quirkyalone
(KWUR.kee.uh.lohn) n. A person who enjoys being single and so prefers to wait for the right person to come along rather than dating indiscriminately.

Example Citations:
Folks move about the room, sharing seats, sharing laps, making valentines for themselves, doodling in notebooks, reading over each other's shoulders, offering each other peer counseling at the "advice table," reading name tags, and asking questions of strangers to determine if the famous person on the back of their shirt is, or is not, quirkyalone. Katharine Hepburn (yes) pushes past Morrissey (yes) on the way to the bathroom, and pauses to read a quote from bell hooks written on the wall about people who deny true love and cling to that assumption because, if faced with the truth of its absence, they will be engulfed by despair. This is a sentiment believed but made beautiful by the patron saint of quirkyalone, Rainer Maria Rilke.
—Silke Tudor, "Solitary Refinement," SF Weekly, February 19, 2003

Today is International Quirkyalone Day, a four-city, two-continent celebration of what it means to be single and happy, not dependent on a relationship for self-worth.

(That said, quirkyalones are quick to paint themselves as passionate romantics always alert for the transcendent love experience.)

Sasha Cagen laughs a lot as she talks about Valentine's Day. It is not the first reaction you might expect from a single woman of 29 facing the heavy thrum of the day's romantic hype.

But as the multitudes cope with over-amped visions of rose petals falling from the sky and heavenly choirs singing, Cagen may have the last laugh. Tonight she, a group of friends — and the public — will gather at a Mission District cafe to celebrate being single and alone. After all, you're never alone when you're with others who are alone, singly.

Especially when they, like you, are quirkyalones.

That's right: quirkyalones. Cagen, a graduate of Sarah Lawrence College, coined the word on a freezing Brooklyn subway platform on New Year's Day, 1999, the morning after a party when she couldn't find a midnight kiss to ring in the new year.
—Dave Ford, "'Quirky' Day offers singular alternative to Valentine's," The San Francisco Chronicle, February 14, 2003

Earliest Citation:
I am, perhaps, what you might call . . . deeply single. Almost never ever in a relationship. Until recently, I wondered if there might be something weird about me. But then, lonely romantics began to grace the covers of TV Guide and Mademoiselle. From Ally Mc Beal to Sex in the City, a spotlight came to shine on the forever single. Perhaps I was not so alone after all.

The morning after New Year's Eve (another kissless one, of course) I standing in the cold Brooklyn air when a certain jumble of syllables came to me. I had, in a mental click that felt so clear and quickening, invented a new word, drawing upon its constituent parts with a self-evident meaning. When I told my friends Tara and Marissa, their faces lit up with an instant recognition: the quirkyalone.

If Jung was right, that people are different in fundamental ways that drive them from within, then the quirkyalone is simply to be added to the pantheon of personality types that have been collected over the 20th century. Only now, 25 years into the second wave of feminism when the idea of marrying at age 20 has become thorougly passe, are we emerging in larger numbers.

We are the puzzle pieces who seldom fit with other puzzle pieces. We inhabit singledom as our natural resting state. In a world where marriage and proms define the social order, we are, by force of our personalities and inner strength, rebels.

Yet make no mistake: We are no less concerned with coupling than your average serial monogamist. Secretly, we are romantics, romantics of the highest order. We want a miracle. Out of millions we have to find the one who will understand.

For the quirkyalone, there is no patience for dating just for the sake of not being alone. On a fine but by no means transcendent date we dream of going home to watch television. We would prefer to be alone with our own thoughts than with a less than perfect fit. We are almost constitutionally incapable of casual relationships.
—Sasha Cagen, "The Quirkyalone," To-Do List, June 2000

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