Today’s blog post is a continuation of my “To the single people out there” series. You can check out parts 1 and 2 in the links below:
In the first post in this series I talked about how to be happy single. In the second blog post, I talked about the importance of getting to know yourself, reconsidering the meaning of a “soulmate”, not being desperate and being a “grounded romantic”.
Today I’m going to talk about the way we view being single.
I feel like a lot of the times, especially with younger people, being single is approached with an attitude that seems rather melodramatic, e.g. the “forever alone”, “GONna be a craZY cat woman lmao hahaha LOL”, “being single sucks, HAte my life SOOO Much” mindset. In small doses, yes, these are just playful comments and for some, it may indeed just be a joke. However, for some of the people that spout these mantras, deep down I think they mean what they are saying and I think that it’s problematic.
I think that it’s problematic because in my opinion, being single doesn’t have to be (and is not) a terrible thing and even if you genuinely dislike being single, is the best way to approach it wallowing in self-pity and negativity?
In my first blog post, I wrote that one of the ways to be happy single is to “realise that your feelings towards being single may vary”.
For me this variation, as of late has shown up in anxiety in terms of feeling like I have to do something about being single, but knowing I’m not ready for a relationship and not in a rush to be in one and then dealing with the juxtaposition of these mindsets.
When I say feeling like I have to do something about being single, I’m referring to feeling like I need to take action because of things that I’ve read. For example, I recently re-read Meg Jay’s “The Defining Decade” and there’s a section where she asks her thirty-something year old clients about relationships.
One of these clients said:
“Dating for me in my twenties was like this musical-chairs thing. Everybody was running around having fun. Then I hit thirty and it was like the music stopped and everybody started sitting down… Sometimes I think I married my husband just because he was the closest chair at thirty…”
This person goes on to say how they wished they’d thought about marriage sooner, i.e. when they were in their twenties.
In the same book, Meg Jay says this:
“Besides, like with work, good relationships don’t just appear when we’re ready. It may take a few thoughtful tries before we know what love and commitment really are”.
And even from a Christian perspective, the notion of choice and action as opposed to passivity when it comes to relationships continues. In this YouTube video entitled “God told me who my partner would be“, YouTuber and musical artist Joseph Solomon reveals why this actually might not be the case. Pastor Mike Todd echoes this sentiment in one of his “Relationship Goals” videos where he says “You choose who you marry”.
And so I hear all these nuggets of wisdom and these perspectives and I read these blog posts and books and watch all these videos and I start to feel anxious, like I actively need to be doing something right now to get into a relationship. (Cue thoughts of being single forever and wondering if I should go out more).
But here’s what I’ve learned. These pieces of advice are not there to make me change my mind on how I feel about being single right now.
And that’s my message for this blog post.
You need to make sure that when it comes to being single, the way you feel about it is organic to you and not inspired by fear or external influences that oblige you to feel a certain way.
In my case, I allowed fear/anxiety to detract from my generally positive views of being single. For instance, the fact that it is a great time for self-development and starting the journey towards becoming the best version of yourself, for yourself.
I’m learning that the advice I take in concerning relationships can be applied in the future (whether near or distant- who knows). I don’t need to use it as an anxiety-inducing tool that makes me see singleness as something to be “fixed” when really, that’s not how I feel.
It’s about finding balance.
It is possible to be content as a single person whilst being receptive to pieces of advice concerning relationships, i.e. the thirty-something year old who suggested that thinking about marriage (if that’s what you want) is advisable during your twenties and the fact that, should you feel so inclined, meeting somebody will probably involve leaving your cave every so often.
All I’m saying is, in relation to relationships and also just generally speaking, don’t feel pressured to take steps that you personally deem to be premature or not of immediate importance.
Thanks for reading and see you in my next post!