With Valentine’s Day fast approaching there is a flurry of heart-shaped everything. A sea of pink and red awaits us and a stream of cherubs assails us. For those who are coupled-up, be it with a boyfriend/girlfriend, partner, or spouse it may be the time to think of buying a gift, planning a night out at a new restaurant or a surprise weekend away. For those who are not coupled-up and quite happy to be single, it may just be a day like any other. Some may or may not have heard of the term ‘quirkyalone’ and may have wondered what on earth that meant. Does it mean a hermit who never ventures out of their apartment? Does it mean a person who chooses to live off-the-grid by themselves in the middle of nowhere? Does it mean a person with no friends? Being quirkyalone is none of these things but if you’re keen more keep reading.
Quirkyalone is a term conceived by Sasha Cagen in 2000. It was a word devised to describe those individuals who “enjoy being single (or spending time alone) and so prefer to wait for the right person to come along rather than dating indiscriminately” (Cagen, 2000). The idea is to not seek someone to complete you but instead be a complete, fulfilled, and happy person and bringing that into any friendship or relationship you may experience. No settling, no being with someone just for the sake of saying you have a partner, no feeling defective for being single. It’s about enjoying what you have and embracing the potential of what might be.
Variation on a theme
February 14 has been traditionally known as Valentine’s Day but it’s also International Quirkyalone Day. So, how do you celebrate quirkalone day? If you’re not having a romantic candlelit dinner, gifting chocolates and heart-shaped boxes or festooning someone’s office with pink and red balloons what else could you be doing to celebrate? Below you will find some suggestions made by Sasha that come from her book titled “Quirkyalone: a manifesto for uncompromising romantics”.
A personal take
I’m a born quirkyalone. I always thought it would be nice to have a partner, travel and build a life together with that person but I was never the type of person that “needed” a partner. I didn’t run from one relationship to another with no breaks in between. I didn’t rush to be with someone, anyone just to not be alone. I’m an introvert who doesn’t thrive with a ton of people, noise, lights, smells, etc. around me. For me, it’s sensory overload. I don’t relish dinner parties where you can’t hear what people are saying you end up missing all the jokes because everyone is talking over the top of each other. I’ve always enjoyed one-on-one conversations with all manner of people and being able to talk about anything and everything. I value friendships and relationships highly but I’m not desperate for them. When the right situation comes along, I will appreciate it fully and I will enjoy completely whatever life has to bring in the meantime with no regrets.
So, as we’ve seen, being quirkyalone is not about being anti-love, anti-relationships or anti-social. It’s about setting a standard for your life that is not dependent on another individual. It’s about being complete without needing the addition of another individual. It’s about having the freedom of being unconstrained about how things “should” be and relaxing into what is.
Cagen, S. 2000, “About”, viewed 10 February 2019, http://quirkyalone.net/index.php/about-2/
Cagen, S. 2000, "Happy Quirkyalone Day!", viewed 10 February 2019,
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