Being single can feel like a huge deal. My name is Rhiannon, and I have been single for 21 years, aka my entire life. Most of the time it does not bother me. I will admit I am reasonably fussy; one of my most common phrases is that I will not settle. However, there’s something about 2018 that is making being single feel like a much bigger deal than it has ever been, despite the new focus on casual sex and relationships. Here are five reasons why I think being single in 2018 feels like such a huge thing compared to being single in previous years – please tell me you can relate so we can be in this single life together!
1. The Instagram Couple
Instagram can do terrible things to your self-esteem, and there is no better example of this than the Insta-couple. You know deep down their relationship can’t be that perfect and that they probably argue like everybody else, but there’s something about their candid photos, adorable captions, and supportive comments that leave you feeling slightly empty inside. Of course, this has been a thing since Instagram started, but I feel as though Instagram is especially prevalent in society now – it’s even used as evidence for relationships in the case of celebrities! Whatever the reality, there is something about the Insta-couple looking so blissfully in love that feels like a punch to your extremely single gut.
2. The Third Wheel
So a few years ago you knew one friend in a steady relationship. Now it seems as though almost everyone you know is in a long-term relationship and trust me, they will let you know. There’s nothing worse than being the only single one in a group, especially when your friends bring along their SO’s and you’re left to trail behind trying to pick which couple will engage in the least PDA if you strike up a conversation with them. Being the third wheel sucks, and it will always suck, no matter what year it is. That’s just the way it is.
3. The Age Thing
Hailey Baldwin just got engaged at 21 to Justin Bieber, 24. Sophie Turner was engaged at 21 to Joe Jonas. Ariana Grande, 25, and Pete Davidson, 24, are engaged. Yes, those last two aren’t as young as the others, but that still seems relatively young to me! Although getting married young like people used to do has definitely gone out of fashion, the string of recent celebrities getting engaged at such a young age has made me feel like a spinster at the tender age of 21. Would I want to get married now? No. Does that make me feel any less single? Also no.
4. The Relative Talk
Every time you see or speak to a relative you’re not particularly close to it feels as though you’re subjected to the same questioning about why you’restill single even though it has been several months since you last saw them. It’s annoying, can be awkward, and ultimately leaves you with an icky sense of being pitied. Nobody wants that, and yet, year after year, as my cousins and siblings find their significant others, I am left to endure questions disguised as pep talks about how I’ll definitely find the one, and that there’s Somebody For Everybody. I feel as though this is also one that has been exaggerated with social media, as those who are in a relationship plaster it all over social media, thus making you look more single than ever by comparison. Oh, joy.
5. The Time of Rom-Coms Everywhere
Cute as they are, romantic films such as Love, Simon, To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before, Set It Up, and Crazy Rich Asians, to name a few, can really take a toll on the unwitting single person. Nothing like a love story to make you wistfully stare at the screen, re-watch it again to pick up every detail, and then feel depressed as you go to bed by yourself again. Not that I mind the last bit. I’m someone who likes the space of sleeping alone. But I can’t deny that watching a pair fall in love in the most cinematic way possible makes me feel a little less secure in my singledom. I will still continue to watch them though because romantic dramas are only getting better (2005 Pride and Prejudice is still iconic though – fight me) and I am a sap at heart.