The number one is a curious number to me.  It reminds me I am on my own, just one where there used to be two. Being a single woman again, many days I am focused on the fact that I am no longer part of a couple. It is a habit that is hard to break, when you had a mate for over twenty-five years.  This is not a refection on how I feel about my life now, it is just a simple statement that life is different, and in three years as a widow, I am still adjusting to being on my own. I miss the great things about being a couple and love the new things I am doing as a single gal again. It is my current bi-polar state of mind.

Sometimes I ask myself this question: Am I ready to be part of a couple again? I dated very soon after my husband died, but haven’t dated in over a year. Instead of trying to find a new mate, I found a new life.  I’ve done so well at filling my life, there is hardly time for a man. And yet…it is always in my thoughts. But if I honestly answer the question, my answer would be…not yetmaybe.

But dating is different from being a couple. Do I want to date?

Yes, yes, and yes. Not all the time. But on a Saturday night, I’d like to go out!

Sometimes… I miss flirting. I never meet single men. I can’t flirt with married men. Then I’d be the ONE in trouble. I sleep with dogs, and like that best. Who wants to date me now?

I talk about this all the time to friends. Friends who have mates.

“When you least expect it, someone will appear.” This is the universal answer.

“Well I least expect it now, and no one is appearing!” I like to toss that back in reply.

I watch couples, young and old, and feel a bit of envy. They care for each other. At those times the word ONE annoys me. Not dating, well, it gets on my nerves! I am being silly, or am I? The world is full of two. Noah’s ark had pairs. I am ONE.

On days when this makes me blue, an old tune comes to mind and I hum it.

“One is the loneliest number that you’ll ever do.”

“One” is a song by Harry Nilsson, famous for that opening line above. The song appeared on Aerial Ballet, Nillson’s third album. It is a catchy phrase and melody that is used for more than one thing with the media.

For me it holds only one meaning. I am single again.

I hear excuses from others about meeting someone new.

“Men want younger women.”

Bite me, even if it is true.

“I never want a man around again.”

Never, say never.  Some men are excellent at home repair.

“Someday my prince will come.”

I don’t want a prince to rescue me.


Yes, I am mentally still in high school.

But today’s teenagers are probably more mature then I am with this dating thing.

I decided to look up the defination of ONE.

I meet my nemisis at the online dictionary.


  • The number, represented by the symbol 1, being the first in a series, or number 1 in what you do.
  • Being a single entity, unit, object, or living being: “one of a kind” “she is the best one.”
  • Characterized by unity; undivided: “spoke with one voice”.
  • Distinct from all others; only; unique “no one quite like her”
  • Eminent beyond or above comparison, as in “she’s one girl in a million”
  • Indefinite in time or position; “will come one day”
  • ‘At one’, in a state of agreement or harmony.

As I see it, the word “one” makes you special, lets you be in harmony with others, and brings hope of things to come one day. Not a bad word when you see it clearly.

Change is hard. Old habits linger. Going from a pair to just one, no matter what the circumstances were, is life altering. It can also be life affirming, depending on how you handle it. Take that little word “one”. It can isolate you and bring you loneliness, or you can remember how special you are, “no one is quite like you”.  It is a small word, but how you let it define you, is huge.

Today I am “at one” with the universe. Life is good.

My mother tells me “I am one in a million”. Pretty cool.

“You are one of a kind!” A new friend is kidding me after learning I have five dogs. I am assuming this is a compliment.

My date “will come one day”, when I least expect it. Or he won’t, and I’ll be happy doing my thing, without having to answer to anyone.

Number one is not the loneliest number, as the song implies. It is the start of a long list of things you can be on any given day! Being “one” is what makes you special. Remember that next time you sing the blues.

As for me, and a Saturday night date…pssst…if you have a younger brother, call me!

Barbara Barth, the CEO of Life


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