It’s interesting that as I get older, I’m becoming more appreciative of being single. **Now, I want to preface that this isn’t about bashing relationships, as many of my wonderful friends are in happy relationships… this is about everyone that is single.**
Two months ago, I watched “How to be Single” on the plane ride home. It was the typical rom-com with highs and lows, but the ending was a bit different, a bit refreshing. The main character didn’t oblige to the cliché “meeting the man of your dreams & living happily ever after” ending. And I absolutely loved it. So much so, that I replayed the ending monologue seven times (!) to write it all down for future reference…
“I’ve been thinking that the time we have to be single is really the time we have to get good at being alone. But really, how good at alone do we want to be… Isn’t there a danger that you’ll get so good at being single, so set in your ways that you’ll miss out on being with someone great? Some people take baby steps. Some people refuse to settle at all. Sometimes it’s not statistics, it’s chemistry. And sometimes, just because it’s over, doesn’t mean the love ends. The thing about being single is – you should cherish it. Because in a week, a lifetime of being alone, you may only get one moment. One moment when your not tied up in a relationship with anyone – a parent, a pet, a sibling, a friend. One moment when you stand on your own. Really truly single. And then it’s gone.”
This resonated with me tremendously. I’ve had my ups and downs with relationships over the years, but I can truly say this is the happiest I’ve ever been, being alone. Everything I do, I know I am doing for myself. And as the saying goes, one will never look back and regret something that they did for themselves. I’m comfortable living alone, sleeping alone, making delicious meals – for one, and treating myself to clothes, books, massages and a few trips now and then. I voice my opinions, perhaps more than I should, and live my life each day the way I want to. Most importantly, I love the person that I am. And I think that is the most important thing (& something to be truly cherished and enjoyed) before you open your life to someone else.
SO I was curious to see what other singles thought and how they viewed “being single.” Their responses were a breath of fresh air and I loved how open and honest everyone was immediately! [Although most wanted to remain anonymous; don’t worry, not a lot of people read this]
Anonymous, 31 – Finance
Being single to me means time to dedicate to myself. Prioritize what is important in my life – family, work, friendships, and fun 🙂
Anonymous, 33– Sales
It means freedom to express myself while not worrying about how my other half is judging it. I chose a very structured and straight arrowed partner (in the past). Not every girl is like you in that she is what I refer to as a – down as bitch. (not my words!)
Anonymous, 25 – Pre-med Student
Another family gathering. Another night on the town. Another day in the woods. Another get together with friends and their spouses/significant others- I am constantly reminded about (whether in vivo or via one form of media or another) the concept of being “with” someone…”together”…”in a relationship”…”dating”…”seeing each other.” But what the hell does all of this mean? How do they differ? Are they progressive, or are they in fact discrete, separate levels of presumably a romantic relationship with one other human being (for the sake of this argument. But you do you!) It probably comes as no surprise that I am single. And let me tell you why being single makes more sense and is ultimately a better way of living.
Obviously this is going to be biased. I am supposed to try and convince you, a person raised in a culture that looks at being in a monogamous relationship with someone (see concepts above and insert your own to make it pertinent) as the norm. And maybe even sees being single as an outlier or in some way sub-par to their decision. Because that is essentially what this is. A decision. And thanks to this decision and way of life: I have been happier, encountered less stressors, experienced less financial burdens, and had time to completely focus on what I want and need at this point in my life. In short- It has been the shit.
Let’s break them down right quick. How being single contributes to your happiness? I have had more time to spend with my family, friends, animals, in nature, and concentrating on how to better myself (as opposed to worrying on how to better a relationship or someone else). How being single has helped me encounter less stressors? Oh come on…that’s obviously an easy one. How being single has helped me experience less financial strain? And I’m not even talking about paying for the other person or anything like that. Just the sheer amount of paid activities that are generally chosen as opposed to when I am alone or with friends and we do things like (Yes, I acknowledge that I am a hick at heart) fishing, hunting, biking, canoeing, and camping (as opposed to going to dinner, going to the movies, and going to a bar. I know…I probably just described like 90% of dates.) Don’t get me wrong- I LOVE going to get some good grub, seeing a dope flick, and getting my buzz on from time to time. But not all the time. And by being in a relationship you are more likely to do more of the latter. And finally- I am sure it comes as no surprise that when you are single you have more time to dedicate to yourself and things like your career, hobbies, and preferences.
Also, as animals our only biological purpose is to spread our genes and as a person in a monogamous relationship…you’re losing on that end as well (Ideally. But nobody’s perfect.) So realize that the next time you are filling out a “Demographics” section for some form or paperwork- Just as it asks for your race and marital status. Realize, it says “Single” first. No so weird anymore, right?
Anonymous, 28 – Finance
I’ve essentially been in a relationship since I’ve been intimate with girls. It’s just been easy for me to flow from one relationship to the next, without really growing individually. The difference between myself individually from my college girlfriend and my most recent ex was relatively minimal. I’ve grown more in this last year personally not attached to a female than I had the previous 8 years. Granted, drugs, helped that immensely, but so did not relying on happiness to be generated from a relationship but rather internally.
The further I get from my relationships, the pickier I get. However, I tell my friends I’m living a hamster wheel life. Like a hamster, I’m having a hell of a time, but not exactly going anywhere, and I’m curious to see how long the adventure stays fresh…
Claire, 25 – Tax Consultant
Being single, what is actually being single? I do not specifically ask myself that question, but I know I started realizing what it is through time. 2015 was the worst yet the best year of my life. My last relationship lasted 4 years, which I think is damn long. I often told others that: “Think about this, if you can only live 80 years, it would count toward 1/20 of your life time”. I actually lost myself once during that 4 years, and there was a period of time that he was the center of my life. Everything I did, he came first. Then I started realizing that people would take granted for what you do, and then I started seeking changes and maintaining a balance. I realized that if things did not work out, it never will no matter how hard you push and how hard you try. It was more of a relief rather than sorrow when we broke up.
The mind of taking an adventure year started surfacing before I called my relationship off. I have always wanted to do things that I know can only be done when I am single. I think being single is more like I can enjoy myself, being lonely (which is NOT easy especially if you live by yourself), and become a real independent person. Who is the only person you can rely on in this entire universe? It is YOU, and you should always remember that. When you can really enjoy the loneliness/time being alone, and do not surround yourself with all kinds of guys/ tinder/coffee meets bagel/ different dating apps EVERYDAY, which is when you grow up. I know we all have our own life style, but I always believe that the best will present itself in front of you and not by seeking it all the time. I am very content with how I am right now and I do not feel jealous with those who are already in a happily marriage/stable relationship. One thing I do worry about though is I am concerned I might rush into marriage when I am 27/28 years old. The feeling of – Claire, you should settle down now – may play a big role when I reach the age. So now I just keep reminding myself that do not rush into anything, especially for things that are serious. I know I will only want one marriage, once and for all so I need to be careful. Hopefully I can have the strength by then and not making any stupid mistakes just because I am tired of being alone. I am not sure if other people will have the same concern when they are also single. I feel like there are certain group of people who will never understand what single truly means because they never felt heart-broken, went through the healing process, and the period of time to build themselves to become better. It will be difficult for them to learn what is for their own good, and what the most important thing in their life is. They may have an amazing life with everything seem perfectly, but they will always lack something inside their hearts – the type of strength. One thing I LOVE to do is to take solo trips, and I guess it can somewhat reflect the meaning of being single. I have completed 4 so far and is about to take my 5th one in September. They were all AMAZING experiences. I can do whatever I feel like to do, eat whenever I want, and not to worry about texting someone if I am in a relationship. Technically speaking, you can still take solo trip while you are with someone, but it is different. I encourage everyone who is single to try it, and you will learn so much more about yourself. I also try not to get deeply attached to anything right now. Maybe because I am still healing from my last relationship, or maybe because I believe all things will eventually fade away. Treat yourself well when you are single, and treat yourself even better when you are in a relationship.
Celebrate your single years. enjoy yourself and do things for you. Cherish the time you have with yourself, because it could be the last time, for the rest of your life!