Photo Jul 14, 12 57 20 PM

5 months ago by

I’m single, and…

· It’s scary. At first, when you’ve never been single before, it’s scary. You feel kind of empty. Then, little by little, you discover peace. You’re still a bit afraid, but afraid and at peace.

· Being single also means realizing all the guys think they have a chance with you, so sometimes you find yourself wanting to say: “Nope, not even in your dreams, dude!!!” But instead you say: “No, I mean, I adore you, but I really don’t think we’d be compatible, you and I.”

· Being single means going on a dating app, then deleting the dating app, then going back on the dating app, then deleting the dating app…

· But it also means having to listen to advice from all your coupled friends on “how to meet the love of your life” and “how they did it” and nodding and saying thank you, instead of saying: “Are you serious? Your relationship is my nightmare!!!”

· In fact, being single means admitting there aren’t many couples out there who make you want to be in one. And the ones who do, don’t have any advice for you. It means asking yourself some seriously existential questions about what you really want, whether the old model of the nuclear family really fits you, or if you just want to be as free as the air, ultimately.

· It also means reading statistics that say the happiest women are the ones who are single and don’t have kids, and that reassures you for two seconds.

· But being single also means realizing that if being married is seen as a success, an objective, the shortest path to happiness and something to be endlessly celebrated, then being single is seen as a failure – nobody ever celebrates singleness.

· So being single means realizing you’re doing just fine, and other people’s opinions only have an influence on your life if you internalize them. It means working on yourself to free yourself from those opinions, only to realize how deeply rooted the opinions of others are in you.

· Being single means imagining you’re going to meet someone.

· Then sometimes you meet someone, and you look at them like you’d look at a piece of furniture at IKEA. Will he fit in my living room? If I move the sofa a little, that could work. Oh no, shoot, I’ll have to get rid of the table.

· Or you meet someone and fall to pieces like a teenager, get butterflies in your stomach waiting for a text, analyze every word with a friend, wrack your brain, and tell yourself that deep down, you’re still a child.

· Or you meet someone, think they’re great on every level – intelligent, calm, great sense of humor – and watch them leave the party with a young model twenty years younger than them.

· It means realizing that when you’re looking at someone like a piece of IKEA furniture, it’s probably time to ask for the check and go home, alone and in peace.

· Being single means meeting yourself. Realizing you didn’t really know yourself very well. And falling in love with yourself.

· But being single also means realizing that despite all your sensible feminist discourse, filled with freedom and philosophical questioning, you still have an empty space in your life in the shape of a man. And maybe it’s time to learn how to live for yourself.

· Being single means thanking life every time a shitty love story doesn’t happen. Seeing the same guy arrive at another party with another model, twenty-five years younger than him this time. Love may not have borders, but it can still have some big cliches.

· Because being single also means realizing you’re like a car that heats up around men. Because you want to be loved, or desired, or simply to experience something. And sometimes all it takes is letting the engine cool down for a couple of days to realize the guy you were obsessing over was in fact Hannibal Lecter mixed with Shrek, and the only reason you found him attractive was… well, shit!!! You don’t even know! Maybe you just felt like being attracted to someone, just to see.

· And being single means having lots of guy friends. And lots of friends in general. Guy friends you can do everything with, whenever they are available. Flirt, have them air up your tires, go see a concert, go to dinner, talk about life, talk about women. Learn about the vulnerability of men. God, are they vulnerable.

· Having guy friends means realizing that the big mystery we’re all trying to figure out about them… is that there is no mystery, after all.

· Being single means hearing the same stories over and over forever. “There are no men left” “Dating in LA is hell” “All men are children” and letting it get to you until you remember those are just words, and that making generalities are just fear.

· Being single, in a country you weren’t born in, means finally understanding the immense cultural canyons between us. But it also means telling yourself the solution isn’t to find a Frenchman, because after ten years of living in the U.S., there are also cultural canyons between you and the French. So you find yourself sitting on the fence, thinking that just like with everything else, the answer is to stop making generalities and go on being curious.

· Being single means being super tense after decades of relationships and social conditioning. Like a bird coming out of its golden cage, not knowing exactly where to go or what to do with its freedom. So, it stays right there, looking at the open door, observing. Then starting to imagine what life could be like outside. Getting scared, returning to the cage, all the way in the back, facing the wall then finally turning back toward that open door, looking at the scenery, finding it full of possibilities. And maybe one day, finally flying away.

· Being single means creating a life for yourself. Beautiful, big, open to your dreams. And knowing that people will always come and go, but your only role is to laugh and enjoy the moment. And to love. Men, women, children, animals…

· And if one day your life companion does show up, he’ll simply join in the curve of your flight – no effort, no drama.

Translated by Andrea Perdue

79 comments

Add yours
  • Caroline Milon July, 15 2019, 10:14 / Reply

    magnifique!

  • tout est dit! et puis question géographie alors, le moment venu, il ne sera probablement ni français, ni américain, mais , tiens, pourquoi pas, un sud -américain!
    bises chère Garance

  • Ah thank you! So true! I am single, over 40, childless, and HAPPY to be free from immature partners. Also I agree, looking at couples I know, there are FEW that inspire me. There are also cultural issues with the American mindset, and generational/ gender/ power dynamics. For me, I see true power and freedom comes in making oneself first- loving oneself, being consistent with oneself, being present to oneself. Then lovers come as an addition to the self that I already embody, not, as I was conditioned to believe, as the magic bullet that would make me exist in the first place. Then lovers bring excitement and joy that move though me like all other feelings not obsessive mood swinging ‘ are you gonna validate me’ insanity. Key: meditation, journaling, and read the book “If the Buddha Dated”. Its a lot of responsibility to make myself every day but when I free my lovers from creating me to myself I can enjoy them as people, not as objects. I then have compassion for the way they seek lovers to make them- and then I can decide if they just want a ‘sexy mommy’ and if I want to deal with that LOL.

  • Pour ajouter mon petit grain de sel à la conversation, être célibataire est aussi une occasion de déterminer ce qu’on veut dans sa vie et de sa vie. C’est savoir qu’on veut rencontrer un homme qui a le don de nous aider à s’épanouir et de grandir dans un monde complexe et souvent chaotique. C’est aussi apprendre comment rire de soi-même, y compris de nos contradictions et absurdités. Un homme et une femme seront toujours plus complexes qu’un meuble Ikea. Savoir l’accueillir dans notre vie est tout un talent.

  • I love this. I’ve been a single mom for over 11 years. Dated on and off. Every single word you wrote is the beautiful truth about being single. I just started dating again after a year long break of not dating–I am having so much fun! I’ve just realized that I don’t have to get married, be in a serious relationship, have a boyfriend or any other form of ‘conscious coupling.’ I can just have fun. Watching my single girlfriends get in unhealthy relationships/marriages because they feel that they have to has made me very sad and determined not to make that mistake. The best part about getting older and being single is that I have learned from past relationships what I do not want. When ever I am asked advice about marriage or being single I always have the same response: Being single has its good and its bad points; being married has its good and its bad points–the trick is to find happiness in whatever state you are in.

  • Mariateresa July, 15 2019, 10:55 / Reply

    CLAP CLAP CLAP!!!!!!!

  • Laure NAVARRO July, 15 2019, 11:11 / Reply

    Pourquoi faut-il choisir ? Entre être avec quelqu’un et être célibataire? Je m’explique. Pourquoi lorsque l’on rencontre quelqu’un il faut abandonner cette liberté que l’on a quand on est célibataire. Et pourquoi ne vivre un bel amour tout en gardant notre esprit de célibataire. Je ne parle pas de polygamie (je ne suis pas prêteuse), je parle simplement de ce temps que l’on prend à soi quand on est célibataire et que l’on abandonne tellement vite quand on rencontre quelqu’un. Et pourquoi juger toujours tout. Oui je suis célibataire et alors! Oui j’ai 40 ans et sans enfant et alors ! Oui nous vivons sans être mariés et alors ! Le monde qui nous entoure nous met dans des “cases” et c’est tellement dur d’en sortir et d’accepter de ne pas y être. J’ai bientôt 45 ans, et enfin j’accepte de ne pas être dans une “case”. Pourtant mariée (depuis 1 an). Des enfants (deux jumelles qui ont mis 6 ans à arriver). On pourrait dire que je suis dans la “bonne case”, et pourtant je me sens différente, car je ne veux pas, je ne veux plus être dans une “case” et être jugée. Soyons libre d’être qui l’on veut être ! De vivre la vie que l’on a envie ! Surtout que l’on ne choisit jamais en réalité. Nous suivons des chemins qui nous mènent à d’autres chemin. Mais ne jugeons pas. Soyez libre Garance d’être celle que vous voulez être à présent, et oui tellement différente de celle d’y a 10 ans, 5 ans, 1 an… Mais j’espère enfin heureuse.

  • ?

  • Yes and yes, and yes and yes. Pros and cons everywhere and always, but trying to make decisions based on joy rather than fear.

  • So refreshing. So funny. So true.

  • This was great! I wish you nothing but peace & contentedness. I was single for 10+ years before I met my now husband. We met when we were 44. Too late to have kids. We have a great relationship, and we both feel very lucky. He was divorced. I had only had one long distance relationship that lasted over 6 months: every other “relationship” died at 6 months because I knew they weren’t right and I got away as quickly as possible. Being with the right person is such a revelation. And being single is so much better than being with someone who isn’t kind, loving, funny, or whatever it is that you need from a partner. My best friend, and many of my amazing, wonderful, talented, attractive women friends are single. Most of them would like to be in a relationship, but can’t find their person. I didn’t do anything differently than they did while dating. I just got lucky. The universe gave me a break. That is all. Wishing everyone who wants a relationship some universe-luck. There is nothing wrong with you. And for those who don’t care or who don’t want one, I hope they enjoy being free and indulgent with their time, their friends & family. Life is short, so we must be kind to ourselves. It doesn’t matter what other people think. Finding our own contentedness, with or without a partner, is part of the life journey.

  • I love this! I have always believed the same that it’s so much about luck. A lot of beautiful, interesting women are single so it’s not that they miss something. Just the chance. Interestingly I am now searching for a new job and I feel really much the same way – not receiving some position where I was a strong candidate..it’s easy to take it personally but it’s not just about the skills and who I am, it’s also luck – who you run against to, what is the “chemistry” you have with the employer etc. So I hope for the break from the universe also :) thanks for this!

  • Amen, sister. I met my husband (on a dating site!) when I was 45 and, oh, how I tortured myself for being single before we met! What was wrong with me? What was I doing wrong? It was all my fault. The thing I remember most about our first date was realizing with a start – an hour in – that I was actually comfortable and being myself, the way I would with someone I wasn’t on a date with. I wasn’t performing, I wasn’t trying to get him to like me, I wasn’t trying to be special or impressive or sexy or, or, or…… That had never happened with a man before. To those single women out there: if you want to be in a relationship, don’t give up! If you don’t want to be in a relationship, say that loudly and proudly to all of the people asking you why you’re *still* single! The shaming of single women in this society is shameful. Thank you, Garance, for your consistently honest, bracing and vulnerable voice! XOXO

  • Très beau texte, merci.

  • il faudrait juste que “ne pas être célibataire” ne soit JAMAIS le contraire de tout cela… Mais au contraire, un accroissement de soi… Et si de temps à autre, on étouffe un peu, savoir prendre un petit envol, seul… parfois quels jours suffisent

  • Christelle July, 15 2019, 2:52 / Reply

    profite de ces moments car, de toute façon, une nouvelle histoire se profilera “avec le bon sur le moment”, c’est certain <3

  • Aurelia July, 15 2019, 3:21 / Reply

    Merci pour ces jolis mots Garance !

  • patricia July, 15 2019, 3:23 / Reply

    date yourself well and be the great love of your life ! focus on being the right person you want to meet and ask the universe to send you a good match if you desire one. that’s what I was doing when I was single at 46 and he showed up !!! we are now married and in a happy relationship. work on yourself and your life and let the universe work its magic for you !

  • Just wonderful.

  • Sylvie July, 15 2019, 4:13 / Reply

    Love your writing!
    If ever you are in Belgium, let me know.
    Kiss

  • “Etre celibataire est considere comme un echec. Personne ne celebre le celibat.”
    C’est bien dommage !

  • Maxine July, 15 2019, 4:21 / Reply

    Garance, the global treasure.

  • Laurène July, 15 2019, 4:34 / Reply

    Apaisant et puissant
    Belle plume qui permet aux oiseaux d’aller loin
    Avec mes meilleurs messages

  • Je commente rarement mais le post m interpelle. Je pense tout d abord qu il aurait fallu l appeler être célibataire et non pas être libre. La vie de couple n est pas un enfermement. J ai des amis et si je décide partir qq jours avec eux eux cela ne pose pas de pb à mon mari. Oui j’ ai des discussions à m en plus finir avec mes amis majoritairement des garçons. Je pense qu’il faut garder une part d indépendance dans le couple etJe ne comprends pas Les couples qui font tout ensemble. J aime partager ma vie avec mon mari et je l aime d autant plus que il me laisse de l espace. Je ne prone absolument pas l amour libre pas du tout je ne m’imagine pas une demie seconde avec qq un d autre mais si je suis bien ma vie de famille sera harmonieuse. Pour moi Se sentir libre c est avant tout dans sa tête, aller à la rencontre de soi est une démarche personnelle que l on soit en couple ou non. Il y a des personnes qui sont tjs étonnées de savoir que je suis mariée dps 25 ans (me suis mariée très jeune) avec enfants tout ça parce que je fais un tas de choses sans mon mari et lui en fait de même de son côté. Le souci c est le regard ou le jugement de la société dès que ne rentre pas dans une case. Je suis bien bien dans ma vie de famille même si elle n est pas “classique” selon certains mais cela ne regarde que moi et ma famille.

  • So true!
    “Or you meet someone, think they’re great on every level – intelligent, calm, great sense of humor – and watch them leave the party with a young model twenty years younger than them.” – I’ve been through this dozens of times, and nonetheless I’m surprised every single time. The only difference now is that I laugh (and not just cry).
    The status of single men as powerful and free is unquestioned. Women are still struggling to own it, not entirely believing (or feeling, even if they believe) that this single way of life can, too, be happy and complete. I admire all women who made it happen.

  • Britta July, 15 2019, 5:25 / Reply

    How beautiful, funny and true.

  • sarakamolovna July, 15 2019, 8:17 / Reply

    boy did i need to hear this today. thank you, G!

  • Hélène July, 15 2019, 10:10 / Reply

    Se sentir libre pour moi n’a rien à voir avec le fait d’être célibataire ou en couple. Je crois qu’ici, c’est plus un texte sur le célibat que sur la liberté. Car même en couple on passe par cette période de sortir des conditionnement culturels et il faut également se créer une vie à soi.

  • Thank you for this amazing article ??

  • Spot on, but then it’s all been said before. It’s one of the oldest story lines in history. Bottom line, it’s nice to be loved by that one special person. It orients you in a way no other relationship does, or can. I don’t know any women who are happy alone, and I resent how they make women feel who don’t like being alone. My husband and I have made it to 35 years because we were able to ride out the difficult times. And, I was forgiving. And, we didn’t have kids. And I understand I can never be, and why should I ever be, everything he needs. And did I mention that I was forgiving? And, we were lucky. We’re 66 but I don’t take anything for granted. He’s still a charming, good looking man.

  • Interesting that you mention how’forgiving’ you are more than once in the description of your marriage. I can’t help but wonder if you compromise more of yourself to remain in the relationship as a means of security, given your age. As you haven’t experienced ‘singledom’ since the age of 31, I question your point of view, and based on your comment, your lack of empathy, towards single women, especially past the age of 40. Marriage is never a guarantee and should not be used as a position of superiority over single women or men, nor does the amount of emotional work within a marriage ensure the success of the relationship. Divorce can happen at 70. I’ve seen it before.

  • Karen, Garance’s piece made me sad and every time I read something like it I realize, I just got lucky. I mention that I am forgiving because I know marriage is not easy. We are all human. I was, and remain, able to see my part in the shortcomings instead of blaming everything on my husband. I’ve seen too many relationships dissolve over temporary lapses, bad decision making. I am especially sensitive to people who are looking for love, my heart breaks for my friends who want a partner, and deserve a partner. I’ve had my heart broken and it’s the worst pain imaginable, and I would only wish it on an enemy. I have learned to just let my friends vent, to be there for them, and not to judge. I feel anything but superior. I feel fortunate, I take nothing for granted. I know divorce can happen after 66 which is why I still work hard at staying married. I’m just a bad writer, but believe me, I’m not lording anything over anyone. Just sharing.

  • Cece,
    So beautifully said. I think we all hope that we can be lucky in love. Forgive my commentary – underneath it is someone (me – could you guess?) who is building a new life after a 20 year marriage that was anything but healthy. I find that I empathize with someone in a similar place in their life, because I understand what they are going through – the confusion, the pain, but most of all, the longing to love and be loved in return. It is who we are as human beings, what we are here to do, to be – love. Thank you for your kindness to my response.
    Karen

  • Teresa July, 16 2019, 2:57 / Reply

    Bravo, I loved every word. Great work!

  • Jorge Alexandre Teixeira July, 16 2019, 3:10 / Reply

    ÉS LINDA DEMAIS , Garance !!!
    and aaaa, I think you can add this to your list:
    Being single is to like having your house always tidy,arriving home from work and feeling like: « I’m not gonna do Sh*t, today !!!» Then 2 hours later, going to kitchen or to the bathroom you start to get annoyed seeing your sneakers scattered on the floor, your backpack where is not supposed to be, bread crumbs in the kitchen counter, dishes to wash… and all of a sudden, with a lit bit of rage, you clean your mess up in like …7 minutes!

    Beijinho Grande de Lisboa !!!

  • Sandra July, 16 2019, 4:05 / Reply

    Beautifully and truthfully written…. and si hear you celebrating being single sometimes !
    Such a shock to find this super contrasting ad at the bottom of your post where all we see is breasts ( the models face is cut off !) bubbling out of s tight b’ack corset!

  • Tara troussier July, 16 2019, 5:26 / Reply

    Merci!

  • My-Linh July, 16 2019, 8:15 / Reply

    Merci Garance pour la beauté et la justesse de ces mots.

  • The most beautiful words to describe the joy, confusion, vulnerability of the single life. ?

  • Christine July, 16 2019, 10:32 / Reply

    Bravo Garance…I am over 40, single with 2 kids and know exactly what you are talking about here. I feel we are walking the same path in that we are both discovering who we really are and as much as it is wonderful, it is scary all the same. Keep going, chin up…open heart, open arms, open mind. Good luck to you! xoxo

  • Virginie July, 16 2019, 11:20 / Reply

    C’est beau. C’est juste. Que le chemin est beau. Qu’il est simple de se reconnaître dans ces mots. Et pourtant je ne suis plus célibataire. Mais à 44 ans, sans enfants, je connais ce chemin…Et ces amis qui pensent nous sauver (de quoi?) en nous racontant leur vie rêvée (pour eux seulement). Merci. Et bravo.

  • Applause for your great post and the wise words! :)

  • Valérie July, 16 2019, 1:13 / Reply

    Mariée depuis 22 ans, mère de trois enfants, je me sens profondément célibataire depuis toujours… Personne n’a le droit de voler ma vie… Ni conjoints ni enfants, ni parents.

  • Nanette Catarinella July, 16 2019, 3:17 / Reply

    Did I miss something? I thought Garance was engaged to be married?

  • Shannon July, 16 2019, 4:35 / Reply

    Just because you don’t know any women that are happy alone doesn’t mean they don’t exist.

  • The heart has its reasons of which reason knows nothing.
    Blaise Pascal

  • For someone who’s been single forever, this list is so true — poignant, bittersweet, and lovely. Thanks, Garance! You’re doing well, so far. :)

  • Someday, somewhere – anywhere, unfailingly, you’ll find yourself, and that, and only that, can be the happiest or bitterest hour of your life.
    – Pablo Neruda

  • So much of this resonates with me. Yes, I do just want to find him attractive!! Written from the heart, from experience and with a sense of whimsy. Loved every word ?? And how you end it with men, women and animals ????

  • Janet Teacher July, 17 2019, 9:19 / Reply

    And when you do meet someone, which you will when least expecting it as I did at your age, you must keep it to yourself as a precious thing and not make it part of your public space. Keep it private and special. Don’t make it the subject of the day. Bonne chance and wishing you all good things.

  • Lisa Walker July, 18 2019, 2:59 / Reply

    yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes,,,,,,,,,,,,

  • Merci <3

  • Lysanne July, 18 2019, 8:17 / Reply

    Belle ode à la liberté, et non pas au célibat…
    Tu dis : “se rappeler que tout ça, c’est juste des mots, et que les généralités, c’est le chemin le plus court vers la banalité.”
    Je veux bien, mais j’ai l’impression que tu viens de faire l’opposé en décrivant le célibat… ne peut-on pas être autant épanouie, avoir des amis mecs, se découvrir, ne pas laisser le jugement des autres nous affecter, partir en couille comme une ado… bref, vivre libre, et en étant en couple ?
    J’adore être célibataire (je l’ai été longtemps !), mais ma vie ne s’est pas non plus arrêtée le jour de mon mariage…
    A chacun et chacune de vivre libre, peu importe leur statut marital !

  • J’adore ce texte. Merci infiniment!

  • I’ve been single for quite a long now. Just ended some almost perfect relations. I do believe “singleness” is very different, depending on your personality; life goals; social life; even where you live may influence your perception on being single. Not the I mind being single and (lucky or not) I have almost zero pressure about that.
    But at the end of the day I still dream of getting married, kids, aging together…

  • Florence July, 19 2019, 4:40 / Reply

    C’est très beau garance, et merci d’avoir mis ces mots sur des choses qui me parle tellement. En ce qui me concerne j’ai été célibataire très longtemps avant de rencontrer mon ex mari. Avec des rencontres plus ou moins belles, plus ou moins enrichissantes, mais qui à chaque fois m’ont laissé un goût un ami amer. J’étais Libre et prisonnière à la fois. Libre parce que pouvant aller et évoluer à ma guise, et prisonnière de ce dictat societal dont tu parles. A 25 ans on me disait « mais à ton âge j’etais Mariée et avait déjà 2 enfants! », à 30ans mes amies en couple m’enviaient parcequ’elle Me trouveront libre, alors que moi je n’aspirait qu’a La vie de couple. Et puis un jour je me suis dit, en fait c’est le moment de LaRencontre, et j’ai fait le premier pas, et j’ai rencontré mon ex mari. Après 17 ans de vie communes et 10 ans de mariage me voilà de nouveau célibataire. Et c’est maintenant que je me retrouve vraiment moi, libre, comme tu le décrit si justement ?. Merci Garance pour tes articles. C’est toujours rafraichissant et un plaisir de te lire. J’espère Un jour te croiser et pourquoi pas L’opportunité d’échanger avec toi sur ces thèmes de la vie en riant, buvant du rose et refaisant le monde, comme des amies.

  • Très bien vu une fois de plus, Garance.
    Etre une célibataire heureuse, ça existe, même si pour la plupart des gens c’est la pire des misères. C’est se sentir bien avec soi même et n’accepter de quitter ce célibat qu’à condition d’être encore plus heureuse aux cotés de l’Autre.
    Etre célibataire, c’est très élégant, finalement !
    J’ai écrit un livre sur cela : “Et sinon, tu as pensé aux sites de rencontres ?Guide à l’attention des femmes célibataires ou les réflexions (souvent déplacées) auxquelles vous n’échapperez pas.”sur Amazon Kindle. fr

  • Rosa Lucena July, 20 2019, 9:07 / Reply

    Beautiful ???

  • Stephanie Gasser July, 21 2019, 7:37 / Reply

    Merci – magnifique

  • Bernadette July, 21 2019, 7:43 / Reply

    Superb!

  • Constance Lai July, 21 2019, 8:06 / Reply

    I’m in my late 40s and am happily single. When I was 32, I moved to LA and did not get sick for a full year. At first, I thought it was the climate, but then I realized it was the first time in my life where I wasn’t chasing someone or being chased. I had unconsciously learned how to take care of myself, for the better. I still love the chase, and learn from all my boyfriends, but I never forget that my health – both physical and mental – comes first.

  • It took me years to realize this after a horrendous marriage that I left in 1982. Garance, tu as raison!! C’est merveilleux! I make my decisions, I live my life finally!!! Merci!

  • This is so beautiful. So true. You expressed many things I have felt myself. Thank you for these deeply reflective posts lately.

  • Marie-Julie July, 21 2019, 11:49 / Reply

    Tellement vrai! Merci??

  • ramblin_r0se July, 21 2019, 11:22 / Reply

    I recently saw a tea towel at an Airport gift shop that said “instead of single as my relationship status, I prefer independently owned and operated “ -truly made me laugh and I agree with it – wisdom presents itself in the humblest, craziest places :)

  • all of my friends will be married by the time this year is out. i am 33. i am not single, but i am also not married, nor do i want children. my friends are very kind and respectful and even celebratory of my path. but to me, the marriage culture we live in underlies it all. am i someone who, though she is partnered, is not quite sorted out, not quite at the finish line, not yet successful in life’s search for a lobster/penguin/forever mate? the thought of this weighs on me daily. i don’t want it to, and i know it says more about me than anyone else. isn’t it stupid? i have a good job, i’m smart + educated, i have a wonderful family, a garden to tend, a kitchen to cook in, a bookshelf full of my favorite writers. and still i find myself wondering if it’s all real. simply because everyone else puts an ellipsis on my life where i feel a period should be. or even an exclamation point. anyway. thoughts, provoked. thanks for putting this out there. xx

  • Etre célibataire ne définit pas une personne, ni être gay ou être noir ou être blonde …. C’est un aspect privé de sa vie, ça ne dit rien de cette personne – Pourquoi se définir ainsi ? N’est ce pas son propre regard plutôt que le regard des autres qui désapprouve ou juge ? J’ai plein de copines célibataires et elles n’ont rien de moins ou de plus que moi, ce n’est pas un sujet en fait. :-)

  • Thank you. Your honesty and vulnerability is refreshing. I am grateful for your share. I know these feelings well.

  • nancy k July, 25 2019, 12:10 / Reply

    Thank you for sharing! It helps to know that even people we perceive to have the most impossibly cool lives also go through profoundly human ups and down.

  • Ouahida July, 26 2019, 3:21 / Reply

    You just described exactly what I’ve been feeling now…!

  • Des propos très sensés et justes, en effet.
    J’émets cependant une réserve sur la notion de célébration du célibat ainsi que la notion de liberté telle qu’elle est décrite ici.
    Étant donné que la vie de couple n’est pas une condition suffisante du bonheur et de la liberté. À l’inverse, le célibat n’est pas une condition nécessaire de la liberté. Un modèle de couple imposé ou un célibat vécu comme un échec sont délétères, et un célibat souhaité et assumé peut être tout aussi libérateur qu’un modèle de couple respectueux de l’individu et qui ne tente pas de couper en deux chacun des partenaires au prétexte de devoir trouver sa « moitié », avec pour corollaire l’idée d’un individu adulte incomplet tant qu’il ne dispose pas de toute sa panoplie moderne (travail, couple, maison, enfants etc…).
    A mon sens il semble plus pertinent, tout comme vous rappelez qu’il n’y a pas plus de « mystère des hommes » que de « mystère des femmes » de se concentrer sur l’idee que la généralisation et le sentiment d’obligation d’integrer un modèle qui broie l’affirmation de la liberté et de l’égo sont néfastes. Au final, il n’y a pas de préjudice à être « rangé dans une case » car il est impossible de n’être défini par rien si nous existons. La seule chose qui me semble vraiment nécessaire c’est d’encourager votre attitude consistant à s’interroger sur ses propres aspirations, les accepter et s’y consacrer si elles sont propices à l’epanouissement, quelles qu’elles soient, conventionnelles ou non. En somme l’echec du couple n’est-il pas souvent le résultat d’un effacement progressif plus ou moins rapide de l’identité?

  • Hélène August, 2 2019, 7:11 / Reply

    Hahaha! oui, tellement vrai. Être célibataire, c’est des fois bien et des fois pas. Comme être en couple d’ailleurs. Il faudrait pouvoir l’être ou pas à la demande. Comme la lumière.

  • Entringer August, 4 2019, 1:56 / Reply

    Lumineux!!

  • C’est tellement vrai … et surtout tellement palissant de le lire et de se dire …. je ne suis pas toute seule ;-)

  • The IKEA line made me laugh

  • woow … je n’ai pas les mots tellement je me retrouve dans ces lignes!
    thanks for sharing :)

  • Catherine August, 31 2019, 3:24 / Reply

    Pas célibataire, mais totalement éperdue d’admiration pour tout ce que tu as écrit! Bravo!

  • sandrine(lamitenpullover on instagram) September, 3 2019, 10:54 / Reply

    Bonjour, mais quel beau texte et tellement vrai! Pardon pour mon commentaire un peu long et que vous n’aurez sûrement pas le temps de lire mais au cas où…
    Je suis célibataire moi aussi depuis longtemps avec des amoureux de passage.
    Par contre ce n’est à peine que depuis que mon dernier amoureux m’a laissé (quelques mois) que je me rends compte que je suis bien toute seule à dessiner, écrire, danser, faire ma formation REIKI.
    Tous mes amis veulent ABSOLUMENT me faire un profil sur une appli de rencontre … Et je voudrais ici me rebeller, qu’est ce que c’est que cette dictature!?
    Chaque fois que je suis invitée en ce moment on me présente comme LA CÉLIBATAIRE A CASER, celle qui ne devrait pas être seule. Je ne suis pas une petite chose fragile pourtant mes vraies amies disent que je suis un boucan. Et c’est cette attitude qui me fait le plus de peine pas le fait d’être célibataire! Donc merci merci Garance de ce texte, je m’y retrouve à 100%!

  • I love this, too many people are stuck in relationships for fear of what you say but long for the effortless flow you describe in the end. Thank you for writing this.

From the Archives

DORÉ x THE OUTNET
  • DORÉ x THE OUTNET
  • Holiday Gifting
  • This or That
  • Happy Holidays!
  • #AtelierDoreDoes
  • How To...
dore the outnet sophie auster

A Creative Life: Sophie & Spencer

Julie Houts Atelier Dore

The Crown Julie

Sag Harbor Summer

Sag Harbor Summer

A Brand and a Soul: Phillip Lim

A Brand and a Soul: Phillip Lim

Pardon my french pat cleveland garance dore photo

Embracing Your Freedom: Pat Cleveland

Mating in Captivity: Esther Perel

Mating in Captivity: Esther Perel

Friendship, Support and Self-Deprecation: Rose & Laura

Friendship, Support and Self-Deprecation: Rose & Laura

Episode 5: Art of Entertaining: Gad Elmaleh and Alireza Niroomand

Episode 5: Art of Entertaining: Gad Elmaleh and Alireza Niroomand

Pardon My French Garance Dore Isabel Marant Caroline de Maigret photo

Episode 4: La Parisienne with Isabel Marant & Caroline de Maigret