Why Going Your Own Way Isn’t A Bad Idea

Ever since I was very young, I’ve known that I was a loner. In 1st grade, my class had to make a collage with the theme “What will I Do in 20 Years”. Out of us 15 kids, I was the only one to not include something relating to marriage or children. This sparked a letter home to my mother, telling her that

I might need to talk to someone about “accurate life goals and the importance of having a family”. Then again, it was a private Catholic school…

Now that I’m 29, and still have no desire for marriage or children, I’ve noticed that there are more and more people that seem to believe that an unmarried life with no offspring is a death knell. Men and women alike, regardless of their age in relation to my own, feel compelled to let me know that there is someone out there for me…that maybe I should have my fertility tested…that adoption is always an option…that they are happy to set me up with their nephew/son/friend/grandson. Never once do they ask if I’m okay being single, it is always assumed that I must be miserable and lonely.

But I’m not, and here’s my reasons why going your own way is preferable to some of us;

1. Personal Space
Let’s face it: Living with someone else can be annoying at times. Whether they’re a relative, roommate, boy/girlfriend, or spouse, you’ll get on each others nerves once in a while (if not more). You’ll fight over what to watch on TV, over who ate the last slice of pizza, whose turn it is to do the dishes, etc. If you’re close, it may take a while and may not even be a real fight, much less argument…but sharing a living space with another person or persons will eventually cause a little friction. Add kids and pets to that mix, and your home can probably be confused with a zoo at least once a week.

For most, this is a perfectly acceptable long-term situation. People have different personalities, it’s to be expected that you’ll not get along 100% of the time. Hopefully, everyone can be adults about these differences and provide structure/discipline to any younglings. If this is what you want from life, cool. Take my blessings, please. But recognize that I/others are more of the quiet variety. Solitude is addicting to certain personalities, and our homes are the clean, comforting sanctuary we come home to everyday. That’s not to say I won’t let a down-on-their-luck friend use my sofa bed…but if they stay for over a week, there should be a very good reason why.

2. Career
Going along with the whole “family” thing is undoubtedly how to balance time between work and the spouse and/or children. If you are one of the breadwinners of your home, you may be required to work long hours, take clients out for food/entertainment, have meetings, or write proposals that read like 30 page VCR manuals. Can you do this at home? Some yes, some no…but it’s easier to not in any case. One of the biggest things my married friends fight about with their wives is the fact that they are “never home”. Others have commented on how they had to pass up a promotion because it meant moving to a new location. People who have no children or spouses are free to do as they wish, and can put in as many hours or move any place imaginable, all without needing to worry about how it could affect our home life.

If you already know yourself to be a very career-oriented person, family life may not be for you. Even if you make enough so that your spouse would be able to stay home with the kids, you will most likely have disagreements about helping with homework and school activities. With no children, you may still have arguments of division of chores, bills and household maintenance. Again, I’d hope that everyone involved in a serious relationship could agree on these things…but all to often they cause a lot of tension. If you are like myself and others who enjoy the success of the workplace, just weigh the pros and cons before trying to do it all.

3. Permission
We see it on TV all the time, usually from the male perspective: The main character wants to go out with their friends and coworkers for a night of bowling, drinking, strip clubs, or a well-earned celebratory meal…but they can’t because the wife won’t let them. Unfortunately, this mimics real life more than some would care to admit, and sometimes the sexes are even reversed. I’m not saying that a husband or wife should be able to just paint the town red every night…that would be irresponsible, since family needs time together to flourish and grow.

But when past and current friends have had to cancel movie night 3 times in a row because they have to watch “Sex and the City”, or can’t make it to a get-together planned 4 months in advance because their wife or girlfriend decided it was more important for him to accompanying her to a spur-of-the-moment “garden expo”…I truly feel sorry for them. Perhaps it’s because I’ve never been in a serious relationship, but I know I’d get resentful of a spouse who seemed to have something planned everyday of the week. I like my freedom to come and go as I please, and I know there are others who do too.

4. Health/Fitness
If you are a typical single American, you probably go on dates and you often want to look your best for them. You watch your weight, exercise, eat healthy most of the time, and basically try to stay physically attractive. And since you are single you have more time to do these things (if you don’t think so, take a hard look at your schedule). Other than the “freshman 15” that college students are known for, people typically put on more weight after marriage…and whatever the reason, it often stays on.

Now, that’s not to say that every married couple is unhealthy or overweight. I used to know some that would go jogging together everyday…even with strollers when kids arrived! But remember, I am writing this in America, and we aren’t known for our trim population.

Even if you’re atypical like myself and don’t date at all, staying in shape is easier when you’re single. Better yet, you’ll be doing it for you! Force yourself to learn to cook nutritious meals, go to the gym whenever you have time, save up and buy yourself and exercise machine or some free weights…You may still carry an extra 5 or 10 lbs as you get older, but you can avoid packing on any more than that if you workout.

5. Finances
First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes X with the baby carriage…and crib and bassinet and bottles and diapers and college tuition and…You get the drift. Children cost a LOT, even if you only have 1, and most couples have an average of 2.5. Obviously caring for your next generation of family is very important, and should be considered the most worthwhile investment a parent can make. But if you didn’t have children in the first place, they wouldn’t need care at all.

Even spouses can eat up a significant about of money you wouldn’t have otherwise spent. Maybe your spouse wants to redo the entire kitchen or living room, when you know it’s perfectly serviceable the way it is. Or perhaps they come from a wealthier family, and “need” to take a week long vacation to Hawaii every year. Well, there goes that credit card payment…

I’m not saying that single men and women are all complete minimalists. I didn’t have to buy the R2-D2 version X360 when it came out, just as I also didn’t need to buy myself any Chinese food today since I have a well-stocked pantry. But since I live alone, I also made an $1,200 payment on my credit card without worrying if I needed the money for anything else. When you and only you are responsible for your monthly budget, it helps to pay bills down quickly. You also don’t have to worry about money “going missing” or opening your wallet at work to find that the $60 you had is now only $10…

6. Learning About Yourself
This one may not be immediately evident, but it is no less important than an anything else I have mentioned so far. In fact, it may be one of the most important aspects of going your own way yet. You see, when you’re single you have time to do the things you like, or have always wanted to do…and even things you never considered.

You can save up to buy a Harley and go for long rides every weekend. Try your hand at carpentry, or take a photography class. Learn to cook amazing meals, or finally fix up the Cadillac you bought 2 years ago. Take walks at night. Go hiking with old friends. Buy a “fixer upper” home and turn it into something great. Go back to college and get a degree.

Really, so long as you have the funds, motivation, and self-discipline, you can do nearly anything. In doing so, you’ll learn more about yourself than you ever dreamed possible. Your sense of personal responsibility will sharpen, you’ll have stronger opinions and beliefs, you’ll know more of your likes and dislikes. And why is this? Because you’re living for yourself, of course!

7. Being Conscious Of Choice
Be honest with yourself for a minute: How many times in your life so far have you sacrificed your personal happiness to fulfill societal expectations or to please someone who wasn’t going to remain in your life anyway? I don’t mean things like doing your fair share of chores, or obeying common laws…those should be obvious. I mean things that you really only did so that your peers or society in general wouldn’t think you’re “weird” or “odd”. What if marriage was one of these things?

My readers might be surprised to learn that I’ve personally met and read about quite a number of people who’s only reason for getting married or having children was because they “had to”, or them were told it was the only way to truly be happy. It’s all part of the script, right? You finish high school, get a job, go to college, get married, have kids, buy a house…so on, so forth. And if you decide this script isn’t for you? “Well, why the hell are you being so different? Obviously there’s something wrong with you, because no one in their right mind would choose to stay single. You must hate women/men if you decide to live this way…right?”

Not so much. The majority of us who choose to go our own way have many different reasons for doing so, and maybe I’ll go over the rest of mine some other day. Personally, I know there are plenty of good men out there that I’m sure would be wonderful, caring, equally nerdy spouses. Heck, some of them are my customers. But to them, and all the women I wouldn’t have married anyway, I wish them the best in living their lives as they wish…regardless of what that entails. Men and women alike should feel no pressure to commit to a lifestyle they have no desire to be part of. It’s no one’s life but your own, and nobody is going to live it for you. Take the reins and direct it as you wish!

As for me, I’m happily single, and have no need for that to change.

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The Cheese Stands Alone


45 thoughts on “Why Going Your Own Way Isn’t A Bad Idea

  1. My personal opinion is that you need balance between connection with others and going alone.

    Not good to be dependent on others all the time.

    But the same time love, to me, is the highest value. And that is best had through connection with others.

    And interestingly some of the things you described above – like learning about yourself – can be greatly accomplished through relationships with others.

  2. All of the points you make in the article are some solid bonuses for going your own way. BUT if you choose to go your own way to avoid fighting over the last pizza slice or being the master of the TV remote, then I think you are going to question your decision pretty soon. I will not go into details on why you should go your own way. That must be YOUR (every reader of this) decision, but the main goal in life (on your own) is to stay safe. 🙂

  3. Very true, Martymcfox. I would hope that nobody reads this particular example as a good reason to go their own way…it was just a very simple example, after all! 🙂

    Going your own way to avoid fighting over TV privileges would be immature, but going your own way because you truly enjoy your personal space at the end of the day? Not a bad idea, if you can afford it.

    I agree completely with your last sentence. Staying safe and protecting oneself, whether physically, emotionally, or financially is a excellent main goal to have!

  4. I’m glad you had fun and got some time to yourself. I have never gone on a roadtrip longer than 4 hours by myself…quite a few 12-15 hour ones with the guys though.

    We don’t really argue/debate about anything though…despite being a strict vegetarian, I can eat anywhere. Usually we end up at a steakhouse and I have a plate of the veggie appetizers, lol.

    As for sleeping, it’s not like I need a separate room or anything since I am very easygoing and unfeminine. I tend to make a nice nest for myself on the floor out of extra comforters. 😀

  5. I can entertain myself quite well. I’m one of those people who thought I’d never get married because I’m too… (checks Euphemism-of-the-Day calendar) Challenging.

    I am happy being married, incredibly so. But we are childless by choice. I don’t want kids and neither does Mr. But every once in a while I get talking to someone who starts in with the whole “why don’t you have kids?” whine. Do people not realize what a rude and intrusive question this is?

    Someday, I’ll work up the nerve to call their bluff. “You know, I’m not sure why we don’t have kids. We fuck like bunnies, so it should have happened by now.”

    Probably not going to happen. 😛

    The fur-children are enough.

  6. I was always a loner, too, though I did marry very young. I couldn’t imagine sharing my space all the time with another person.
    After I met my husband I wanted to be with him all the time, and couldn’t imagine life without him. Then, I had to adjust to his deployment schedule and I was alone for weeks and months at a time. I couldn’t imagine sharing space with little people who needed me all the time. Then, the children came (my husband wanted them), and I couldn’t imagine life without them. They do dictate your existence, but it doesn’t matter somehow…it’s worth it. A gift beyond price.

  7. So if you never thought you’d get married, what made you change your mind? Or did you just never THINK you would and, unlike myself, not mind the idea of marriage?

    I’m glad that others find happiness in matrimony, regardless of whether it involves procreation or not. Nobody should have kids if it’s not something they truly wish for! I definitely think you should use that…rather unique…phrase. It’ll shut up the naysayers for sure!

  8. Interesting. So despite your admitted “loner” personality, you married young and even had children. Is it possible you weren’t REALLY a loner, especially given that if you married young you didn’t have much time to live on your own? For example, my own mother claims to be “a loner” at times, but is in near-constant need of people to talk to, vent at, and be around. In other words, she is a loner only until it no longer suits her mood.

    I think this is a major difference between a masculine mind and a feminine mind…A man (or male-minded woman, like myself) can actually live very happily being single their entire life. Of course, I have friends that I care deeply for and cherish, but have no need for someone to live with or be “serious” with. To me, such a relationship (whether a boyfriend or husband) would just chain me down and limit parts of my potential. Note that I’d still die for any one of my friends, and they are all men…but luckily they are all either married already or are “single-minded” like myself.

    This is very different from women (or female-minded people) who even as self-professed loners have an inclination to be in relationships with others. I’ve met far, FAR more women who put a lot of value in the idea of being in a relationship…so much so that they cry and moan if they are ever without a boyfriend, as if their life has no meaning unless they have a “partner” beside them.

    Just something I’ve noticed.

  9. That may be, and as it’s your life and your definition, I’ll not force my own opinion on it.

    I just find it amusing that every woman I’ve ever met who said they’re a loner are married, and the vast majority have children. Perhaps my definition of “loner” is much more strict? Or maybe because I can’t help but think of marriage as tying oneself down…

  10. It is tying oneself down.
    I don’t think your definition of loner is more strict, since you indicated you have friends. I have little need to vent with people/talk to people (other than my husband, but I’m not a chatty cathy either way). Never needed to vent with people before I was married either, or hang out with anyone. I liked books, and drawing, and pretty much kept to myself. I thought there was something wrong with me because I didn’t feel close to anyone. But, like I said, it was different after I met that one person. If something happened to him I’d never date. I hate even the thought of dating anyone (else). Seems like an awkward waste of time.

  11. I also was/am into reading and sketching. I also greatly enjoy biking, hiking, solitary meditation and sitting at the sometimes island/sometimes peninsula at our community lake. You learn so much from just spending hours thinking and watching without any words to get in the way…

    So what changed when you met your husband?

  12. I used to live on my bike, loved biking miles and miles by myself. I don’t know what changed, we met in physics class and he asked me about the homework (I later found out what a joke that was, he was almost done with his engineering degree, high honors, definitely didn’t need homework help), we started studying together and talked about 95 percent of the time rather than studying. Then we’d spend hours talking on the phone into the night, about everything (but not us, he never made a move). He was incredibly clever and funny, really confident even though he was young and skinny then, with a bad wardrobe and really bad haircut.

    After a few weeks I realized I was falling for him, so when he finally made a move it was intense and a VERY fast ‘courtship’ (I basically moved in with him on the first date, there were some subsequent capers, but that’s the gist of it…I moved in because he gave me a key and a drawer, and I found I really didn’t want to be anywhere else so rent at my place was a waste). He’s everything I’m not…very social, gets bored easily (I’m never bored, never had a single bored moment in my life), very ambitious and driven and opinonated about what he wants (I could easily and happily live pretty much anywhere as long as it’s safe, I let him name our kids, pick out where we live, ect, he cares much more than I do about that stuff). We compliment each other really well.

  13. That’s awesome that you found someone like that. I guess my issue is that I’d never be truly happy in such a serious relationship…being tied down is not for everyone. I’m glad you found someone you enjoy being tied to. 😉

  14. Sophia, I was never one of those girls who imagined a big fluffy white storybook wedding. It just seemed silly (not to mention expensive and wasteful). Like Liz, I wasn’t committed to being unmarried, I just never thought I’d find someone. When I did, I moved to Australia to be with him. 🙂

    Our wedding was cheap. I wore a flowered skirt and a jacket (not white, peach), my father was the celebrant, and our 20 invited guests–all family or close friends– went out for Mexican food afterwards. We even had a vegetarian meal option because it’s easier than making a Mexican kitchen cook kosher, which some of my heavy-duty Jewish family required. Wedding cake was a wedding flan. Strolling mariachis and waiters pouring tequila shots into our mouths. Favors were little metal heart tins filled with jellybeans and a laser-printed label:
    “Sasha &Chris
    February 28, 2009”

    That was IT.

    It was awesome. 🙂

  15. Sorry for the comment littering. I just wanted to emphasize that I’m totally with you in principle. Getting married is something that you should do because you want to, not because you were nagged into it by family, or society expects it, or it;s just what “people do”.

  16. That sounds like a lot more fun than any wedding I’ve been too. 🙂

    I’m happy for you as well…I *am* committed to staying single, but when people who aren’t find a match that they truly love and respect (and loves/respects them back), it’s a beautiful thing!

  17. I always loved that scene.

    What he says is very true though…When you get married, that person will always try to change you into what *they* want you to be. And may the Gods help you if that’s not acceptable to you!

    That’s not to say there’s no give and take in a serious relationship. A couple does have to reach negotiations sometimes, and there will always be slight disagreements. But that’s VERY different than what I see in society today…

    Thanks, but no thanks. I *like* the way I am!

  18. I did indeed, it was different than what I was expecting, but good!

    I find it interesting that you say it takes “courage” to be single. I’ve never thought of it that way, it’s just the way I prefer to live. Any chance you could expand on this a bit?

  19. It can sometimes. Some people feel as if they need to have someone. People often stay in relationships because they don’t want to be alone. To leave out of fear of being alone I think takes some courage.

  20. Huh. I never thought of it that way before. I’ve never been in a real relationship…I’ve “been with” my FwB for 8 years, but our relationship is still extremely casual/no commitments. I think I’d have the opposite problem: Fear of being in a real relationship!

  21. We men are so amenable in our natural state to feminine manipulation. What we have in superior physical abilities is matched by the superior social manipulative skills of females. This book details the subtle power of females very accurately.

    You can read more about MGTOW overall at this website:


  22. It does, but I’m unsure how much of it varies from culture to culture. I’m also unsure about *why* one would want to manipulate another person as much as he details in this book. Some of the things he quotes are…very odd, and (at times) downright deceitful. It boggles the mind, it does.

    Either way, it seems there are numerous reasons to “go your own way” whether you’re a man or a woman.

  23. @Odessa

    I’ve always loved this saying: “Just because I’m alone doesn’t mean I’m lonely.”
    And being devoted to one’s own likes, hobbies, and education is hardly the worst way to live one’s life. 😉

  24. I know its over a month late, but I just watched the video infowarrior posted. Very interesting 🙂

    The problem is, it’s superficial. Looking at politics for example, we ask ‘where are all the women?’. Yes, you can answer that question by saying ‘no women want to go into politics’, but its a very unsatisfactory answer. The real question we want answered is WHY do no women want to go into politics!

    They may be making free choices of their own agency, but why are they making the choices they make? If you want to argue, as she does in the video, that any attempt to explain the motivations behind why humans choose to do ANYTHING is an attack on their agency then you will have to dismantle the fields of sociology and psychology.

    It’s perfectly possible to respect an individual’s agency but still ask why they made certain decisions. Her video is really a form of deflection, it avoids the answers to questions like ‘why, on a societal level are men/women more likely to do X’ by getting offended that the question was ever asked.

  25. @Virgin Male

    Which is also perfectly acceptable. Just note that there’s many types of relationships, and not all of them require that you live with the other person. I’ve been friends with my lover for 8 years and having sex with him for 7…but each of us still lives at our own places. For our FwB relations this is great, for others it wouldn’t be. To each their own.

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