It's okay to be single...right?
We're always told that we'll find the 'one' but what's wrong with being single?
Header image via Flickr/vrno.
When you meet someone for the first time, they can be whatever you want in your mind. Veronica looked like Mia Wallace with a pink wig and was happy to enough to exclaim we were ‘soul mates’ after meeting me on Saturday night. It bears pointing out I looked like a cross between Merv Hughes and a misguided 70s tennis player so what she saw in me is anyone’s guess. But I didn’t even question her statement, if anything I leapt on it, laughing while we added each other on Facebook in moments. Then we were downing enough tequila for it to be acceptable to dance to bad 80s songs while discussing shitty Tinder dates and drugs. This instant desire for gratification, a relationship...anything, is something I’ve subscribed to now for three years.
^ An accurate representation of me that Saturday night.
Surrounded by friends predominately in long-term relationships doesn’t help either, and for a while now it's been my reality. It was captured perfectly once over late night kebabs when my friends were slurring over couples. And as the topic veered onto ‘perfect’ couples I piped up, “What about me and me?!” A statement I now regret as it garners its own plaque in the 'always remind our mate he said this' gallery. But you know what? I don’t know how I feel about me. Am I even happy being single?
We live in a world where the ‘couple’ in any binary form is the achievable status in life, alongside owning a home and getting a stable job. It’s echoed to me whenever a potential relationship sours, “Ah don’t worry mate, there’ll be another one”, “Really sorry to hear, better luck next time”, “She wasn’t worth it anyway pal, you’ll find the one for you”... Constantly I’m told one way or another the ‘one’ is out there waiting for me or something. And hearing that for over three years in the midst of no real relationships outside of one-nights stands, I feel troubled, I feel like I’m missing out on something. But I can’t pin down why. Maybe it’s my friends, maybe I’m more aware I’m not like my friends but another part of me doesn’t even mind. However, it’s the worst is when I least expect it, in those moments when I’m alone and this irrational fear will grapple with my emotions, pushing me to change.
It’s this pressing anxiety that I’ve seen my friends pick themselves apart over. They, like me, see themselves as the problem for why they don’t have a relationship like others around them. But when it comes to relationships it’s so unfair to look at everyone else and assume because you’re not like them you’re not ‘doing it right’. It’s not healthy to feel the need to be with someone else to feel like yourself. And without sounding too ’Here's 10 steps to being the happy you again’, actually accepting that being single is a part of life is incredibly important.
Why? Because in short you’re accepting yourself, you can’t go through life hating part of yourself because it’s not like everyone else. You’re you and therefore you’re different from the get go. Which may sound a bit like, ‘just fucking suck it up’, but I’m not trying to say that. What I’m trying to say is just because your experience right now isn’t like everyone elses' it isn’t something to worry about. So feel proud, feel okay leading your life on your own, making your own decisions and just being you.
And while we may all be like Veronica and myself on any given Saturday night; hiding away from who we are and reaching out for some form of gratification, I think it’s okay to also be single.