Being a single woman has been synonymous with failure for as long as the patriarchy has favoured men. (So, forever then…)
We’re taught that our value comes from being in a relationship; that without one, all we’re left with is loneliness, heartache and a propensity to buy cats.
This is because romantic notions have been thrust upon us since birth (I’m looking at you, Disney, plus the entire rom-com industry, valentine’s day and the whole sanctity of marriage…) We coo at stories of swans, penguins and beavers who all mate for life, wondering how they cracked fur-everlasting love. We grimace at couples in the street holding hands like otters and rubbing their faces together like wolves. We sit at home and wonder why we have no one sitting next to us. We try t0 figure out what we’re doing wrong. We wallow. We cry.
We waste precious time.
It’s okay to be single. In fact, choosing to be single is one of the most empowering decisions you’ll ever make. Choosing yourself, your needs and your worth above a relationship that only exists to fill a societal expectation is single-handedly (pun intended) the bravest and kindest thing you can do for yourself.
And here are a few fun facts:
- Of the 5,000 species of mammals, only 3 to 5% are known to form lifelong pair bonds1
- Relationships are expensive, costing us an average of £195 more a month!2
- Vasopressin is the only known monogamy gene and not all of us have copies3
- 42% of marriages end in divorce4
With those sobering odds, waiting for the right person and relationship, however long it takes, seems like the only logical conclusion.
Seeking external validation is a short term fix to the long term brainwashing we’ve endured since being told pink is feminine. Instead, let’s take a breath and practice the art of introspection, because no one and nothing is going to empower you more than the sense of peace and confidence you’ll gain from loving yourself, despite your chronic single-itus; and until you’ve mastered that self-love and discovered what your needs are, there’s little hope of finding a healthy, meaningful and fulfilling relationship. Let’s be real: they’re beautiful when they’re right, but they’re also hard work, sometimes painful and require a certain amount of effort, compromise and understanding before you can reap the benefits.
If you don’t know who you are and what you want; if the relationship you’re in makes you feel like a stranger in your own skin; if there’s something missing in your life and you think it’s another person, then the answer isn’t to grasp onto the nearest safety blanket, close your eyes and sing. You need to take an honest step back, reevaluate your situation and then forge ahead with something new – preferably something that makes you happy.
Being single is a journey: destination, you. It’s a chance to discover new hobbies, meet new people, gain some perspective and experience life outside of your routine. It’s about going on big adventures and sitting at home in peace, watching whatever film you please. But most importantly, it’s about living in each of those moments without wishing them away. Our life doesn’t stop and start with every relationship.
Be your own swan. If you’re in a relationship with yourself, you’re not really single.
- Live Science article: Wild Sex: Where Manogamy is Rare. Link source: https://www.livescience.com/1135-wild-sex-monogamy-rare.html
- Bustle article: It’s Cheaper To Be Single. Link source: https://www.bustle.com/articles/88289-its-cheaper-to-be-single-than-in-a-relationship-says-new-british-study-so-heres-where
- New Scientist article: Monogamy gene found in people: Link source: https://www.newscientist.com/article/dn14641-monogamy-gene-found-in-people/
- 2019 Divorce statistics: Link source: https://www.crispandco.com/site/divorce-statistics/