We can live satisfactorily with or without a partner; the ideal would be to successfully experience both possibilities. How to deal with social pressure to mate?
Witnesses, relatives, authors, readers, members of the jury, lawyers and prosecutors appear in the large courtroom, full of public, and the solemn act begins before renowned judges.
The applicants are Cinderella, Snow White and Beauty. They demand a rectification of their outdated stories.
Cinderella goes up to the stage, very angry, and says: Gentlemen, I am a victim of the story in which I am the protagonist and I sue the author for deception, manipulation of reality and for pigeonholing my life with an absurd stereotype.
My story is not very credible, moving yes, but without common sense. Because suppose I manage to get to the dance, although I doubt that a pumpkin can become a carriage and a few mice into race horses, have you tried walking in cold, rigid glass shoes? What joke is this?
And how come they don’t break? Any woman who has washed a glass knows how fragile it is, she may be very slim and gorgeous but I can’t put on glass shoes and walk, dance and run without breaking them!
The lawyer claims that this tale is a masterpiece, a classic, that crystal shoes embody a symbol of purity and that it should not be taken literally. You can’t change a story just like that.
“But you don’t live in our stories,” Snow White intervenes. You don’t know what it’s like to eat partridges with a prince charming you’ve never seen before he came over and gave you a kiss.
I want to get married because of my choice and not because of what an author wants a beautiful story, ignoring my feelings. What if I don’t like the prince? What if you happen to have halitosis? What if he’s cocky? I demand my right to choose! (Applause from the women in the room.)
It is Beauty’s turn:
-You at least were assigned a prince, but I was touched by a monster, a being with a deformed face, with eyes that do not know if they are looking at you or are calculating if you will be an appetizing snack. And above all I have to fall in love with him! What if he didn’t become a prince? Furthermore, what if he didn’t even transform into a human person?
Do you think that a young and beautiful girl, with two fingers in front, is going to fall in love with a hairy and smelly monstrosity? In which head does that possibility fit? Because suppose we are short of men: would we go to that extreme? I accuse the author of insult to my intelligence and to impede my freedom de facto! (Cheers and applause in the room.)
The judges let the lawyers defend themselves against the accusations. These reiterate old arguments, alleging that the authors chose to provide the three young women with a dream life, envy of other mortals, in luxurious palaces, with the best dresses.
Their accusations therefore do not proceed; rather, they should be grateful to embody characters who have given life to the dreams of many generations.
(Disorder and shouting in the courtroom forcing the judge to deliver three loud, sharp blows with the hammer to impose silence.)
The scene could also have occurred with the princes and the Beast as plaintiffs, since they would have the same rights to choose a life partner or single.
NOT ALL STORIES SHOULD END IN A WEDDING
These stories have conditioned us before having a conscience or need to have a partner.
Today the situation has changed a lot and there are more and more single people, without a partner or commitment, by necessity, by circumstances, by their own will or simply by the current trend.
In our society we have full freedom to choose a path, what to study, what to do, how to live. There is a great diversity of adventure and entertainment offers, ideas and possibilities for people without partner responsibilities.
Every time we take more care of ourselves, both physically and emotionally, and we have at our disposal a wide range of intellectual, spiritual, artistic, physical exercise, massage, personal growth courses, collaboration in humanitarian aid, volunteering, travel.
Each day that passes is one less day to live; the less time we waste in regretting or lamenting, the more time we will have to learn, walk, and enjoy.
It is advisable to lose as little time as possible out of sheer selfishness: we cannot claim lost time from anyone or at any window.
To get to the finish healthy and fresh, you have to lighten your luggage. It is formed by those memories in the form of repetitive thoughts, resentment, frustration, anger, sadness, disappointment, among many other unhealthy feelings.
That ballast takes away our mobility, and those sensations make us feel sick. We are here in passing. We will leave with nothing more than what we lived in our hearts.
Do we know what we want to live?
A VERY HAPPY ENDING: COMPLICITY WITH FRIENDS
I have many friends – more friends than friends and acquaintances who are single, although many had a partner or were once married.
More than one friend told me: “I am surrounded by people with a partner and with many problems. For that I stay alone, I go out and come in when I want, I do not have to explain to anyone, everything I earn is for me and I do what I want with my life. I have work, friends and a wonderful family, why am I going to complicate my life by having a person next to me with all their problems? I would rather read a good book than have a conversation with someone who does not understand or have me intention to do so.”
Other people say:
“At this point I cannot settle for just any person: I am more and more demanding and I do not tolerate nonsense. I have a few friends with whom I meet on weekends, we do excursions, meals, celebrations, we organize trips with a course intensive and we learn while we travel and get to know other places. We understand each other wonderfully and, although I don’t like women, I understand that more and more lesbians are emerging.”
After a painful relationship, people become reluctant to pair up again; Over time, they get used to being alone and find tranquility and balance in that solitude.
And a young man tells me:
“It’s very good alone. I go to the gym and take care of myself, which I couldn’t do before due to lack of time. I do my things without having to look at the clock because someone is waiting for me at home; I travel with friends to the places I always do. I have wanted to meet, I watch football or tennis matches at home with them, we have pizzas and beers, we shout for a while and we cheer on our team without my ex-wife looking at us with the face of few friends.
Women will say that we are simple. Well yes, if that is to be simple, we are very simple and we are content with simple things; there is nothing wrong with that, the important thing is that we have a great time with little things.
We have children, but they have already adapted to the new situation; They are incredibly intelligent, they have a good time when they are with me and they tell me that their mother is fine too, so I think splitting up was a good decision. I do not know how long my singleness will last, I am not closed to anything, but while it lasts I plan to have the best time I can”.
It is a very common situation: men and women who have come out of a difficult relationship who do not want to repeat the experience and to whom loneliness has opened their eyes to things they had not paid attention to before, and they explore other worlds, other ways to live.
EDUCATION AND COMMUNICATION FOR A HAPPIER SINGLENESS
What makes this growing trend possible?
Social progress is a key. The liberation of women, their right to vote, contraceptives and the equality law are good reasons, as are social stability and consumerism, but I think the fundamental reason is communication.
The media and especially the internet have been key to the expansion of ideas, to share experiences, to know everything imaginable.
Education is no longer taught only in schools but there is a great tide of information permanently at our fingertips that makes us free and allows us to constantly choose between a myriad of options. Avant-garde ideas already existed, but now they are also known everywhere.
The old stories are no longer valid and we have other priorities and goals. We have realized that to be happy it is not necessary to get married, start a family or have children, as ancient Eastern philosophies already proclaimed.
Even so, there is still subtle social or cultural pressure, and a single woman is still a spinster and a single man is suspiciously ambiguous in sexuality. Seeing a single person is like finding a shoe without a partner.
Deep down we keep asking: don’t you have a girlfriend? Or boyfriend? People worry about the future: having children when old age arrives, having a partner for company, is still a deeply ingrained thought.
This concept of Yin and Yang, moon and sun, woman and man, which complement each other and form a complete circle, a couple, still conditions us; it is difficult for us to accept that a single person is capable of forming the complete circle.
Opening a path is always hard and difficult, but we are opening this path of acceptance and full recognition that you can be an independent, complete and happy person without the necessary presence of another person next to you.
For this you have to work constantly, be consistent and fair, and have an open mind and a restless heart in order to be able to experience new sensations and experiences.
Being alone does not mean being lonely, being alone I think is being with oneself, being the best friend of oneself. In this way we will never be alone: we will always be consciously accompanied by ourselves.
I once read a phrase that stuck with me: “Life is a lonely one-way road.” It seems like a bleak landscape, but the truth is that life, every moment, every situation, we live alone and with no one else.
As much as we want to, there are things and feelings that we cannot or will not want to share. What the heart feels is what remains: the source of happiness is born from the heart and flows within.
YOUR PARTNER DOES NOT COMPLETE YOU: HE ACCOMPANIES YOU
An imperfect circle, lacking a piece, like a piece of cheese to be complete, has been rolling for a long time in search of a triangle that fits into its emptiness.
One day he finds an impeccable triangle and is very happy: he finally found it! As he fits it, he realizes that the triangle also longed for that moment.
Happy, the two of them set out together, but after a while the circle observes that the triangle is too small to fill its gap and that it is falling with each turn, so they have to hold it all the time.
It is so uncomfortable that in the end they decide, very sorry, that it is better to separate.
Sometime later the circle discovers a worn triangle and something bigger than its hole. Think: “Surely in time I will be able to mold it, and in the end we will be a complete circle!” And so they set out on the road together.
But the circle soon realizes that it cannot roll well, because the triangle sticks out and each turn brings a little shock. The circle thinks: “Little by little the triangle will be polished and reduced in size and, then, we will be perfect!”.
But there is no visible progress. More and more damage is done and the fights do not stop. It is so exhausting that they end up separating.
Rolling and rolling, one day the circle finds another circle, also defective, also anxious in search of its filling.
They start filming together, side by side, sharing their experiences and beliefs, their concerns and fears, their joys and imperfections.
Then they realize that they are fine, that in this way they can travel the path of life, side by side and not on top of or inside, each one independent of the other. And that’s how the two circles became perfect.