Chapter 22 » 22.31
Sharing a home or living alone
The single life
Singleness is a state in which many of us find ourselves… Some of us choose, for various reasons to remain single – an absorbing career perhaps or the care of others which we feel demands all we have to give and in which we find fulfilment. We all need to love and be loved and for some of us this need is met, and can be met, in all sorts of nourishing ways. We need to look for these ways and then recognise them with joy when they come to us.
For others of us though, this way would not be of our choosing and sometimes the path we tread is hard, barren and stony. There is for us an ache inside which does not go away. We long to be someone’s nearest and dearest. We would like to have demands made upon us, to be needed, to be important for someone else’s happiness and well-being. For some of us celibacy is a hard road – we long to be touched, caressed and for sexual union. What, we wonder, are we to do with the gift of our sexuality? In today’s society we confuse sexuality with sex and fall into the trap of thinking we must have a sexual partner in order to express our sexuality. This is not true. Our sexuality belongs to us and there are many ways of expressing and taking delight in it.
We may fall into another trap – that of imagining that life with a partner is all bliss! Our partnered Friends will soon put us right on this, whilst rejoicing in all the good a happy partnership can bring.
All of us, partnered or single, need to feel that we belong, that we are valued and included – we need affirmation and recognition of who and what we are – we need, in our meeting especially, to make sure that this happens.
Jennifer Johnson, 1990