Village Life – Blissfully single in community

By Tom Travis

It’s called “cuffing season.” I quite hate that term. The term “cuffing” refers to the restrictive and restraining purpose of handcuffs. If you don’t know about cuffing season it begins sometime in October and culminates up to the egregiously capitalized holiday Valentine’s Day.

The intention of “cuffing” happens when single, unhitched people begin to prowl around for a partner, a lover or someone to date. Their hope is to find a person to “be with” “to date” during the profusion of holidays that are celebrated between Halloween and Valentine’s Day.

The hoped for outcome in getting “cuffed” is to have someone to cuddle with during the bleak and shadowy winter months. Also, having that special person, your “date” to accompany each other to those sometimes abhorrent and dreaded family holiday gatherings. and to have a person’s hand to hold while wandering through a barrage of parties, events and celebrations.

If this all sounds rather objectifying up this point…it is (at least to me it is).

I describe myself as being “blissfully single.” Meaning I’m euphoric about being single. I have a freedom that I’ve never really enjoyed so much as when I’m single. To say or think of being “cuffed” into a dating relationship seems oppressive and honestly a big turn off.

What are all of us are looking for?….love. That word is one of those words that is over used, misunderstood, stale, trite and even mundane like nice, great, and cool…what do those words actually mean? Love-shmove, what does love mean?

Lyrists and songsmiths have attempted to describe what love is. William Shakespeare tried in his famous Sonnet 118 with these words:

“Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove.
O no! it is an ever-fixed mark
That looks on tempests and is never shaken…”

“An ever-fixed mark”? Well, I don’t know about that.

This banner hangs in The People’s Church of Flint. (Photo by Tom Travis)

The musical Love Is a Many Splendored Thing with its theme song of the same name offers this description of love –

“Love is a many splendored thingIt’s the April rose that only grows in the early SpringLove is nature’s way of giving a reason to be living…Once on a high and windy hill, In the morning mistTwo lovers kissed and the world stood stillThen your fingers touched my silent heart and taught it how to singYes, true love’s a many splendored thing.”

Okay, there is something there about true love. Being with that special someone, a soul-mate, a lover it does seem that at times the crashing world around us seems to disappear and our hearts are lifted by the love created in those wistful moments.

While I and millions of others are “blissfully single” I think each of us are always looking for love. The kind of love where “the world stood still” or the kind that “looks on tempests and is never shaken.” What an alluring discovery, finding a love where tempests and our sad world are no match for a heart enraptured in love.

The truth is that millions of single people find love in some wonderful ways – deep friendships, a community of love at social gathering places like bars, places of worship, cultural group gatherings. Someone once said, “Your community is in places you keep returning to.”

Love, true, meaningful love can elude us. The dating world seems to be designed with “smoke and mirrors.”

Yes, I’m blissfully single, unhitched and uncuffed (yuck, I hate that word) yet there are many places I feel loved, in the communities I’m a part of around my town. For instance, I’m not so much addicted to my daily espresso but I find love, acceptance and camaraderie in the people I drink coffee with or have a shot of whiskey with —  regulars at a local watering-hole where I find community, being loved.

So rather than wishing you all a Happy Valentines Day I challenge you to find true love, find your people, find a place or multiple places where you’re loved, accepted….that’s a love that keeps on giving.

EVM Managing Editor Tom Travis can be reached at

Author: Tom Travis

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