I coined “quirkyalone” back in 2000 with a media-friendly definition. Quirkyalones are people who “enjoy being single (but are not opposed to being in a relationship) and generally prefer to be alone rather than date for the sake of being in a couple.” I have shared that definition everywhere from CNN, to USA Today, to this NPR in 2013.
That definition is great, but it’s just the soundbite version to scratch quirkyalone’s depths. For me and many others quirkyalone is not actually about being single at all, it’s an idea that is much larger than that; it’s about being connected to yourself when you are single or in a relationship. I must admit I get frustrated when people think quirkyalone is just about being single and conflate the two.
That’s one reason why, during the Tangasm Adventure, I was intrigued and delighted when Amanda suggested that we use one quirky connecting circle to each share our interpretation of “quirkyalone.” In a sense, hearing each person’s beautiful definition made me realize–OMG, the right people do get this is deep. Each person’s definition was unique, but they were all about a deep sense of home within oneself as a base for connection with others.
My definition that I shared: “If I take the pulse on quirkyalone right now, for me, it’s about freedom. Really feeling free to know who I am and what I want in my life outside of what it’s supposed to be. Honoring and respecting that, not rejecting traditional things, but really being in inquiry about what I really want. The piece that has become big over the last few years is the authentic piece, of being more vulnerable and real and having that come forward in all my relationships. There’s a big integrity piece. Being quirkyalone is about being honest, and the vitality that comes from being honest. It’s also difficult, it’s not an easy path, but it’s rewarding. My life is so different from many of my friends. I’m 40, I am writing a book about all my adventures and some of my friends will read that book and be jealous of me and I will be jealous of them sometimes, but my story is really true to me and what I chose.”
After I shared my definition each person in our group shared his or her definition. Here I am sharing four more with you via video and audio. Please enjoy. And I’m curious about your definition. Read below for how to share and join the conversation on the blog.
Amanda: Quirkyalone is about being yourself
Choice quote: “The alone part of quirkyalone doesn’t mean lonely. It means I’m happy being single, I’m happy being with somebody. The analogy to the tango dance, if you have two people who know who they are and who are independent and comfortable with who they are, the dance is going to be a lot more powerful than if you don’t know who you are and you collapse into each other without your individual structure.”
Jenny: “Entering into relationship with a lot more fullness and a lot more to offer”
Choice quote: “It’s a sense that you have to rely on yourself at all times, and when you seek partnership, especially romantic relationship, you do it for love and because you want to grow something . . . it’s really about being honest about what you want and how you pursue it. It’s only entering into relationship when you are doing it for true love and to have a great experience.”
Miles: As ancient civilization said, first of all be happy with yourself
Choice quote: “Quirkyalone is a connection to yourself that doesn’t mean being single. For me being quirkyalone means to have my own space and be really happy with that. If I have to force myself to be with someone because I need to, that’s not me. First, being very respectful for my own place, to know my quirks, and be happy with that, is a way of connection. As ancient civilization said, first of all be happy with yourself, try to understand yourself and it will be easier whatever comes. It’s not, I’m single, this is my flag, and I’m happy being single, for me, it’s I have my quirks, and this is really my space. I like to think of myself in a bubble, or a balloon, and there is a minimum space that is only mine, that I cannot share. If I am happy with that, then being quirkyalone with another can be possible.”
Nele: Quirky is being normal, being me. Alone means I allow it.
Choice quote: “Weird, or being quirky, is normal as I feel it. We say it’s different because it’s different from what we see around us. It’s being normal, being me. Alone means I myself allow it. I don’t need anyone telling me, yes you can be yourself. I can collect courage to say to myself, yes it’s fine what you do and feel good about it.”
My new computer doesn’t want to go through with downloading Soundcloud. It’s rebelling because I haven’t given it a name yet. 🙂
I had never thought about how there isn’t an equivalent to “quirky” in Spanish. As a born quirkyalone, I was so thrilled to read that word! For me, someone who’s quirky recognizes and accepts (or at least struggles to accept) the truths that are essential to who she is, even when they set her apart from others. Even as someone who has loved being single, though, I never felt “alone” applied to relationship status exclusively. To me, it means, being comfortable listening to the inner voice that tells you who you are, even when it’s the only voice validating your path. Believing that decision alone dooms you to be alone in the traditional sense shows a strict adherence to arbitrarily imposed norms. What that definition of “alone” really does, I think, is show you you always have a whole heart that’s yours, not to give away, but to share. Knowing that, you bring all your strength, love, and passion to all relationships of all kinds, because you know a whole heart is essential to a joyful partnership.
Beautiful Jill! Thanks for sharing this!