Yesterday I met colleagues and friends from years ago — a lovely reunion, a brilliant way of remembering the good old days, to share some fun and some drinks, it was even good for networking. I haven’t seen most of them in 5 to 10 years. We laughed a lot, talked a lot.
Story after story, memory after memory, question after question.
Where do you work now? What do you do? How are the kids? What about the husband? Oh, no husband. Boyfriend? Oh, no boyfriend. Umm, okay.
I even got a question whether I even wanted it at all.
But do you want one? But do you date? Do you make efforts?
It wasn’t rude or offensive, it was all harmless, but still, there was an underlying concept of somehow being incomplete if you are single — whether it’s by choice or not.
I told my life story, told them about my career, my job, freelancing, my kids, told them about writing too. And I heard comments like ‘oooh’ and ‘aaah’ and ‘wow that’s so great’.
Until it turned out that I am single.
And some looked at me with pity? Or maybe awe? Or curiosity?
The image of the successful woman was shattered — as if the true success would be to be in a relationship. As if all relationships are better than being single and as if with a relationship you immediately turn into a better person, more worthy of love and attention.
And I realised the reason too. If you are in a relationship, you are treated differently — like you were in a higher class, or something. Single people are treated as inferiors.
As if being with someone would actually make you a more quality version of yourself, and different rules would apply.
When single, you should aim to be in a relationship
Being single is not easy. It can be very difficult in terms of its mental, emotional and physical aspects. I am not happily single, I don’t generally enjoy it, I miss being in a relationship, I miss that I cannot share my days and nights with someone. I hate sleeping alone, I hate waking up alone. I hate not having sex, and I hate that my libido is gone and because of that I don’t even miss sex.
I personally want a relationship. It’s not my life goal, but I’d like it. I am disappointed that I am single, but so far I didn’t manage to change it. Being in a relationship is great if the relationship is good. But I know quite a few single people who don’t want or need a relationship. They like being single, they are single by choice — such horror, right?
Being in a relationship is not an upgraded version of being single, it doesn’t mean that you get automatically better by becoming a girlfriend or boyfriend of someone. In fact, in lots of the cases, people tend to get a lot lazier and more complacent in a relationship — they stop working on themselves, they stop chasing their dreams, they prioritise their couple goals over their own personal goals. I'm not saying that this is always the case, I’m saying it happens.
But I am not advocating for single. I am advocating for live-and-let-live and mind-your-own-business.
What if we turned this concept around and all of a sudden, we started to consider singlehood to be the “better option”? Would we want to convince every couple to break up, and feel sorry for them not being single?
When single you should work on becoming a better version of yourself
If you are in a relationship you need to work hard on the relationship, setting common goals, making the right decisions, spicing up things so that the novelty shouldn’t die between the two of you. And endless list about communication, honesty, novelty, intimacy…
When you are single, you are supposed to become a better version of yourself, to have the right kind of vibes. They say that you attract what you are and if you become a better version of yourself then it will all happen effortlessly. This is just so degrading to single people. It’s the same kind of thinking that you can see in women’s magazines: one article is talking about accepting yourself as you are, the other is about losing 10 pounds in 3 days.
I am the current version of myself and I am loveable. I did my soul searching, I did my self-reflection, I know exactly where I came from and how much I improved. It doesn’t mean that I will stop working on myself, but I am doing it for me and not for someone else. So, stop telling me that I need to get even better to be loved because I am good enough!
When single, you are not allowed to be heartbroken
Breaking news! Even if you don’t have a relationship, you can still get heartbroken. You still have hopes that can be crushed, you can be ghosted, you can be rejected — especially if you are putting yourself out there and date. Sometimes being single can still mean that you lose someone who was important, or who you fell in love with, in the hope of getting into a relationship. And if this didn’t happen, then you can still get down and depressed about it. It is still heartbreak. Your feelings are real.
Without a relationship, you are not supposed to feel this way. There was no relationship to say goodbye to, you weren’t even dating, or nothing has started yet. No one wants to feel heartbroken — but the feeling can be real. Your feelings are not dependent on how the other feels, your feelings are just as real and raw as if it was in a relationship.
You are entitled to your feelings. You can be heartbroken if you lose someone, you can feel pain if you are rejected and hope for a future is taken away from you, no matter how early on you lost this hope. If you invest emotionally in any kind of connection between two people, it is tough to lose it — without the relationship label.
When single you are not allowed to love sex and have a lot of it
Yes, we are living in the 21st century, but it is still frowned upon by some (or lots) if a woman is open about her sexuality and admits willingly that she enjoys casual sex, without the hope for a relationship whatsoever.
If you want a lot of sex within a relationship, you are a great partner and an amazing lover, and your libido and desires should be applauded. If you are willing to try new things and act spontaneously, you are experimenting, you are being yourself.
The same things coming from the same person, when single is regarded differently. Wanting a lot of sex when single is considered to be slutty or promiscuous. The willingness to experiment and try out new things and new partners will make you considered to be too easy at best, or damaged goods at worst.
Being single or being in a relationship doesn’t change your personality. It doesn’t change your attitude towards sex. It changes your circumstances; it changes your conditions, it might change your options — but you are still you. If you love to have sex, talk about sex, write about sex, just do it — single or not. And screw sexual morals anyway.
It doesn’t matter if you are single or if you are in a relationship — by chance or by choice. Your relationship status doesn’t define you. Your partner doesn’t necessarily make you better. Your lack of partner doesn’t make you inferior.
You are entitled to your feelings, desires, quirks and your choices in general.
Your relationship status shouldn’t change anyone’s opinion about you. It is your business, and yours only. Your body, your life, your choices, your responsibility.
And those who want to judge will judge you anyway.