Those of us in our late 20s have no doubt been asked to the point of exhaustion, “When are you going to get married?” For those of us who have never even had a significant other, an added question will be, “When are you going to start dating?” You get hounded and pressured by everyone, as if your only point in life is to attach yourself to another person. For some, it’s a matter timing or opportunity. For others, it’s a matter of disinterest.
And for some (like me) it’s a mix of these two, splattered with an unhealthy dose of anxiety. The idea of dating and intimacy terrifies me. The few times I’ve actually tried to date, my anxiety attacks me to the point of illness. So I choose not to date, and then in the back of my head, nagging me, is a soft little you’re going to be alone, you need to find someone, you’ll never get married…
Why do I have this nagging feeling, when I am much happier (and calmer) when I’m not dating, and really couldn’t care less about getting married? Society.
Years of social pressure and conditioning saying everyone needs to be with someone is making those of us who are happier without romance feel broken. Like there is something terribly wrong with us. And I completely believe it’s this same societal pressure that makes people who are interested in dating and romance, but perhaps aren’t with someone right now, feel like they need to find someone immediately or they can’t be happy.
People on both sides are getting depressed and letting these pressures fuel their anxieties. Some are even getting themselves into relationships that are not healthy, just so they can say they have someone. We need to stop it! We need to take control of our happiness and our mental health before it takes a tole on our physical health.
You can absolutely be happy being single! Start out by thinking about all the things you can do while you’re single that are harder when you’re attached.
When you’re single, you can travel almost anytime and anywhere you want! You don’t have to worry about the time being convenient for someone else. If you want to travel with a friend, you might have worry about a schedule, but you don’t have to worry about the expenses of anyone but yourself. Last year, a friend of mine and his wife were planning a trip abroad, and when he told me the costs, I was in shock. Travel now while you’re young and it’s just you! There is a big world out there, and it’s waiting for you to see it!
If you’re ambitious and looking to take the business world by storm, be glad you’re single! You get to make career decisions based solely on what you want to do. Many times, moving up in the company means taking on more responsibilities that may take up more of your time, time your theoretical S.O. could possibly resent.
And you might have to travel for work, taking up even bigger chunks of your time. You may even have to move to a new city to pursue the career opportunities you want, and as a single person you can make that decision without having to factor someone else into the mix. You get to decide what is right for you, and you don’t have to feel guilty that the career and life you want are at the expense of someone else.
I think the basic message here is you get to do what you want when you want! I find it so bizarre when one of my friends says, “Oh, I have to ask ___ if it’s okay.” You have to ask your S.O. if it’s okay to hang out with your friends for the night? You have to ask your S.O. if you can buy that $15 shirt? Really? REALLY?!
As a single person, you don’t have to check in with anyone. You are the decision maker. I just bought a pair of $70 shoes. I didn’t have to check in with anyone but myself and my bank account. We both said it was okay. Your money is yours, your time is yours, your life is yours–spend it, use it, and live it how you want!
So don’t be worried about being single. Be happy and enjoy it! One day, things might change, and you’ll find someone, and that will be a different adventure. But maybe you’ll be single for good, and that is absolutely not a bad thing.