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New Year's Eve, 1998. Sasha Cagan and a few of her single friends found themselves at a party, counting down to midnight and staring out at "a sea of people not kissing." In that moment, Cagan moved "from thinking that (we) were the only ones to seeing us as part of a group, a moment, and perhaps even a movement." Enter the rise of the quirkyalones, for whom singledom is not just a holding pattern between relationships, who see themselves as creative, independent, offbeat types with the discrimination and courage to remain uncoupled rather than date for the sake of not being alone. Quirkyalone: A Manifesto for Uncompromising Romantics defines and embraces a mindset in which it is more satisfying to fly solo, celebrating the value of solitude and close friendships while holding out for true love. Some may never find it, of course, but what makes a person a quirkyalone is the belief that staying single is perfectly okay. And so what happens when a quirkyalone finds a mate? Quirkyalone is a state of being, posits Cagan, an approach to life that doesn't disappear when romantic circumstances change. "Never is the quirkyalone outlook more important than when we are romantically intertwined, or, shall we say, quirkytogether."
Critics might argue that Cagan and her quirky compadres have not so much spawned or identified a movement as come up with a funky name for the considerable group of people too smart to model their relationships on the movies and women's magazines. But at its core, Quirkyalone is a campy, provocative take on contemporary single life, reminding the attached and unattached alike that being quirky is all about being unapologetically, uniquely, and boldly oneself. --Svenja Soldovieri [via]