Being single is the absolute worst. I spend every night in a bed of my own tears crying over boys that don’t want me and stare longingly after couples who must have everything I never will. I can’t even focus at work because I spend so much time daydreaming about what finding my Prince Charming will be like. Just kidding, it’s really not that bad. It’s almost exactly the same as living your life normally only without someone else that is designated as yours. Now, would I like to have someone to go on dates with and be a soundboard for my thoughts and ideas? Yes, I would. Would I like to someday find someone to build a future with? Absolutely. But, I have been able to make due without a boyfriend for quite some time now and don’t feel that it has really affected my level of happiness or quality of life.
What has affected my level of happiness or quality of life is the ways in which I feel I am supposed to feel about being single — which is guilty.
What I do hate about being single is all of the unwarranted advice that comes with it and the often contradicting qualities I am told contribute to attain such a “status”. I look back on my college years and think about how I felt so inferior for not having had a relationship, only to realize in hindsight that I could not and would not have gotten to where I needed to go had I gotten my wish. It would have resulted in three outcomes; heartbreak, me compromising to suit his post-grad plans, or him compromising to suit my post-grad plans. I look back and realize it wasn’t really a relationship I was seeking, it was strictly the validation that I was worthy of one.
And damn, if that doesn’t make me mad.
There are countless, well-intended articles that tell us women the correct way to be single.
Don’t go looking for love – Put yourself out there more
Focus on yourself – Give so-and-so a chance
You are too intimidating for a man – You are not mature enough to handle a meaningful relationship
Basically, you are single because of the way you are existing and the only way out is to be yourself as long as that self is in alignment with a checklist designed to make money. Not to mention those who are coupled up that humblebrag about how a Real Relationship is a lot of work as if going through the daily motions and holidays by yourself is a walk in the park. We live in a society that capitalizes on our vulnerabilities and insecurities. While there is nothing wrong with providing resources to help people realize what they are worth and what they can do to up their chances of meeting a partner, I can’t really get behind this idea that singledom is something we should be rid of in exchange for validation. I feel more strongly that singledom is something we should do away with in exchange for partnership, a new phase of life, growing with someone else etc.
What if we just stopped placing so much emphasis on relationships and let them happen?
I feel like finding and fueling friendships is a lot harder and more relatable challenge, especially in adulthood. Where are the tens of thousands of articles about that? No one is trying to tell me how to be a better friend, or telling me that if I have too high of standards for friendships I’m going to end up alone. Which, what a concept to want to build a relationship out of compatibility and intimacy rather than fear that there will never be anything else that comes along. There also comes this shame for wanting to change your single status — Why aren’t you happy on your own? Love yourself first! Love will find you when you stop looking! And if you own your status? Open up more! Don’t be so jealous and bitter of couples! Give love a chance!
There is nothing wrong with being in a loving relationship that helps you grow. There is also nothing wrong with being single. These things are both as relevant to your life as you decide. Just please stop telling me how to be single and please stop trying to make me feel bad about it.