Singletude: A Positive Blog for Singles

Singletude is a positive, supportive singles blog about life choices for the new single majority. It's about dating and relationships, yes, but it's also about the other 90% of your life--family, friends, career, hobbies--and flying solo and sane in this crazy, coupled world. Singletude isn't about denying loneliness. It's about realizing that whether you're single by choice or by circumstance, this single life is your life to live.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Singles, Go Vote!

Today is Super Tuesday, the day that 24 states hold primaries or caucuses. If you live in one of these states and are registered to vote, get out there and support your favorite candidate!

Singles, we are a large demographic (up to 50% of the U.S. population by some estimates), and we have the power to tip this vote in the direction of a nominee who will work to implement policies that will be singles-friendly.

So many of us singles are without health care because we don't have a national plan in place. So many of us have watched the wealthy get wealthier due to tax cuts that favored them while we continued to struggle. So many of us can't afford to get a college education or, if we scrimp and save to get one, are saddled with debt we can't pay because tuition is out of control and starting salaries have been depressed by outsourcing, insurance inflation, and the tyranny of big business. So many of us are crammed into tight quarters with roommates or parents who shouldn't have to support us anymore because the cost of housing has soared. It's time for us singles to send a clear message that we're also American citizens, and we deserve an economy that makes the American dream possible for us, too!

The following is a list of all the states holding primaries today and the times polls close in each. Unless otherwise noted, both major parties are holding the vote today:

Kansas (Democratic only)--7:00pm
Montana (Republican only)--8:00pm
New Jersey--8:00pm
New Mexico (Democratic only)--7:00pm
New York--9:00pm
North Dakota--8:00pm
West Virginia (Republican only)--closed

If you're wondering, Singletude endorses Senator Barack Obama. But you need to vote for whoever you believe will change our lives for the better.

You still have time! Go vote!

If you want to endorse your candidate, put on your speechwriting hat and feel free to leave a comment!

Fun Link of the Day


Anonymous said...

Hello Elsie, thank you for your kind comment on my first blog, I appreciate it. So I'm guessing you like Obama. My point of view is that of the everyman, so I will just give my general opinion which I will be happy to be corrected on. I have absolutely no faith in politicians, whomever they are. I agree with you views on big business. We are headed for a great depression, Financial Institutions have given us all the rope we need to hang ourselves, and we have done so because wages are not even close to inflation or property prices. Do you have any thoughts on how the financial institutions or even big business (god forbid) will put things back on an even keel after the depression? Personally I feel only the rich will survive and everyone will either rent or live with their folks. In some asian countries they are bringing in generational mortgages which can be taken over from the parents by the kids. I believe that crime will keep rising and that those who can afford it will live in fortified security whilst the rest live in fear. It is a sad fact that governments, businesses and financial institutions ahve no interest in international or national well-being. Thus Iraq, East Timor and Saudi Arabia. Religion truly is the biblical whore of Babylon, as so many Powers have used it to their own end, Bush uses it to save Iraq and any other countries resources in the name of God and humanitarianism. If so then where are the great humanitarians in the Sudan, or Thailand, or Zimbabwe? I am a happy and optimistic person, but I despair of the sewer filled with rats that is politics and business. I would like to see Corporate governance take on a much larger role, and for this to spread to government and world issues. I would also like Santa to bring me a gold-plated life size statue of Darth Vader this year.

Anyway Hun, I look forward to your next blog and I will try to read more of your previous blogs. I will reply to your email very shortly.

Thank you for replying so soon, I greatly value friends who stay in communication. I had lunch with an indonesian friend of mine today and we spoke of many things, it is good to be able to engage with other minds in this dark dark world.

Adios Senorita!

Carl xx

Wizardry said...

Elsie, I need some advice. To get to the point, a relationship that ended almost two years ago on my birthday is coming back around. To make clear, I’m not even sure if anything will happen. Its just a fleeting thought, but since this is her last year at the school as a senior, its now or never. To begin, she was my first ‘real’ relationship, and as we all do in the first, we give it too much focus, and think it will last forever. That illusion is usually quickly shattered, leaving us to more realistic relationships later on. The only thing is, I had one other relationship since, and it was short and meaningless- I was only attempting to fill a huge void in my life. Come to think of it, its one of the things that started me writing. But the thing is, I miss her so much. For the longest time, its just been wanting to find ‘someone.’ But just recently, its not just someone that I want to find- its her. Its true, we were a nightmare of a couple; we were both egocentric, I was a little more pessimistic than her, but not by much, and we were really obsessive, so we were always thinking about each other. In short, we drove our friends, each other, and ourselves completely and wholly insane. But, despite all the horrible times, the chaos that reigned during and the emptiness that ensued afterward, I would do it all over again. When I was with her, I was happy, truly happy. Just thinking of her would make me feel better. I no longer felt powerless, hopeless- like I couldn’t amount to anything. She made me think I was someone who actually had an effect upon the world. Now then, I hate that phrase, ‘you make me a better person,’ but it’s true. I was happy, outgoing, optimistic (scary huh?), but then that all came crumbling down. Late March of 2006- my birthday. She dumped me for some guy I didn’t really know, and haven’t met to this day. I didn’t care at the time. I felt numb- like I had just been removed from the arctic ocean and the pain was just searing my flesh. Afterwards, I became who I am today: Someone who doesn’t believe in love, and who despises all who are happy because of it. (except a few. There are a few that have reason to be.) It made me an even more pessimistic person. I didn’t believe anything good could come of anyone, and so I’ve been alone all this time waiting, waiting for that ‘someone’ who I’ve now come to realize about two years later- its her all over again. Should I do it all over again?

Well, I can understand if that’s all not to clear, so if there are any questions, please ask them! If I expect someone to help, the least I could do is give them all the info they want. Okay? Thank you Elsie. I feel so much better just telling someone.

Night Loves

Miz Motormouth said...

Brilliant! Great job pointing out the power of and the plight of the singleton. I am a commited voter I hope you message caused at least one person who to vote who otherwise wouldn't have.


Clever Elsie said...

Carl--I don't want to get too deeply into politics beyond how the current climate relates to singles, but I will say that I'm in favor of sweeping change for the U.S. on a far greater scale than even Obama has proposed. However, we have the options we have, and I support him because I believe he's the best alternative of those options.

I hope your vision of the future doesn't become a reality, but I think it is possible that we could see a further return to the Gilded Age (assuming we're already halfway there) if we don't reverse the current stranglehold that big business has on our workers. Thankfully, a lot of people are already protesting vehemently and seeking out candidates who are promising to reinvigorate the middle class, and I have to think if things get worse, the unrest will keep increasing until something concrete is done. If there's one thing people deplore and will stand up against, it's a decrease in their standard of living.

Like you, I fear that conditions could get a lot worse before they get better, but I remain optimistic that we won't brook a return to the Middle Ages yet.

Btw, that was interesting info on the Asian intergenerational mortgages.

bobbyboy said...

Already did Elsie! ^_^

Anonymous said...

Point taken, I am new to blogging so I guess it is kind of unfair of me to hijack your comment section in a geopolitical tirade! I will try to stick to relevant data, as you have seen with my posts on weddings and wotnot. Toodle-pip! Carl xx

Anonymous said...

Additional Additional! Last one on this date, I promise! I realize I may have been a bit harsh about attending occasions for a friend, if you are close to someone it can mean a lot for them if you attend. It's like, I would rather go kayaking with a bunch of interesting singles than go to a wedding, but if it was a very dear friend I would make an exception.

Carl xx

Anonymous said...

They wouldn't let me vote -- I need a cuddle... now I wish I wasn't so single.


Next you should tackle the topic of self-pity, because it has become my only friend.

Clever Elsie said...

Victoria--Thanks for sharing your dilemma.

Let me first say that I'm sorry you experienced such a serious heartbreak two years ago. It's so painful to lose someone you love, especially that first love, which is so intense. And I'm sure that was compounded by the fact that there was someone else involved, which inevitably leads to feelings of rejection and self-doubt. So you had to recover from two blows--the end of the relationship and your ex's choice to give her love to somebody else. I've been there, and I know how devastating that is.

After a betrayal like that, it's natural to feel hurt, and some people do become bitter about love. It's terrifying to contemplate opening up to someone and getting hurt again, and it can be easier to protect ourselves by just writing off relationships. And, in fact, avoiding new relationships is a good idea while you're still recovering from the last one. But eventually, as the hurt subsides with time and space, it usually becomes clear that we've been transferring our negative feelings about the ending of one relationship onto the potential for new love, and at that point, we can let go of the old bitterness and look towards the future. It sounds like you may be reaching that point.

In your case, though, the situation is complicated by the fact that the person you've reached that point with is your ex, the same girl who hurt you so deeply when she left you before. On the positive side, from things you've said in the past, this relationship was based on a longtime friendship that outlasted the messy breakup. That shows that you and your ex have a strong bond and that you can weather storms together in a mature fashion. On the other hand, based on what you've told me, I'd also advise you to ask yourself--and her--a few questions before you jump back into the relationship.

I don't know all the details about your former or current relationship with your ex, but there are two important factors in your decision to reinvolve yourself with her romantically--how you've changed and how she's changed. Anytime you consider returning to a past relationship, that's the number one question: What's different this time that will prevent this relationship from ending up where it did last time?

Obviously, you're both older, and especially when you're young, two years can make a big difference. One of the great difficulties of dating in the teens and even early twenties is that, even though we all grow and change throughout life, there's a particularly dynamic restructuring of identity that takes place in youth. While we're still figuring out ourselves, it's hard to know what we want in someone else. Add to this the fact that dating is brand new in the teens, which creates a powerful urge to explore, and you have a recipe for the high dating turnover that you've noticed among your friends!

Has your ex explained to you why she left you for someone else as well as what's changed that she wants to give it a shot again? When you're 15 or 16, it's normal to want to experiment and get to know different people. But did her experimenting teach her something about why she'd rather be with you? Two years later, perhaps it has. But at 17 or 18, remember that she's still young and may still have more exploring to do before she knows what she wants in the long run, no matter how sure about it she seems now. And because she's a senior, if she's planning to go off to college, that distance could put a real strain on your relationship.

Then there's the question of what's changed for you. Up until recently, you seemed sure that you weren't ready for a relationship and mentioned several times that you think you're too self-absorbed. First of all, I just want to reassure you that focusing on yourself in adolescence is totally normal! As I said before, this is a time when you're discovering who you're becoming, so it's natural to be caught up in your own thoughts and feelings. Only you can know whether or not this will prevent you from giving time and attention to someone else, though. In the past, you've expressed concern that it might, so it's something to think about.

Finally, I want to address something you said that really stood out to me:

"...we were a nightmare of a couple; we were both egocentric...and we were really obsessive, so we were always thinking about each other. In short, we drove our friends, each other, and ourselves completely and wholly insane. But, despite all the horrible times, the chaos that reigned during and the emptiness that ensued afterward, I would do it all over again. When I was with her, I was happy, truly happy...I no longer felt powerless, hopeless- like I couldn’t amount to anything. She made me think I was someone who actually had an effect upon the world."

Now I'm going to make some guesses here because I don't know the details of your situation, so if I'm wrong, feel free to correct me. You said that you and your ex were "a nightmare of a couple" and followed that up with some comments that suggest your relationship was pretty tumultuous. Again, I can't look inside your heart and see what's going on, but what jumps out at me is that the things you miss aren't things about your ex but things she made you feel about yourself. Powerful. Hopeful. Like you could have an effect on the world.

Victoria, you can have an effect on the world. You can live a life that's influential, and you can do great things, whether for a million people or for the people who know you and love you best. Although I don't know you personally, I know that you're a very intelligent, insightful, mature young woman, and that's a foundation that can take you many places. But those talents are yours, Victoria. No one else can give them to you, and no one else can take them away. People will come in and out of your life--lovers, friends, coworkers--but those gifts will always be yours, and you are the only one who can determine how they will be used.

Maybe you have other reasons for getting back together with your ex. Maybe you also love her laugh or the great conversations you have with her or the thoughtful way she brings you soup when you're sick or how trustworthy she is with your secrets or how you both share an interest in books...Whatever her personality traits are, maybe those are the things you love, and those are reason enough to be with her. (If you have any doubt about this, by the way, you might want to try making a list of things you love about her as well as things that rub you the wrong way.)

But if what you really miss is what you discovered about yourself when you were with her, then think carefully about whether you want to get back together. Ask yourself what will happen if she doesn't make you feel those things about yourself anymore. In an earlier post, you alluded to the roller coaster nature of your relationship and how your moods became dependent on hers. If she lashes out at you or ignores you or brings you down in some other way when she's not happy, will you then start feeling powerless and hopeless again? A sense of self-efficacy is something that you build for yourself through time and experience as your competence is tested in various ways and you pass those tests. Another person can't give you self-efficacy, though they can give you the illusion of it because their attention, affection, and belief in you are a boost to your confidence. But sooner or later, those tests arise, and as comforting as it is to have the support of others, only you can pass or fail them.

Bottom line: You and your ex have undoubtedly grown a lot in two years. What has changed about her that leads you to believe she will be more careful of your heart this time? What has changed about the two of you that will make your relationship dynamic healthier than it was? And what, if anything, has changed about your feelings toward her? Do you really love her, or do you love the way you felt about you when you were with her? Have you forgiven her completely for the past so that you'll be starting out without hard feelings? Are you hoping to relive your past relationship? (Remember that you're both older and somewhat more experienced now, so it will never be exactly the same.)

Whether you get back together with your ex or not, I truly hope you'll realize that you are a capable person on your own. It's easier to know that intellectually than to feel it, I know. A lot of the time, it really does just take some time and experience as life gives us challenges to meet in the form of higher education, job opportunities, volunteer positions and the like.

Here's something I want you to try, though, whether or not you get back together with her: Make a list of at least ten things you've accomplished in the past two years since the two of you broke up. They don't have to be awards or prizes. They can be things like the Yule dinner you organized on your own recently. Then, next to each accomplishment, write down what skills you learned you have from that success. For example, next to the Yule dinner, you might write "I am a good organizer" or "I can plan a fun event for a large group." Hang up that list somewhere you can see it, and reread it often, especially when you're doubting yourself. Remember that you achieved those things because you had the ability to achieve them, not because of who you were or weren't dating.

You have a good head on your shoulders, my dear, and I'm sure you've thought this through a lot and will continue to think it through. Please keep us posted with how it turns out, and if you do decide to get back together with your ex, I hope you'll still visit here at Singletude!

Wizardry said...

Oh dear you make me so happy to have you respond! I knew you would, but I was just sick with anticipation. Now then, there’s still some time to wait. I haven’t really spoken with her for all the time we’ve been apart. I’ve had casual contact, fleeting 10 second conversations between class, but that’s about it. So establishing contact for the first time in a long time could take a little while. And as you said, duration. Soon, we would have to split because of time factors. She’s going back to graduate in May of this year, then go to Germany as a foreign exchange student. (Oh, I remember when we were both in Germany together; we were both exchange students that year.) And then she’ll go onto either college or something else; I don’t really know because I haven’t’ spoken with her in so long, and in 2 years, plans can change. So no matter what happens, we would have to split up, but for some reason, I think it would be worth it. A big part of the problem was that it was my first relationship. We’re all obsessive and overdoing everything that first time around, so it didn’t help. I like to think that if we got back together, I would have those problems out of the way. I wouldn’t be so obsessive and affected by every little thing. So, maybe what I’m trying to figure out is having a short relationship with the one person I loved before she’s gone forever (or not, but after she’s gone, the chances are slim to none). So I need to think through that aspect of how things would play out.

And I do love you for the next bit. Really, I’m going to sound egocentric here, but I do underestimate myself. I was a humble person anyway, or so I like to think, but after that relationship, I really felt worthless. The way it happened, I felt horrible, and while I was angry, I was mad at myself. The way it happened was as all first relationships do. I was obsessive, so much so that I did enough caring for both of us. While it may seem like a little thing, I did all the calling instigating and everything else, allowing her to become completely passive due to my actions. Apathy is death. She didn’t care, not because she didn’t love me, but because I had slowly taken up the whole relationship, leaving me holding on to all of the rope. She was free to go, and she did, leaving me with the full brunt of what I had done. I like to think I could do things better this time around. Also, we all have that screwy first relationship, it always fails, and then we hope for someone better to come along. I screwed up more than the casual person; I dated that ‘better person’ right off, thus loosing her became a horrendous problem for me. No one else could come close to how important she was to me. Indeed. Talk about being spoiled rotten. So I’m going to make that list of things I did, and can do that are my achievements. Yes, it would be a good thing for me to take a focus upon what I have instead of what I haven’t for a change.

Elsie, thanks for all the advice and the time you spent making this advice, for me! Just me! You really can’t begin to imagine how important I feel right now. I’m beaming at the computer screen like a complete idiot, but I don’t care. It means so much to me that you took the time to help me out. And no matter what happens, whether I get back together with her or if nothing at all occurs, I will always come here and comment; always. It’s my duty as No.1.

Thank you so much,

Love Victoria

Clever Elsie said...

Miz Motormouth--Thanks for the great feedback! I like to think I did my little part in drumming up some votes. ;) And welcome to Singletude! I hope you'll stick around. :)

Bobby--Thumbs up to that! :D

Carl--You're welcome to take your comments in any direction you'd like. But, yes, I may occasionally steer the conversation back in a singles-oriented direction. I have a weakness for tangents myself, though. ;)

Hah...I responded to your comments on Commit to Yourself before I read this one. My sentiments echoed your follow-up.

Blister--Awww...Here, have a free hug. :)

Yes, NY is prejudiced against Independents like that. I never understand why some states allow Independents to vote in primaries and others don't. If it's a federal election, they should all follow the same laws, and I don't see why Independents should be excluded. Seems kinda discriminatory to me!

A blog on self-pity...Hmmm...But then it wouldn't be a positive blog for singles. :)

Victoria--I'm glad I could help, if even in a small way. :)

If you decide to pursue things with your ex, then I wish you the best of luck in reestablishing contact (I didn't realize that you'd fallen out of touch). It's true that you won't have a lot of time together, and it will definitely be painful when she leaves, but sometimes it is worth it to seize the moment. Who knows? If you rebuild your closeness now, that bond may last for years, even if you can't be physically present in each other's lives.

One small word of caution here: You said you'd like to think that you were obsessive because it was your first relationship and that now you'd be mature enough not to be that way. In my experience at least, you can be obsessive and get carried away by your emotions at any age. While it's true that first love can be especially encompassing, if you tend to "lose yourself" in relationships, anytime you find yourself having intense feelings for someone, the "obsessive" response is something you have to guard against. I've had that urge strike as recently as last year, and it was not my first love by far. ;) Not saying this should prevent you from testing the waters with your ex. Just be on your guard so that if those overbearing urges arise, you can remember to back off a bit and give her--and yourself--some room to be individuals. ;) Let her share in the pursuit next time.

Oh, and one more thing: If things don't work between you two, it's true that you may never find anyone better, but I'm convinced that you WILL find someone just as wonderful in her own way. :) That may be hard to believe at the moment, but there are so many amazing people out there. More than once, when things haven't worked out with someone, I've thought, "There couldn't possibly be anyone as perfect for me as he was! I'll never meet anyone as wonderful as him." And then I met the next guy. :) Which is not to cheapen the impact that any of those men had on my life. They were all fantastic. But that's just it--they were ALL fantastic, each in his own way.

Now then...go write your list of accomplishments! :) I'm sure you're going to have quite a lot to add to it!