On Being Single

I just got done hosting another Instant Pot meal in my rig this evening. After everyone left, I just had one thought: I wish there was someone that stayed here with me. I wish I wasn’t single.

When the camera comes out, some people smile, others make faces. (Left to right: Kelly, Marshall, Becky)

The difference between a homeless person living out of their van and a #vanlife dweller is how they came to the situation they’re in. For those that have no choices left in their life and are forced to live in their vehicle out of necessity, and generally don’t like the situation, are homeless. Those individuals that chose to live a life of adventures and opportunities and see a small RV (or van) as a means to accomplish it, and are generally happy folks, are #vanlife dwellers.

I had a thought tonight that being single might have a similar dichotomy. There are those individuals that are single by choice, and are perfectly happy with it and wouldn’t have their lives any other way. Then there are others, like myself, that want more than anything to *not* be single, but stubbornly are.

I have had the ability during my life thus far to basically choose my path.  If obstacles came around, it may have taken me time, but through patience and effort, I’ve found my way to where I am now, which is a pretty good place to be.  I’m traveling the country with a group of friends, barely on any kind of a schedule, working part-time, and  thoroughly enjoying life.  But the fact that at the end of the day I’m still alone, still searching for “the one”, has been increasingly bothering me as of late.

OK, bothering me barely begins to describe it.  Several times in the past couple weeks I’ve gotten mentally “stuck” on the repeating thoughts of, “I’m single.  I don’t want to be single.  How do I fix it?” (repeat, repeat, repeat).  I’ll have a great day out with one or more people from the group, doing whatever it is we’re doing (hiking, shopping, exploring, whatever), and when we all separate and go off to our separate rigs, I’m struck like a bat across the face with the feelings of loneliness.

Why am I lonely though?  I will often spend the entire day with the group!  Sometimes 1-on-1 with different individuals, sometimes the whole group.  We have “work-parties”, we share meals, we plan for our future trips.  I don’t feel in any way that I’m being excluded from anything.  I’m eternally grateful to have this group!  Why then do I still feel lonely?

Here’s the most difficult part to put out on the internet for the whole world to see: touch.  Simple, basic, human touch.  I crave it.  I feel like there’s a need in me that isn’t being fulfilled and I’m unable to be a complete person without it.  I want more than anything to cuddle with someone that wants to be with me.

I try to fix problems in my life.  If something is difficult or inconvenient, I’ll figure out ways to make it easier.  To make it more convenient.  Major problems are not even something that comes up because they’ve been solved a long time ago.  Because I am the person that I am, my natural tendency is to try to fix this too.  And that’s where I run into trouble.

Relationships are not problems to be fixed.  No matter how hard one person tries, they cannot be created, maintained, fixed, or otherwise enhanced by a single party.  Trust me, I know, I’ve tried, and failed.  Horribly.

So if a relationship with a potential cuddle partner isn’t something I can single-handidly create, then how do I have my desires met?  This is where I get stuck.  I don’t have the tools to be able to handle this situation.  I don’t know what to do.  This is where I struggle.  I can’t fix this.

For me, having something I can’t control is frustrating and stressful.  Having this situation gnaw at me certainly doesn’t help my mood which in turn makes the underlying problem even worse!  Obviously another approach (or multiple approaches) is necessary.

The best “solution” I’ve come up with thus far is a thoroughly unsatisfying one.  Basically, continue my life to the best of my ability, enjoy what I can, and try (utilizing any and all mind games necessary) to ignore the things I can’t control.  I say this is an unsatisfying solution because it essentially ignores the festering mental health issue I have bouncing around inside my head.  My natural tendency would be instead to go directly after the issue and fix it.  But it’s the best I can do, it seems.

Fortunately it seems that some kind of brain chemistry must be at work here and as such, those levels fluctuate.  Sometimes I’m crawling-up-the-walls-crazy, but at the moment, I’m fine with my situation.  Since nothing substantive has changed in the time between those two states, and I know that sooner or later I’ll be back to crawling-the-walls-crazy, it seems to be more related to brain chemistry than something thoroughly logical and consistent.

I’m writing all of this for the same reason I write all of my blog entries: This is, more or less, a public diary of my life and my experiences.  My ups and downs, and the path along the way.  Woe is not me, my life documented this is.

“No matter where you go, there you are.”  When you’re an active RVer, you go all kinds of places, and every place you end up, you’re always going to be in your own head.  RV’ing by itself will not fix whatever problems you’re dealing with in the sticks-and-brick world.  It may, however, help you gain a little clarity, and I hope with time, find a better path forwards.

Scouting out spots near Alabama Hills, CA

9 thoughts on “On Being Single”

  1. u prolly got lots of ‘human touch’ with the 4 of you in the o’Elkorn ! ( I know, not helpful). Nice blue sky/white-capps . Me blowy-up on large screen. No contrails.

  2. Since Kevin passed I have had the same experience and it is one of the most uncomfortable feelings I’ve ever had. Right now I’m not ready for another relationship, but I sooo miss cuddling!! I now have a Massage Envy membership (they are all over the country by the way) and I am getting a weekly massage. It’s not the same. By any stretch. However, the need is not just mental – it is physiological. Humans need touch. Maybe try a massage?

    1. Thanks for commenting! Yes, I have tried getting a massage, and just as you mentioned, it’s not the same. It would be nice to have some kind of reprieve though!

  3. I totally understand and struggle with the same issue. I love the traveling lifestyle, but I does add another whole level of difficulty in this area. While I don’t have a solution to offer, at least know there are others climbing the walls too

  4. Thanks for sharing… I am missing cuddles too as my hubby is away! Keep holding on and meeting new people. It’s only a matter of time. See you in Moab! 🙂

  5. Knowing that other peole care about you is a very small solace when one craves human touch. John snd I talked anout your experience. We have each experienced this during our lives. We each have also been able to develop the ability to be alone without being lonely. That isn’t easy to accomplish. And it doesn’t negate the need for the physical closeness.

    That being stated…your current social situation presents as a *closed* FAMILY grouping which doesn’t lend itself to developing romantic/loving relationships. Everything smacks of PLATONIC!

    How to get around this? Change your grouping? Is there any singleton in your RV group you would be interested in investing yourself with? Dating sites? Are there any aimed at RV lifestyle? Is it possible to spend more time developing a relationship away from your current grouping? Perhaps while you are continuing to outfit your other rig? You’ll be in one location for an extended time. What about checking out one of the Tiny Houses websites and/or conventions?

    You are cared for by many people. I wish peace and happiness for you.

    1. Hi Penne!

      My current group will be changing in less than a week. Three of us (myself included) are going to Moab to meet up with a larger group of RVers (the Xscapers) and the other two are going separate directions. It’s actually somewhat surprising this group of ours has lasted as long as it has, given the wandering nature of full-time RVers.

      Trying to find the *right* person for my lifestyle is a significant challenge. Pretty much the only groups I can think of are active, young, RVers. Nobody else (it seems) has the mindset or ability to travel freely and constantly. Is it possible I could meet someone while I’m in Tyler for a few months working on my rig? Sure. Am I looking while I’m there? Nope. While I’ll be in Tyler, I’m going to be focused on completing my trailer and getting it out on the road. Plus there’s the whole “I’m living with my parents right now…” that just isn’t all that attractive when trying to date!

      I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the number of comments and discussion around this posting. I had no idea so many people would take the time to post their related thoughts. I’m grateful to have a community of people around, it’s a whole lot nicer than trying to deal with this on my own.

      I’ll eventually find someone. Or I won’t. I’m just working on learning to live in my own head (perhaps even thrive at some point?) by myself for right now. Having this public posting out in the world has certainly helped.

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