?
    And soon when you are ready, you will someone on your own terms.
    Come to think of it there has to be an island of misfits for people in relationships…. that is one wild rollarcoaster. Like Lord of the Flies crazy sometimes!

    1. I agree with all comment here but this one is just the best!

      That’s the greatest thing we have doing things in our own terms. I think the “reason” people in relationships feel the need to tag single people into the broken label is probably based on envy. I was judged by an old friend of mine, who cant even go out without her boyfriend better yet do something for herself without consulting him first, and it wasn’t nice at all. Then i realised she was so jelous of my freedom of will that she had to pic on me just to make herself feel better.

  18. His theory must be correct! It rhymes!

    I’m always suspicious of “clever” wisdom. Really there’s one reason people are single: because they’re not involved with anyone at the moment. I suppose with HUGE generalizations, one could lump the reasons that happens in to two categories, but… why? What’s accomplished? Especially when the two categories boil down to “Either because there’s a reason, or because there isn’t a reason.”

    Being single is not a symptom character flaw.

  19. cooper says:

    What if it was a haiku?
    when confronted with
    steaming heaps of trite nonsense
    hurl food at his head

    pfft. broken. as if…

  20. Um, let’s think about this for a minute. Oh, wait, I don’t have to; the bullshitometer is sounding at deafening levels.

    Not being broken has nothing to do with not being in a relationship. You may not be ready, but that doesn’t make you broken just not ready. You may be ready but that doesn’t mean other people in your potential pool of suitors are ready or not broken. And, it may simply be you have standards you aren’t willing to sacrifice and until you find the right person that makes you sensible, not broken.

    Finally, you say you’re happy now, and if you are happy, then you are where you are supposed to be at this time. You won’t find a good relationship if you can’t be happy single. Serendipity happens. You can’t force it. Just relax, don’t let anyone else but you judge you and when, and if, it’s right, be open to it. That’s all there is. Forcing yourself in to a relationship thinking that having a relationship is the answer to your unhappiness or will make you whole is only inviting misery in the long run.

    1. I’m completely and blissfully happy and totally open to meeting someone but not desperately seeking. I absolutely like to leave my love life up to serendipity.

      Also, I think you and I may have the same model of bullshitometer because mine was on high alert when I heard this.

  21. Well, I hope it’s shite, because I’m officially single today after a three-year relationship. And it was a lovely one, but it wasn’t fulfilling my needs, so I can’t saying being in it was a “success,” necessarily. I’m not going to jump into another relationship because I need one to define me, on the contrary – walking away has defined me and made me feel more in touch with myself, what I want, what I require. And I know plenty of “serial monogamists” (ex included) who are only single for a season because they seem to be incapable of being alone. They’re in relationships for a reason, maybe the wrong reason.

    1. Excellent point, my friend! I love my life, and I have a very happy life, so why am I “broken’? The answer is I’m not. I’m not half so broken as many people I know who are in relationships. Welcome to singledom! I can’t speak for everyone but I think it’s kind of a blast. 🙂

  22. A rhyme is only as good as its truth, and I think your friend’s has no proof! 🙂 Sorry I could not help myself. p.s. I love the island of misfit toys too. There are much worse places to end up if you ask me.

  23. Ok So I’ve read your friend’s theory very carefully because I’ve been myself single for years before meeting my boyfriend 6 months ago.
    So I do believe people are single for a reason, you might be “broken” after a relationship like I’ve been. It tooks time to recovery and then you just don’t want to get back in any relationship for being in some relationship, see what I mean ?

    I have standards for relationship, I had enough of short term relationship like a couple of months (what seems to be the standarts for most of the guys in Paris lately), so yes, I’de rather to be single than to be with a “toy boy” like I like to called them.

    Then I met the One, well he is but who knows how things will go ? We can’t never be really sure of anything right ?

    I have this friend here, she just doesn’t share our standards in fact. She can go to one relationship to another one in less than 2 weeks (and then I’m sweet !). Seriously ?! What are her standards ? How could she does that ? I mean, I thought date was about to like someone, to share interests and way of thinking ? Not just to be about, well I found you attractive, let’s be together and then… well not much actually because this kind of relationship never last a long time because when they finally began to know each other, they couldn’t bare each other !

    So yes, be pride of your standards ! You will meet someone who deserved you !! And when you will meet him, believe me, it would have worth all this waiting because you really could enjoy this moment. 😉

  24. Hmmm…. I’m not a Girl and I haven’t been single for 24 years, but I’ll throw in my 2 cents worth.

    I think he’s right in a way, but he implies that the “reason” is something terminally defective about the single person (you) – and I don’t think that’s the case at all. There obviously has to be a reason that you’ve been single longer than you wish to be – unless you believe that stuff just happens on its own with no influence from what we do or the choices we make.

    You and I don’t know each other, so I wouldn’t dream of trying to diagnose your particular “reason”. I’ll just randomly offer up one reason that several single people that I know remain on their own – in spite of their moaning and complaining about not being able to “find Mr./Mrs Right”. This specific reason may or may not apply to you. If it doesn’t there are many, many more to choose from without the “reason” being something wrong with you personally.

    Randomly Chosen “Reason”: Are you aiming right?

    I’m a firearms enthusiast (which is a PC way to say I’m a Gun Nut). You won’t ever hit the target unless you have a good sight picture, identify your target, and actually aim at it. Many of my single friends through the years struggled to find “The One” because they didn’t point themselves even remotely close to the target they were trying to achieve. Women were particularly awful at this. If you pressed them to define “The One”, they described someone that would love them for who they were, support them emotionally, laugh with them, share their interests, be loyal, etc….

    Where did they aim?

    The moody, brooding, self absorbed “hot” guy they worked with at the office. The wild and crazy wannabe rockstar they met at the club. The Armani Suit wearing tool that said we would call, but never followed through. The guy they met who “OMG… Looks just like Brad Pitt!!!!11”….

    Totally ignored were the hundreds of “average Joes” who they came in contact with during the course of a year – none of whom would garner a second glance. My own Sister could be the poster child for lack of proper aiming technique. I’m lost count of how many conversations we’ve had that began, “I wish I could find a guy like you, or Dad.”

    She’s indentified her taget, but judging by the douchebags she dates she’s aiming almost 180 degrees in the wrong direction. Guys like myself, and my Father, don’t even register as a blip on her radar.

    Again, just my 2 cents. If nothing else, remember that even “Charlie-in-the-Box” found someone in the end 🙂

    1. This is really insightful! To be honest, I’m not really aiming at all. I mean, I know what I like in a guy but I’m not actively pursing a relationship. I like to leave that to serendipity and I’ve always really rebelled against the idea that you have to be in a relationship to be “complete”. Having said that, I think your thoughts are dead on. I know many a lady who is eager for a happy and fulfilling relationship but frequently choose to date complete schmucks. Your sister should take your advice.

      1. Firearms guy does make a great point there.

        I, too, always loved the misfit toys. Rudolph is my Christmas Hero. What a great story- that something you are teased for can turn out to be an asset in the right circumstances. Like, this extra 10 lbs or so I’ve gained…if suddenly there is a great drought and widespread famine throughout the land, I will be siiting pretty as my body melts off my assfat and uses it for food. Gives me an extra week to live, methinks. (then I guess we all start eating each others arms off or something like that) Just sayin…

      2. Indeed he does. And your feelings on the end of the world are so inspiring, I think I’ll go eat something really delicious and bad for me because, hey, what I’m really doing is preparing for the worst case scenario. 🙂

  25. interesting…I say this is complete and utter twaddle, pure crap. If people in relationships are ‘fixed’ then why do people cheat on their partners, abuse each other verbally and physically, keep each other locked in addictive, co-dependant disfunctional relationships, have kids and then fail to parent them and get divorced?! I’ve been single for years and I used to sob dramatically into my tea, bemoan my existance and ‘think’ I was broke. I love being single. The only people I need around me are good friends and a healthy dose of self acceptance. Maybe being happily single is being fixed. I’m sure happy, mostly harmonious relationships exist but they are usually because both parties have a sense of individuality and the belief that their state takes constant monitoring and effort. p.s is that the view held by you that the UK is an island of misfit toys or are you speaking of another principality? The way communication is being digitized these days we probably will have to rename it the United Singledom. You didn’t say how you felt about being single?

    1. Your argument was way more brilliantly thought out than mine. 🙂 I wish I had thought of all that. As for being single- I have a truly blissful life. I’m completely and totally happy. If I meet someone and they want to join me in my bliss, then lovely, but if I don’t I’m no less full of joy. The island of misfit toys in another principality – I absolutely adore the UK (I studied there) and would move back tomorrow. 🙂

  26. Yikes. I do think his theory is shit, but that’s mostly because I think its okay to have standards and patience rather than to be in a relationship just to be in one. So if you haven’t met someone that you feel strongly enough about, what’s the problem in that?

    And I, also, always loved the Island of Misfit Toys. Who didn’t? (Maybe that’s the key: finding someone who appreciates the misfits, too.)

  27. S says:

    Single for close to 5 years now and currently in strong like with an emotionally confused man. Can we be co-Queens of the island?

  28. Yes, it’s shite. From the Hallmark-Cards, bumper-sticker, motivational-poster, tee-shirt-slogan, overly-simplistic explanation for complex issues school of thought.

    Here’s one of my own for him: With friends like THAT….. (fill in the blank).

      1. By the way, what was with the “Dolly For Sue” on the Island of Misfit Toys? No square wheels, didn’t dispense jam instead of water, not named Charlie, not covered with polka dots. What, exactly, qualified her as a misfit? I’ve never gotten that.

      2. I thought it was because she was unloved or unwanted by whatever little girl received her….but now that you mention it, I don’t remember them ever explaining why.

  29. You are absolutely right and your ‘friend’ is completely wrong! Many of my friends (me included) hold chance responsible for the relationship they’re in. A series of fortunate events, a will to make things work, and a man who’s worth doing it for, is what I’d say you need. And we all know that such a man doesn’t come around all that often

  30. I think he’s partially right. But case by case 9as is with any “rule” there is always exception). but from looking around the folks I know and hear from… bang on. Reason or season. I do dissagree with the broken thing though, you don’t have to be broken to not be in a relationship. You can be very well and adjusted, but have goals that superseed a relationship at the moment. Some people can’t go “all in” until they have met a certain goal, and feel anything less is well, less. So why do it?

    Case by case. I don’t think you are broken, you are an idealist and not ready to settle for less than you’d give. Not a bad thing.

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