“Why must it be a truthiness universally acknowledged that a single woman in possession of an existence must be in want of a mate?”

A friend wrote that delightful, Pride-&-Prejudice-referential question to me in a recent e-mail. She was frustrated with the assumption in our society that single people are incomplete. Are in search of another person. Are waiting. Have failed in some way. Have been unlucky. Have all kinds of happiness in their future, as long as they’re patient and never give up hope.

Today, I would just like to point out quietly — because hardly anyone ever does, and maybe it would be useful for more people to talk about it — that while there are indeed many single people who are in search of a mate, there are also many single people who aren’t in search of anything. Who’ve chosen to be single. Who have, in fact, found the secret to their own happiness. Maybe they have other dreams that take precedence, other priorities and passions. Maybe they love to be alone, cherish other kinds of relationships, relish in the freedom of being single. People are different. Announcement: People are different.

Here is my promise: I promise that if I ever meet you and you tell me you’re single, I will not assume that you’re open to being set up with one of my friends; I will not make a sad face and tell you never to give up hope; I will not assume, if I see you talking to another single person, that you’re hitting on them; and I will not make mental generalizations about the richness of your life.

That is all.