Dear Cynthia,

I’m divorced and in my 30s. I’m an executive at my own company and that pretty much takes up all my time. I’m super proud of my business accomplishments but the romantic ones not so much. I have no problem with married people but I just don’t see that in my future again. The problem is I don’t even have any interest in dating. Like none whatsoever. And I’m fine with that. My family and friends all say “don’t worry, it’s just because you haven’t found the RIGHT person yet”…I don’t WANT to find the right person! People drain you. They suck the life out of you and they want you all to themselves. In my experience if you want a happy romance you have to lose yourself in the process. I’m happy being alone. Is this normal? Why do I feel like something must be wrong with me? Am I asexual? All I care about is work. Am I the ONLY person on the planet who feels this way?

Signed,

Single & Don’t Want to Mingle

 

Dear Single & Don’t Want to Mingle:

Since when does being single and successful mean that you’re either asexual or that something must be wrong with you? It seems to me that you’re a very smart, independent woman who is passionate about her job, steadfast, determined. You’re proud of your work (which a lot of people aren’t, so props to you on that), and it’s a major positive force in your life.

This is all great!

But we do need to talk about a few things. Because as confident as you are in what you do, and as much as you don’t seem to have any voids in your life to worry about, I still sense a little subconscious aggression and animosity when it comes to relationships. (And I know you might be quick to say no! about that, but I want to delve into this sincerely for you.)

Single Stigma

Look, I totally understand how annoying and frustrating it can be when friends and family keep pressuring you with the “finding the right person” stuff—especially when it isn’t something you’re currently looking for. All you probably want is for them to keep their opinions to themselves and stop forcing all these ideas down your throat. And it isn’t like you’re clueless when it comes to this stuff, either. You’re a grown woman who’s been there, done that, and knows now that “finding the right person” just isn’t a priority.

What concerns me about this, though, is your viewpoint on what finding someone actually means. The fact that you’re so happy to be alone is a beautiful thing and if that really is the case (which it seems it is) then you should continue to believe in that. I just don’t want you to hinder yourself to potential opportunities (it always happens when you aren’t looking, by the way) just because you think that you have to lose yourself in order to love someone. Love shouldn’t “suck the life out of you” at all. In fact, the right kind of love should have the complete opposite effect. (Perhaps this is stemming from why you got a divorce?)

Single Doesn’t Suck

The point is I just don’t want you to be so quick to assume the worst. And I don’t want you to feel like you owe anyone an explanation as to why you want to be single—especially when that explanation has a bit of a negative tinge. Just because you are divorced doesn’t mean that there isn’t anyone good out there. If you really don’t want to date anybody, then don’t.

I’d rather have you say, “I am single. I am not looking to date anyone right now because I am focusing on my career.” PERIOD. I don’t want you to say, “I am single right now because people suck the life out of you.” See the difference? Feel the difference? The first way of saying it is so light and positive, while the second weighs heavy with that subconscious aggression and animosity I mentioned earlier. You’re better than that!

As a successful businesswoman you understand the importance of the word “opportunity.” And that’s what I want for you in your personal life. I want you to keep the door open (even if you think you don’t want to), and I want you to start focusing on other things besides work that you enjoy doing. Do something different. Have a little fun. I also think it will take away some of the pressure, so you can stop wondering if something is wrong with you, if you’ve become asexual, or if what you’re going through is normal. It’s time to let that stuff go. There is nothing wrong with you. Do you!

PERIOD.

 

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