Ok everyone, hold tight. Compared to my usual posts I think this is going to be a long one.
I feel like being single is so rarely talked about online. You always seem to know when people are in relationships, they get flaunted online whether they’re happy or unhappy, but what about single people? Over the past year I think it’s been under estimated how hard it has potentially been to be single, so many aspects of your life that make you you have been taken away from you and you’ve literally been left with the comfort of yourself. People in relationships started checking in with you less regularly because they have each other to get themselves through this shit show that’s been going on for the past year. Anyway, this post isn’t going to be a pity party, it’s going to be about CELEBRATING being single.
After being fucked over by the same guy multiple times in my 1st year of Uni I remember crying to my dad in the car and I swore I would never date anyone again until it was someone I was going to marry (lol, yes I’ve always been that dramatic). This didn’t happen obvs, BUT I feel like it taught me some really important things quite young:
- Know your worth
- Never give your whole self away to someone easily
- If something doesn’t feel right, trust your instincts
I’m not sure who needs to hear this, but being single does not make you a failure. Yet some how society seems to have found a way of making you feel like you are if you aren’t in a happy relationship, when to be completely honest, your independence should be praised.
When you’re single you constantly get asked things like ‘So, how’s the love life?’ ‘Any boys?’ as if it is an integral part of who you are, your value and your worth. I can assure you there are other, much more interesting things about people than their relationship status. You get given pity and people say things like ‘Oh, you must get so lonely!’, well if I’m completely honest, no, you don’t. Once you have nourished your relationship with yourself, you are complete all on your own and you don’t even think about it. The only other thing I can even think to compare this to is being a vegetarian (sounds random but hear me out). When you’re veggie people constantly remind you your vegetarian as if it’s some ground-breaking thing and you get asked if you miss meat all the time because it’s just not the ‘norm’. It’s the same as being single, people like to remind you you’re single and ask you if you’re lonely constantly. But the same as a vegetarian not missing meat, if you’ve been single for a while, you don’t even think about it, it’s just who you are.
My friend actually said to me at the beginning of the year, ‘What’s your new years resolution – getting a boyfriend?’. Why do some people in relationships think they are on such a high horse and that they can judge your life based on your relationship status? You would never catch a single person saying ‘oh, so when’s the inevitable break up coming?’ to a couple. It should work both ways. And if someone is happy, why does it even matter?! People need to understand that not everyone’s goal in life is to be in a relationship.
I’ve been single for about 2 years, and after the initial break-up which I was v sad about, I can honestly say I don’t think I’ve felt lonely once. I have all the love I could ever need in other relationships, such as my friendships. I think it is so important to stay single for an extended period of time after a break-up, otherwise you are just using the next person you date to simply fill a void that the previous break-up has left you with. It’s much better to spend time with yourself than giving yourself to someone else straight away. You have to learn that you are complete all on your own, rather than feeling like you need someone to complete you and need someone else for you to be happy.
4 of the best things about being single (from my experience):
- No overthinking – if you’re with the wrong person I think this is such a common feeling. Always second guessing yourself. Thinking you’re going crazy and it can make you feel really insecure, but this isn’t your fault and it isn’t healthy. There will be a reason you’re feeling this way and you need to address it. Being single and free from overthinking is liberating.
- You can say yes to whatever you like – it sounds almost selfish, but that’s good! You can say yes to any opportunity thrown your way and don’t have to worry about the implications it will have on anyone or anything other than your life.
- You fully know who you are, what you enjoy and what you want to be – you have no direct external forces influencing you and the things you should or shouldn’t be enjoying or doing. Just do you. I look at myself and who I was 5 years ago and barely recognise her, and I can proudly say that I think that’s from being single and taking the time to learn who I am. In your 20s you’re still so young, with so much to learn.
- Your self-care is your priority – when you only have yourself to focus on, you can make self-care even more of a priority. Get into working out, read books you enjoy, spend time with old friends. I think it’s so easy to get into a relationship and then forget to take care and time for yourself.
I’m a bit worried this post makes me sound like a bit of a relationship hater, which I’m definitely not, and I know not every relationship is bad and people do keep their independence! But from my experience the above are the most freeing and best things I have found from being single for an extended period of time. In previous relationships I wasn’t happy at all, but I would rather have been unhappy and in the relationship than single, because being single felt like I’d failed, and I know that’s not an uncommon feeling. Although don’t get me wrong, sometimes it’s not easy to leave a relationship, everyone has their justifications and own experiences. Being single at first is obviously initially sad, but once you’re comfortably single, it’s not depressing or lonely at all unlike films make it seem to be, you don’t sit there pining over a relationship, instead you just get on with it. I’d so much rather be happy and single, than unhappy in a relationship.
When I reflect, I actually find some of my past thoughts crazy. I used to think things like ‘oh, I can do that when I have a boyfriend’ or ‘when I have a boyfriend we can do this together’ but honestly, FUCK THAT. Why do you need to wait for someone to come along before you can start living and doing things you want to do! I saw an instagrammer, Ashley Louise James, post about this and I loved it. She was single and really wanted to go to the Maldives, but the Maldives is classed as such a couple-y place to go on holiday so felt like she couldn’t go. But then she thought FUCK IT. And went all by herself. I think that is so admirable and I LOVE that. Take yourself on dates. You seriously deserve it.
Another thing about being single for an extended period of time, is that I think it makes you really powerful when you come to looking for a relationship. You’re not attached to the outcome because you know that there is just as much happiness, and you are just as complete on your own. You’re less likely to try and mould yourself to fit the other person’s ideal (something I have definitely done in the past. Omg u love drum and bass, no way!?!? me too!! *Googles who Andy C is*) because you’re so confident in who you are and what you like.
If you’ve been single for a long time and you’re just getting into a new relationship, I’m sure you’d do this anyway but make sure you keep your independence! Do things on your own and meet up with your friends from time to time without whoever you’re dating. I feel like the idea of coming a ‘package deal’ with a partner is almost glamourised – but if you’re like me the thought of that makes you quite uncomfortable because you are your own person, not an extension of someone else.
And finally, if you’re getting into a new relationship don’t get all consumed and and then forget your friends and the people who have always been there for you while you were going through a break-up or while you were single. This is something I’ve noticed happens so often, and if you’re the person being forgotten about it can honestly feel so lonely and like you’ve been used.
Leaving you with some of my favourite quotes on being single:
- ‘You do not need to be loved, not at the cost of yourself’ – Jo Courdert
- ‘You don’t need a significant other to lead a significant life’ – Mandy Hale
As you can probs tell, I feel pretty passionately about this. I know Valentines Day is coming up and that can be really lonely for some people, but I hope to anyone that’s single and not loving it that this post makes you feel slightly more powerful.
Thanks for reading, Chloe x