Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Hump Day: Week 7

I was feeling trepidacious about posting this blog. It has been sitting in my drafts folder for a few weeks now. There's nothing fitness related contained in this post, but I felt I needed to share it, even if you, the readers, feel quite differently about the topic.

This week's edition of Hump Day will be a little different than usual. It's Not Me, It's You by John Richardson is a book I just finished reading and I thought I would review the book and share my thoughts on being single.

It seems only fitting to post it today, the day before Valentine's Day.

As a woman in my mid-20s society dictates that I should be married with children, or, at the very least, in a relationship. This is not the case. I'm single and childless and I prefer it this way. 

Call it stubbornness or rebellion, slap another label on it and call it what you will. The thoughts of me ever getting married and procreating have long since passed.

My opinions of marriage are shared with few and in conversation often lead to people telling me that I will change my mind. Because apparently they know me better than I know myself. 


Having been single for the better part of five years, I know myself inside and out. I don't need another person to complete me. Sure, it would be nice to actually have someone, anyone to have a proper conversation with, but I'm not going out of my way to go from being single to being in a relationship. I have so much planned for myself that it just doesn't fit in the equation.

There's that daily struggle that begins, as John puts it, where: "Two different people wake up in my bed each day, but they are both inside me." There's the person who enjoys life as it is and the other who wishes things were much different. It's this inner battle which has lead me to where I am now.

There may be very few of our kind out there, but as Jon Richardson found out, there are more than you would think. 

This isn't your run of the mill, looking for love book. In It's Not Me, It's You, Jon Richardson details four days in the life of an 'impossible perfectionist.'

Single for eight years, Jon looks back on moments in his life where relationships broke down and analyses exactly what went wrong. Those who are single by choice (or circumstance) are seen to have leprosy or some kind of infectious disease.Often poked fun at for being single for so long, this book gives brilliant and truthful insight in to why a person choosing to be single isn't that crazy after all.

Jon misses not waking up to a cup of tea by his bedside in the morning. However, there is a clear definition between being alone and being lonely. Having a romantic relationship isn't the sole focus of his life. He is not missing out any life experiences. As a successful comedian he has been granted the opportunity to travel the world, performing comedy for people and making them laugh, often at his own expense.

There is nothing sugar coated. He details all his quirks, and why he is misunderstood and set in his own ways. For a perfectionist, having another person in your life constantly means a shift in the variables of how a day can turn out.

Society dictates that by turning 18,“suddenly you become ‘an adult ’ and you are told that the inability to find someone with whom you can share a double bed is the single biggest failure you can make in life.” Jon knows what he wants from a relationship and refuses to settle for anything less.

It could be said that everyone has their own individual characteristics that can be found strange, disturbing or humorous to others. As Jon divulges, finding someone to accept you for who you truly are is the biggest struggle, whether it be in friendships or romantic relationships. Letting people in and allowing them to see and experience the real you can leave you feeling exposed, only to have them end up hating you for being yourself.

Look around you and see the superficiality of some people's relationships.There are those who are stuck with each other due to fear of never finding anyone else. Or others who going for the bad boy when they know exactly how it will turn out. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. The same could be said about dating. 

An underlying message in this book is that you shouldn't have to change yourself just to be in a relationship. It's from having your identity stripped from you which breeds hate and resentment. Would you rather be with someone who expects you to be someone you're not, or single and your true self?

Full of keen observations with dark, yet truthful, and humorous anecdotes, It's Not Me, It's You delivers a truly honest perspective of life as a single person.

If you've been single for several years, I suggest picking up a copy. As romance novels flood the shelves it's rare for a book like this to come along. Rather than feeling like a social pariah, wishing things were different, give this a read and you'll realise there are other people out there who feel the same.

Purchase It's Not Me, It's You from Book Depository or Amazon

This song seems to be appropriate to end this blog post with:
"I Don't Want To Be A Bride" by Vanessa Carlton

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