In a world where there’s an app for everything, a world where a swipe or a click can take you down rabbit holes of comparison & envy, and a world where your single-hood is something the general public thinks needs to be fixed, I feel encouraged to share my approach to how to be single in 2018 (and the years to follow).
At 29 years old (plus tax) the majority of my peers are home owners, mothers, fathers, wives, husbands, divorcees, CEO’s, managers, and have assets worth adding to a will. I have (mostly) come to terms with not being or having any of these things and I am completely content in the life I currently live and the decisions I have made to get me here. What society thinks I need and what I think I need are often misaligned and I am used to this but I’m also here to tell you why I choose to embrace my “season of singleness”.
I think people in long term relationships crave single-hood sometimes, not necessarily for the reasons everyone assumes, but just to do things solo without having to think of anyone else in the decisions they make. The same way being single may leave you lonely at times. Different times of year or attending events may have you longing for someone to share these things with, but chasing a feeling and chasing a relationship status are very different things. Do I wish I had someone to hold my hand and walk outside around pretty Christmas lights and attend parties with? Yes, there are times when I think this would be lovely. Do I want to abandon my single status and jump into a relationship to experience these things but in turn also have to change my decision making skills to adapt to two people, schedule every event around two schedules and miss out on all my free time? No. At least not yet.
I have been single for 4 years and counting. For four entire years I have had to only answer to myself and have had all the time in the world to explore, adventure, do the things I want to do, read books, sleep in, watch tv shows I like, volunteer, search for jobs anywhere in the world, travel, the list is endless. I have become confident being alone. I am confident in knowing what I want from a partner. I am confident in knowing I won’t settle. I am confident in knowing I am single for a reason.
For whatever reason, this bothers people. It bothers people that I am not actively on a hunt for a boyfriend. It bothers people that I do things alone and I get the impression people feel sorry for me. People are bothered by my contentment in my single-hood and start to give me tips on how to find a boyfriend. I’ve been told I don’t attract the right people because I’m not open to love, I’m closed off, I don’t give off the right vibes, I’m too hard on myself and the list goes on, but I don’t see my single-hood as a problem needing a solution. I see being single as the perfect opportunity to better myself.
I was in the library the other day and I witnessed a mother of two tell her children (against their will) that they had to go with her to the bathroom so she could relieve herself before they could go home. Her children were not so fond of this idea but off they went. I know for anyone reading this who is a mother, this is totally normal but I think I replayed this moment in my head for the rest of the day. I couldn’t believe this was her reality. She couldn’t even go to the bathroom alone! I would go out on a limb and say that in that moment she probably wished she was single, even for a minute, just to use the facilities in peace. It was in that very moment that something reassuringly “clicked” for me.
There is a time to be single. Everyone is single at one time or multiple times in their lives. This is the best time to find out what you want. Find out what you enjoy, to try new things and to use your time to your best ability. You have FREE TIME to do whatever you want. Forgive me if I don’t want to use that blessed time to swipe through a bunch of staged photos on a dating app. If from 5 years from now I can’t even go to the bathroom alone, then I sure as hell am not going to waste my free time now swiping for a “match” to fill my time with.
I remember my Mom telling me at a young age that there is no such thing as boredom. There is always something to do. I’m not sure if she even remembers telling me this but I will never forget it, and I will forever live my life this way.
When I became single, I also became available to engage in my friendships. I became available to volunteer and help people who have in turn helped me as well. I started writing cards and letters and catching up with people who I lost touch with. I began writing google reviews for positive experiences I had (okay fine, some are negative too). I became available to reevaluate what was important to me and how to live my life and what wasn’t. I became available to an open mind, I became more available spiritually and mentally and developed a clarity I can’t relay into words.
There are 5 times a year when breakups happen more frequently around the world, New Years Day being the most “popular”. This is mostly due to people wanting a fresh start for the new year and also as an end result of the good old “NYE fight”. I don’t need to go into details on this, we’ve all been there. I find it both ironic and intriguing that the one night a year that being single is spotlighted and not a desired status, it’s also the night when most couples end up fighting. I would go out on a limb and say, as a single woman, that New Years Eve is a harder night to swallow than Valentines Day. Fitting as I write this on New Years Eve.
I am not writing this to discourage anyone in a relationship. I’m not writing this as a push to breakup with anyone. If you’re in a relationship, I hope it’s wonderful and healthy and you’re only reading this because you love my opinion so much you read everything I write!
I am writing this because I want everyone who is single to relax. I want you to have your eyes opened to the possibilities of where your “season of singleness” can take you. How you can grow, what you can accomplish and learn and what doors will open for you. I am also writing this to encourage you. If your heart is broken, or if it’s about to be, or if you are single and not loving it I need you to read my next statements three times each so they stick. This is of course my opinion but I believe this is what has brought me to contentment within my single status and my life which does not include any of the titles I mentioned at the beginning of this blog.
- Maximize your singleness
- What you do by yourself is your foundation
- You need to be self aware so you know what you are bringing into a relationship
- A relationship is only as good as your singleness.
- You can’t figure out how to love somebody else in a relationship if you do not love yourself in singleness (this is my favorite one)
- Your place, purpose, provision, identity and parameters all need to be set and discovered “before the person”.
- If you don’t take time to be single and know what you want, you will go out in search of what you THINK you want without taking the time to find what you want. Read that again.
You do not have to do anything I say, I am simply passing on what I have discovered and attempting to give a new perspective on a relationship status that people don’t like to embrace.
If New Years eve doesn’t bring you a “midnight kiss”, I hope it brings you so much more. I hope it brings you motivation and inspiration, I hope it pushes you to focus on you in the new year and I hope it challenges you to have “Alli Days”, to try new things and to fully embrace your single-hood before life finds you in the bathroom in the library “relieving yourself” with two kids. Embrace this season, this is your time to be single.