The Translated Files: The Starfish Position

With this post I would like to introduce a new ‘column’ in this blog!

Every now and then I come across an article that resonates with me or prompts me to think but is written in Greek. So I decided to do what I do best, thinking about food  translating in order to make it accessible to more, non-Greek speaking people, channeling one of my initial motivations for creating this blog about 1,000,000 years ago:

Sharing all the good stuff I discover with others. Because sharing is caring. (And there’s always more to talk about afterwards.)

This translated abstract originates from the Greek Cosmopolitan’s column Sex and The Single Girl, which was originally penned by Alexandra K. and published in the September 2016 issue.


The Starfish Position

You are single. Yes, of course you are single; you’re reading a column called ‘Sex and The Single Girl’. Unless you’re in a relationship and you’re missing being single, which is perfectly understandable. It can happen to everyone, even though most singles find it hard to believe as they think that people in relationships are perpetually on cloud nine whereas they [the singles] are swimming in a deep, vast ocean, helpless and surrounded by sharks. Big mistake.

Having said that, I have to agree with the fact that, as everybody has been going through a rough patch during the last couple years and have been slowly realising that only a few things in life really matter, the existence of a significant other seems like the perfect solution to all problems. Many women have told me that, if they had a partner, their everyday life would be easier as they would have an ally; someone with whom they could share their burden. They are all fervently waiting for this partner, forgetting how much energy and effort a relationship requires.

In fact, they treat this period of singleness solely as a preparatory period for the next relationship. As a result, they are never really alone and thus miss the best part of this situation: The time you have to spend by yourself, fight your inner battles and make peace with yourself all over again.

All by myself

At some point, though, you realise that no one is coming to save you. This is due to the fact that a) no one can actually save some else, b) being single is actually not that bad, or c) you’ve found balance in your life and you don’t want to risk losing it. This is the crucial moment where you decide to stretch and lay in your bed like a starfish, taking up both sides of the bed.

You move your pillow in the middle. You do not need to limit yourself to the one side of the bed anymore, just in case someone comes along. You can move around without bothering anyone or someone taking up your space. You spread your arms and legs wide and try to occupy as much space as possible, without being afraid that you’re going to get used to this only to have to huddle up later on. You accept that you are a single person who is neither waiting nor preparing itself for the next person that comes along. You decide that you are going to enjoy all the perks the single life has to offer.  I cannot write ‘the bachelor life’ as, to me, the bachelor life refers to beer, watching football and dirty socks (damn it, we [women] are so lucky not having to deal with all these things).

Free style

After this revelation, when you stop waiting for a shoulder to lean on, the best part begins. This is because you finally stop torturing yourself or others with expectations. You can converse and mingle with them without expecting something in return. You stop worrying so you are finally yourself; you don’t have to play any specific roles or inflict restrictions upon your personality in order to be likeable. You discover your own true identity, unhampered by external interferences. 

In other words, you become that girl [Translator’s note: or that boy] that takes up the entire double bed, can go out with whomever she wants whenever she wants, say whatever crossed her mind, enjoy her friends company, draw her entire appartment with polka-dots if she feels like it, turn the music louder and play songs she wouldn’t dare listening in someone else’s presence, read silly books, read brick-sized classics at her own pace, have conversations with herself out loud, spend her time in the way she prefers without having to adjust her plans to someone else’s schedule. In other words, the girl who comes back to the core of her existence. The girl who rediscovers who she is when nobody’s watching, judging or expecting her to be something specific. When there is nobody around to assign her a particular role, may that be the role of the partner, mother, sister, daughter, princess, slave, you name it.

Starfish quality

Yes, even in the healthiest of relationships we all assume a role, suppress our personality at some point, modify our identities a little  – or to a devastating extent – in order to be able to keep up with the other person. We lose our ‘muchness’. So the time we spend as singles is one of the few opportunities we will get to figure out who we really are, what we want, what we do not want any more, how we want others to see us. When we are single, without someone’s input determining our existence, the answers to the questions can be answered only by us. And the results of this process are usually very exhilarating. And the people around us can’t help but notice this shift, even if that wasn’t our initial goal.

The starfish position does not limit itself in our bedroom; it is an attitude towards life in itself. Even if it does never really last that long as nothing attracts others more than a person who lives freely and who – to be brutally honest – does not need them at all.

 So, what do you think? I really fond of the idea of being single as a period meant not necessarily for seeking a new partner but for seeking our truest, honest self, exploring our identity, our values, our needs and our aspirations. I also wish for my coupled friends out there – whom I wholeheartedly love – to continue to be their true selves and grow within their relationships.

Single (as almost always),


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