What a lot of people don’t realize is that being single is amazing. With the premium given to relationships (and marriage as an extension), it’s not their fault that they may see singlehood as a sad fact, or one that constitutes “being left behind”. Recently, more people are embracing it, giving it a laugh, and practically echoing the 2015 “forever alone” rhetoric. While it’s fun to witness, it’s still sad to see that people defaultly deem singlehood as a phase, like a tragedy people would say “You’ll get over it soon” about.
Personally, I would say the happiest years of my life were when I only had myself to worry about. Of course it’s not a blanket policy, and I do see the value in relationships. But we all just have to understand that we shouldn’t hinge our happiness upon being with someone. You are perfectly fine being alone.
Now, a recent study has shown that long-term singles share common values such as creativity, independence, and freedom. The research uncovered that individuals who aren’t in a relationship prioritize things that might be overlooked because of society’s emphasis on romance and the necessity to make it your #1. Not being constantly boggled by the traditional notions of romance, single people, as per the study, have their minds on personal goals, family and platonic relationships, and mental and physical health.
Currently, 40% of adults in the U.S. are single, actively choosing the life of riding solo. This is a significant increase compared to previous years. Bella DePaulo, a 69 year old residing in Santa Barbara California, has spent her entire life unpartnered and mentioned that embracing one’s individuality brings an unparalleled fulfillment and psychological richness. Even today, singlehood is still stigmatized, but the study behind embracing what should be a moment of self-discovery and seeing the world in a way that no one is directly in your periphery helps people realize how much of a blessing being alone is.
Making your lover your everything is never a good way to go. What this dive into singlehood shows is the importance of tapping onto the different realms of life that involve love, just not a romantic one. The research further showed how singles have stronger social ties and involvement with their communities, and this is the very thing relationships are likely to blindspot people. Depending on a partner for everything cannot satisfy your needs and will most likely burden them while making yourself unable to stand without their presence. Building communities is something that is often overlooked because of how romantic love lies to us and makes us feel that it is all that we need.
This is in no way a cautionary tale that tells you to break up with your lover if you have one. It is very possible to be in a healthy relationship where both individuals have their own life and respective support systems outside of each other. What both the study and this article is telling you is that if you’re taken, you can learn a thing or two from single people who truly embrace a life that is not in conjunction with another person. A relationship is not a leash. And if you’re single, you don’t have to keep waiting. Enjoy yourself. Life is so big.
If you stop your fixation on looking for it, it’s more likely going to come to you at some point. And if it doesn’t, cite the great philosopher Ariana Grande and say “yes, and?”