Single or Nawl?

By Elise Saulsberry

I just saw a meme and it read, “Very single”. Maybe I’m old fashioned, but I’m very confused when it comes to the word, ‘single’ as it relates to dating these days. (No, I am not in a relationship nor have I been ‘played’. I think I just need clarity). To me, single means: alone, not dating anyone, not having sex with anyone, not seeing anyone, not tied to anyone, not anything to anybody. However, clearly my definition is antiquated because when I ask some if they are single, they answer, ‘yes’, but single to them might include: I sleep at home alone – every once in a while. Single might mean: Well, I see one or more people until I choose who I want out of the group. Single might also mean that the person is ‘kicking it’ with whomever and have no intention on being with anyone. I’m not judging any of these definitions, but is there a universal question when asking someone, “Are you single” and meaning Are you not emotionally, mentally, physically, spiritually or soul-tied to anybody else? I’m just curious. There has to be an easy way to ask… ‪#‎seriously‬asking

CG If you are dating but not in a relationship what would that be call honey that’s single. Heck it’s people that got a man/woman that ain’t helping them in anyway just being a burden on their life, to me that’s single. But in all seriousness a relationship is a commitment between to people were you both agree as such not and assumption of one party so until then you are single

ES So CG, a person can date as many people as they want and still claim ‘single’ status? I’m even more perplexed. So I’m guessing that one has to say, “Are you dating, tied to, having sex with, emotionally, physically, affectionately, mentally or soul-tied to anyone?” to get a straight answer or the answer that might indicate that the person might be available?

CG Your are perplexed???? this is the same day and age where married people list there Facebook status as it’s complicated and would ask those questions of anyone

ES lol yea I’m perplexed by married folks too… complicated? No boo, you’re married. Now when you’re divorced LEGALLY… then you’re single…but until then, you’re married lol… No married people I know do this otherwise I’d call them on it depending on who it is, i guess

ES Maybe ‘single’ is the wrong term to use for what I’m describing here in this post… what other word should i use instead of single?

CG My question would be what would you call someone that is dating you are not instantly in a relationship even if it is one person

SH Some would say if you are not married, you are single.

CG I would agree with that when check your status at work it doesn’t say dating

ES oh ok… I guess I’m thinking that if I was dating someone, then I’d say “I’m dating someone” (cause Lord knows I couldn’t juggle two folks…that would be a mess). So yeah I guess that is single cause I wouldn’t be married to the person. Maybe I’m just sleepy lol

SH You would be correct to say that.
Very single = single
to mingle

ES understood lol… girl, I think I’m just gonna be VERY single as in ‘I ain’t getting into this mess y’all call dating these days’. I think it safer to do that.

SPT Ha ! I agree with Elaine . The definition of “single ” is too broad. To me these situations do not equal single:

1. If a person has a “friends with benefits arrangement with another or othersemptiona;” that counts as “in a ”sexual realtionship ” so not “taken .” (Note: No mentally and emotionally balanced person who was interested in dating a person would want to waste their time or energy on a person who is in a sexual relationship with a person.)

2. A person who has close friends of the opposite sex is in an “emotional relationship” with another so therefore “taken.” Again , no mentally balanced person interested in dating or having a relationship would want to waste time or energy on a person whose emotions were already invested in another .

3. Dating around with not sexual involvement or emtotional attachment to a person of the opposite sex would count as single .

Perhaps the word needed is honesty . A person who is honest with themselves and others would realize “friend with benefits” even though not exclusive, monogamous, or permanent does count as “relationship”. Perhaps the honest way to describe a person who has a friend with benefits or friend of the opposite sex with whom they were emotionally close or invested would, one to say yes, they are in a relationship, but it is an open relationship. That gives any potential date the opportunity to have full disclosure and decide if they would want to invest even a moment’s time in a person who had made it clear from the first moment they had no potential to be in an exclusive monogamous relationship because others were already involved.

ES SPT… YES! THAT’s what I’m suggesting in my initial post. To be tied to another in any manner is not or should not be considered ‘single’. On another note, you’d be amazed at the people who are in the very situations mentioned and are OK with it, i.e. desiring someone who is already emotionally, physically, mentally, etc. tied to another. Some people really are OK with that.

SPT Whatever, ES. It takes all kinds to make the world go round. However, I think many people who “say “‘they are “okay with that ” are either lying to themselves or simply not aware they can expect better, or are doing it because “everyone else is doing it .” Just because “everyone else” is doing it does not make it “right” or “best.” I have a male acquaintance who cannot keep a girlfriend. Reason – his life is cluttered with female “friends” who rely on him for emotional support. Inevitably, every time he gets a gf they start off acting like they are “okay ” with the female “friends.” Inevitably, it turns out “too many women ” spoils it. I have heard that truth is friends of the opposite sex or in reality “options.”

A man worth his salt will not have options but will be so sure of the one he is with he does not need or want “options.”

ES Oh I love that last sentence and I wholeheartedly agree. WHEN i get to the point of dating, I dont need anybody who has several other options that they entertaining while they are entertaining me. I don’t need anybody who is single – as in dating other people. It just seems simpler and easier to be into one person. I’m old school though so… yea.

SPT I noticed something. Listen to popular music and you will see, hear or feel the results of the current trends of no longer is it “one man one woman” that is popular in our culture – the result is heartbreak. Collectively, women feel they cannot count on men and must be “strong.” Think of recent top of the chart songs – Rolling In the Deep, or Adele’s new “Hello.” Myley Cyrus “Wrecking Ball,” “Stay ,” “Titanium,” good beat, but we don’t have love songs anymore. We have heartbreak songs. I think that is a reflection of there is more “singleness” than ever before in the history of our nation and I think it is an indication of it doesn’t really “feel” okay to anyone that far too often it is not one man one woman. Just my take but I always think deeper than the average bear. I say bring it back where “single ” means single and bring back love songs over heartache songs

ES SPT, ABSOLUTELY!!! You’re right. I can’t think of one current song that echoes the sentiment of being IN love with one person and desiring to make that love last. As you stated, there are songs of heartbreak and agony – many of them. It’s an interesting point you’ve made which brings me to ask: How does single not mean single and not many know what being in a monogamous relationship is AND yet be heartbroken when the situation ends? It make our generation appear insane, huh? lol How can we be heartbroken over someone who was never ours and we were AWARE of it… AND… I gotta give myself hope and FIND at least one current song that echoes love, faithfulness and fidelity

BC I’m Single with no strings attached to nobody, people aren’t trustworthy anymore. So I’m Single & Celibate.

ES Me too BC… I don’t have trust issue. I just hope that IF the time comes and I choose to date, the person would give me the option of being in a situation where ‘single doesn’t really mean single’… which I’m CERTAIN I’d opt out of that one

LLT My single is am not committed to anyone. I’m free to date other people; am not going to limit myself to one person that doesn’t won’t to commit or be in a steady relationship.

ES Interesting point LLT… Why date any person who doesn’t want to commit? I’m curious of your perspective. Thing is, if a person told me that they were ready for a situation that included commitment, I’d be like ‘oh… ok then, bye-bye’. It would be a waste of time to date that person, right… or wrong?

LLT Right… I’ve been through too much to be spinning my wheels on someone that doesn’t want to commit. So, therefore am single and can mingle no strings attached! So don’t get mad when I pull a you on you am SINGLE!

ASJ Well I thought Single meant you’re not married. And as far as dating…to me I look at dating in two phases. 1. Dating means you go on a date with someone and you can pick and choose if or when you will see that person or anyone else for that matter. 2. Exclusively Dating means you and another person are developing a deeper relationship so you have agreed to not date anyone else, only each other. IJS

ES I get that ASJ… that’s why I was trying to figure out if I was using the wrong terminology or example. By title, single does mean not married… however, there are a lot of people walking around saying they are single but are tied (in other ways) to other people. It leaves a lot of room for error… or heartbreak – i guess. I’m not being biased by any means either. I have dated before; however, I can only date one person at a time. I’m the world’s worst to cause the emotional damage dating more than one person can cause. I don’t judge those whose methods are different. I just choose not to go that route…hopefully I don’t run into anyone who does

JT we just have a generation of shopping mentalities-everyone wants to put up walls saying “we are NOT TECHNICALLY together” to avoid making decisions that would make them responsible for another person’s emotions, well being and would “lock them down” without the ability to choose a “better” mate. However, everyone is totally okay with benefiting from being in this close proximity yet “not-serious” situations. It’s as if everyone has agreed it’s insane to have the idea of a serious relationship in mind-yet alone romanticize this ideal situation with “The One”. This is obviously the wrong way to date in general because if you have these ideals you will never actually find love. The reason being is because love is not about “Who is perfect for me” but instead a self acceptance of your own imperfections, while working to improve one’s own self deprecating traits (anger issue, fitness, selfishness, listening problems) and looking for someone whom you would HOPE would see you as worthy, and choosing to love them as best as you possibly could knowing that they can never be perfect. The other person would return said love with a shared mindset of “how can I be better for you” and not “Who is better for me”. The second ideal leaves us all alone, used, always feeling entitled and delusional about our own worth to others and what we deserve from them while becoming a worse and worse person that “The One” we fantasize about would never ever be caught dead with. True love is about choosing that person everyday, especially when it’s hard and seeing love as a verb that would be defined as selfless and not a feeling that is shower upon you like a parent to a child who doesn’t understand how to reciprocate where the parent is initially obligated. I’m not saying this because I’m somehow amazing at this-you can know what’s right and still be a complete idiot and not do it lol.

ES You know what though JT… I was reading your response with my eyes wide open. Its the realest post I’ve read in a while. I think I will repost it as a general post about dating. You’re right that we can know what’s right and not do it. However, one great thing is knowing and being able to mature to the point of doing.

TH I agree. The term “single” is most definitely outdated within our society. Just as Webster has recently added new words and definitions to that already thick Dictionary, I believe it’s quite possible, even ethical, to redefine some words; single being one of them; married is another. Married used to mean being in committed relationship with a person of the opposite sex; a union, but now, don’t always assume the person to whom you are asking the question is”married” to a person of the opposite sex OR in a committed relationship. There are many people that marry for entitlement and/or other benefits with NO real commitment to one another. Yeah, I can completely understand the perplexity of this topic. Society has evolved quicker than our understanding of its gestures, meanings, and understandings. Perhaps the word, loyalty should be revisited and discussed again too. Oh, the list grows…..

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About Elise Saulsberry
esElise Saulsberry is a Servant of God, the Camp Christ Remix, Summer Youth Camp Director. She serves actively as the Evangelism Ministry Leader and Intercessor. Elise is also author, who just penned her first book, scheduled to be released in 2014 and she has a heart for the Youth & Young Adult Ministry. Elise has completed her Master’s in Theological Studies and am now working on my MBA at Bethel University, Memphis, TN. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice and a Associate Degree in Business Administration.


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