The Art of Being Single
As Valentine's Day approaches, are you feeling bad that you don't have a significant other to spend it with? Or do you have an inner voice that tells you to go on a third date with a Bumble match even if you're not feeling it? Or to resist breaking up with someone even though they're entirely wrong for you? This feeling can also happen when you get a wedding invitation and are worried about who you'll bring as a plus-one. What is it about being single that makes us so fearful?
We are programmed for connection at our core, right down to our biology. On a biological level, we are compelled to bond with an intimate partner in order to reproduce. Thus, when we have a partner, we can better understand our own existence and significance in the world. We have the impression that we are required in the lives of others. Given society's strong couple-oriented expectations, there is often a significant deal of overt and subtle pressure to couple-up. Additionally, the lives of single people are frequently depicted as a kind of purgatory that they must endure until they discover their soulmates (Greitemeyer, T., 2009).
Due to problematic gender assumptions and expectations, a fear of being single can be amplified for women. Single men used to have a considerably better financial situation than single women, and it was also more socially acceptable for them to wait longer to get married. This anxiety of being single arises from worrying about how family, friends, coworkers, and even strangers see you (Morris, W. L.). In other words, even if you don't mind not having a partner, you could still be concerned that others might judge you negatively as a result. This widespread fear can have several adverse effects. For starters, it can negatively impact your self-esteem and may cause you to pursue relationships for the wrong reasons. This anxiety can make us codependent, and codependency can keep us in unhealthy relationships, eroding our self-esteem and sense of personal worth.
Self-love is an excellent method to combat your anxiety around being single. The more you learn to make yourself happy and reinforce the idea that you don't need a partner to live a happy life, the more likely you are to appreciate the numerous benefits of being alone. Furthermore, it can help reveal which relationships are worth your time and effort. To become more comfortable with your single state, you could start taking yourself out on dates and spend more time with yourself for your personal development. People in relationships risk losing touch with themselves because they have less time alone to work on their personal development. Being single allows you to be more in touch with something deep within yourself and will enable you to reflect on who you are and where you want to go in life (Breit, C., 2018) What changes would you like to see? What kinds of affiliations, or new mindsets do you wish to develop? You now have the time and ability to concentrate on the one constant factor that will bring about the desired transformation: yourself.
Being single doesn't have to imply that you're lonely. In fact, spending time alone can help you appreciate your own company more. When we learn to love being alone, we become pickier about the company we keep, spending time with only those who improve our lives and contribute to our happiness. You will have the most satisfactory relationships when you have a clear grasp of your needs, wants, and values. Being single allows you to put your full attention on these matters. Finally, this self-awareness and confidence can benefit you in all of your interactions, not just romantic ones.
Breit, C. (2018, August 2). Are you in a codependent relationship? here are the signs. Time. Retrieved February 10, 2022, from https://time.com/5349927/codependent-relationship-signs/
Greitemeyer, T. (2009). Stereotypes of singles: Are singles what we think? European Journal of Social Psychology, 39(3), 368–383. https://doi.org/10.1002/ejsp.542
Morris, W. L. (n.d.). The effects of stigma awareness on the self-esteem of singles. https://doi.org/10.18130/v3cz6n