Why is it that we definitively equate being single with unhappiness and being in a relationship with happiness? Maybe it comes from mainstream songs, television and movies we consume where the be-all, end-all of self-fulfilment is finding a partner. And maybe this has led to us trying so desperately to get other people to love us before we learn to love ourselves.
Of course, there are myriad of reasons as to why this stigma exists, from mainstream media to cultural norms and of course our friendships and family pressures. But you know what, there’s actually nothing wrong with being single, it’s not something weird or different or a part of you that needs to be fixed. So let’s delve into the reasons why being single is in fact perfectly okay and help break down the stigma of being single.
Devote time to yourself
As young adults trying to make our way in the world, the most important relationship you can have is with yourself. And if that relationship isn’t healthy, it’s difficult for your others to be. Being single allows for introspection and self-reflection which are important tools for you to know yourself better. What are your values? What are your beliefs? It can be harder to know well your own ideas, likes and dislikes if your identity is tied to another person.
Being single means you can make decisions that are in your own best interest, without the pressure of considering how it will affect someone else. Especially at a young age when you want to be taking risks and living life to the fullest. When you’re single you can do what works best for you – take that job interstate, travel overseas for a couple of months, the world is your oyster! Being single means more flexibility, so take advantage of that because being in a relationship will mean compromise. Do what you want now so that when you do find yourself in a relationship you are actually ready and committed to considering the other person’s needs.
Avoid toxic relationships
It’s easy to rush into a relationship and stay in one that is unhealthy and toxic, simply because we believe it is better than being single. We’re led to believe that finding a partner is the key to self-happiness, so much so that we don’t even stop to check if we’ve found the right partner! This is, of course, an incredibly negative mindset to have. Being single is much better than being with someone who isn’t right for you. In fact, being single and taking the time to develop your values and passions will help you avoid toxic relationships and people who don’t align with you as a person.
Learn to love yourself
We tend to want love and fulfilment from others, yet we haven’t learned to love ourselves. And really, how can you expect someone to love you when you don’t love yourself? There’s a great quote from the book The Perks of Being a Wallflower, “we accept the love we think we deserve” which really sums up this whole mentality. When you’re single you can take the time to learn what you value about yourself and eventually align yourself with people who also value those things.
When it comes down to it though, it’s okay to be single just because. Because the stigmas are ignorant and societal pressures are harmful. Because it’s dangerous to depend on someone else as the main source for your own happiness or your own self-worth. And because you should live your life how you want. So embrace being single and learn to find happiness within yourself.