The 5 Most Annoying Double Standards Between Single and Partnered People

Being single is not inferior to being partnered

Photo by Andrew Neel on Unsplash

I have been single for the past few years with occasional dating experiences. I haven’t yet gotten to a point with any of my dating activities to call it a relationship or to be committed enough not to label myself single.

It has its perks, I have to admit, but there are more downsides to it than I would have imagined.

For starters, I am not the happy-being-single type, but it doesn’t mean that I am continuously unhappy. Yet, when it comes to socialising, talking to friends and family, eventually we will end up having a conversation about why I am still single. And while there is no problem with asking why I am single, the word ‘still’ puts pressure on me — even if it’s uttered without an iota of bad intention.

I noticed that there are huge double standards when it comes to judging single people as if somehow we were different, and in some cases inferior to those who are partnered.

Your level of independence

When you are in a relationship and you demand your me-time from your partner, it is a sign of maturity and it is a good indicator of the relationship. It means that you are not codependent and your attachment style is healthy, too.

If you are independent and single, you must be too independent. You must be too selfish and too self-reliant, and this character trait must be the reason for you being single.

Your level of independence or strength doesn’t indicate your ability or inability to thrive within a relationship and it’s not a character flaw outside of it. It simply means that you are self-aware and mature and these traits are needed both in and out of a relationship.

The relation of happiness and relationship status

There is a concept that being in a relationship automatically means that you are happy while not being in one means that you are unhappy. This couldn’t be further from the truth.

It is true that we are social beings and we need human connection to be at our best, but not all relationships help us to feel genuinely happy. In fact, a bad relationship can contribute to more mental health issues and lead to serious unhappiness, while someone who is single can be more balanced and satisfied with their lives.

A good relationship can bring real happiness, but it still up to the parties involved to make the most of it, to appreciate it, to work towards a common goal. We need to normalise happiness and unlink its perception from someone’s current relationship status. We don’t always need to assume that single people need fixing, while partnered people have it all figured out.

The need to become a better version of yourself

Continuous growth and self-improvement is the path to individual happiness. The need to become a better version of yourself compared to yesterday is universal, unrelated to the relationship status.

Yet, in many cases, single people are told to work on themselves, assuming it is their fault that they couldn’t yet reach the bliss of a relationship. When in a relationship, you are expected to work on the relationship itself, apparently, the cure for being single is becoming better.

Being single is not a terminal illness, and being in a relationship is not a guarantee for a truly happy life. You need to work on yourself, regardless of your current relationship status — because self-improvement is for your self, not a means to an end to land the perfect partner.

The right to be heartbroken

Even if I haven’t had a relationship in the past few years, I did have my heart broken a few times. I was ghosted, I was abandoned, I had expectations that didn’t work out, and there were times when I had to mourn losing the potential of a relationship with a crush that didn’t work out.

When I tried to talk about it, my feelings were invalidated, as we didn’t really have anything to call a relationship.

When you are breaking up with a partner, the heartbreak can be devastating. We have all been there, we know how it feels. The depression, the anxiety, the loss of purpose — they are all valid feelings that we need to battle with.

The same feelings apply when you lose the promise of someone, when your crush or unrequited love disappears for good. It might be on a smaller scale, but our feelings are still valid.

The amount of sex you should have

When you are in a relationship and you have a lot of sex, you are the best partner ever — for we all know how important physical touch and intimacy are. We know that sex is about building a connection and we are all aware of its health and mental health contributions.

Unless you have a lot of sex while single. In this case, you are a womanizer or a slut, who can’t find someone decent to settle down with, who doesn’t believe in monogamy and who uses sex as a means to an end.

On the opposite note, if you suffer from low libido within a relationship, you will get all the support and help from health and mental health professionals, who will try to help you figure out how to get back to having the right amount of sex with your partner.

If you are single with low libido, your concerns are shrugged away and they are invalidated. Why would you need your sex drive when you shouldn’t be even having sex without a partner?

It is possible to be single by choice and it shouldn’t be an aspect to judge anyone. I’d like to believe that we live in a world where people are not judged by their relationship status, but it can affect your other relationships, your job (companies prefer to employ partnered people) and it can affect your dating prospects as well (when you are single for too long it is considered to be a red flag).

Being single is not inferior to being partnered. Your relationship status has nothing to do with your quality of character. It is a temporary snapshot of your life that you enjoy or you don’t. We need to grow up and stop judging each other based on biases, stereotypes and double standards.

Writer. Dreamer. Hopeless romantic. Newsletter: zita.substack.com Email me: zitafontaine (at) gmail

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store