Embracing Singlehood,  Single Life Blog

Changing the Consensus of Singles

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Ever since I entered singlehood, I’ve received a respectable amount of remarks on my not being married and not having kids. Since I’ve turned 30, it’s only been even more intense.
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In my blog post “Stages of Denial” I wrote about fear of being single again, and how that fear prevented me from an unhealthy relationship. Part of that fear was derived from shame. Needing to tell people that I’m single again felt embarrassing. When I was asked, I always felt like it was something I should be ashamed about. Especially at the age of 26. 

That feeling right there, inspired this post. Because why in the world should I be made to feel that way? Yeah, with time I developed thick skin and learned to just brush it off, or tune it out. But that’s not to say that it makes it okay. Why must I be open to judgement, or to disclose my reasoning for being single, but people in relationships don’t? The answer to that lies in the hands of consensuses depicted by society. 

I’ve compiled a list of 8 consensuses about singles that need to change or just die out, and hopefully it makes some sort of difference and starts to change people’s outlook.

1. Being single is shameful
1. Being single is shameful

Being single helped me grow comfortable in my company, and embrace myself and singlehood. It took time and effort, the road was windy and filled with hurdles, but I made it through. And it was worth it. I came out stronger than ever, knowing that being single is being free and powerful. It’s being whole with yourself and not depending on anyone else – Not for your happiness and not for support. 

Not only is there nothing to be ashamed of, but I also learned to be proud in my singleness. To be proud of everything I overcame and accomplished within it. I learned to use it as a source of empowerment and not embarrassment. And society needs to do the same. We need to stop allowing people to feel the shame, or even worse – causing it. Because there is nothing to be ashamed of.

2. It’s less worthy than being in a relationship
2. It’s less worthy than being in a relationship

No one ever makes you feel bad about being in a relationship, not as much as they do when you’re single. When you’re alone, you feel the need to avoid speaking of it, or mumbling it under your breath, when asked. But if you’re in a relationship, it’s something to be proud of, and we announce in excitement “I have a bf or gf”. And yeah, it can be great to be in a relationship. But it’s just as great to be single.

Neither is better than the other. It’s subjective, and we shouldn’t be made to feel better or worse accordingly. Unfortunately, despite the changes made through time, society still depicts that being single is “lonely” or “weird” or “unfortunate”. But it’s neither of those. It’s what we make of it – just like every relationship is what we make of it. And no one should feel like a lesser person because they choose to be single, or have yet to find a worthy significant other.

3. Synonymous with loneliness
3. Synonymous with loneliness

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again many times over – alone isn’t lonely! And yet, it still goes hand in hand with being single. Yeah, I’m sure that many singles do feel lonely, but saying that all singles must be lonely is an unjust generalisation that just isn’t accurate at all. And I for one would love for people to stop asking things like “oh, but don’t you get so lonely?” and “aren’t you lonely being single?”

No, I am not lonely. Far from it. In fact, I have so much fun in my own company, that sometimes I even enjoy it even more than I do other’s company (check out my “Self Company” blog). Sometimes I can’t wait to be alone again. I know many singles that feel the same. Because when you truly embrace singlehood, you learn to embrace yourself and your own company as well. You develop a good relationship with yourself. Which is something many people can’t understand, because it’s harder to achieve that comfort level with yourself when you’re in a relationship.

4. Singlehood is a misfortune, not a choice
4. Singlehood is a misfortune, not a choice

I hate when people feel sorry for me in general, and even more so for being single. Because as I’ve mentioned above, there is nothing to feel sorry or bad for. Just like there is nothing to be ashamed of. So when people give me those pity looks, use an apologetic tone and say things like “oh, I’m so sorry to hear.” or “I’m sure you’ll find someone soon enough.” – I feel like telling them that I actually feel sorry for them. That they are the one that should be pitied.

There is nothing wrong with being single. There is nothing unfortunate about it. While there are those that hate it, many others love it. They enter singlehood, and stay single by choice. Because many times it’s better than being in an exhausting relationship. Because no one demands or expects anything of you. You owe nothing to anyone but yourself. So if anything, being in a relationship can be more of a misfortune.

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5. If you’re over 30 and still single - something is wrong with you
5. If you’re over 30 and still single – something is wrong with you

If you’re not only single, but over 30 as well, that’s when people get really chatty. Because if you have yet to find someone by 30, then there must be something very wrong with you. Not only in regards to singleness, being over thirty is generally deemed as being old. I would go as far as saying that combining the two, is considered quite pathetic. Although I think that believing so, is what’s pathetic.

What people don’t seem to remember (or selectively forget), is that on average, we live most of our lives over the age of 30. Heck, it’s usually not even halfway through. So really, it’s not old at all. And even if it were, there is nothing wrong or pathetic about being single. Not even when you’re over 30, or 40, or even 50. Relationships are not for everyone, just like being single is not for everyone. Besides the fact that not everyone is “lucky” enough to find the “right person”. And not everyone thinks that being in a relationship is lucky.

6. Singlehood is a result of failure at relationships
6. Singlehood is a result of failure at relationships

If you’re single, consensus says that you must be bad at relationships, that you can’t keep or maintain one. That you’ve failed in partnerships and cannot make them work. Which might be the case sometimes, but it’s in no way the reason for someone being single. We’ve all failed a relationship at one point or another. Probably more than once. Just like we’ve all made some mistakes. It’s what makes us human. But usually, it’s due to the incompatibility. Two people that are just not meant to be. With no faults to one’s capability to maintain a relationship.

One’s singleness is never a direct or complete reflection of them, of who they are. Breakups are never unambiguous. Relationships end for various different reasons. Usually a mix and match between different problems, and never has just one explicit explanation. Certainly not that one’s a failure, and thus is stuck being single.

7. Singleness is an indication of immaturity
7. Singleness is an indication of immaturity

Relationship status has nothing to do with maturity level, and everything to do with the personality of a person as a whole. Perhaps in some cases it might be true, but to generalise and say that one is single due to his maturity level, or that singlehood makes them immature, is just completely off the mark, and unjust.

As a single woman, I may feel at times that part of the reason I don’t want to marry and have kids yet… Is due to not feeling ready or prepared. That I’m not yet “ripe” enough to start my own family. But that has nothing to do with why I’m still single or my maturity, and definitely doesn’t indicate anything about my capabilities in relationships. And it shouldn’t be regarded in any other way, than what I see it as.

8. Singles are desperate for a relationship
8. Singles are desperate for a relationship

The amount of times I have been offered a set up with a second cousin’s nephew; or was wished to find a husband soon, is actually quite ridiculous. Especially since people just assume that it must be what I want. That it’s what I dream about at night, and yearn for. That I cannot possibly be truly happy being single, without a man. I think one of the questions I get asked the most is some variation of: “don’t you want to settle down?”

No, no I don’t. In fact, the more time I spend amongst married couples, the more I’m grateful for my singleness. The more I just want to stay single and stray away from anything to do with relationships. And while many singles may be desperate to find someone, a great many other don’t – maybe even the majority. 

Being single as a whole is frowned upon. So many people are scared of it, and constantly chase relationships. Usually jumping from one straight to another.

I can maybe understand it amongst teens, there is so much peer pressure and young naivety, that it’s almost understandable. But as an adult, I got so many ‘pitty eyes’, crude and sympathy comments, and even frowns. And that is just upsetting, because we’re in the 21st century. With the world becoming so modern, you’d think that its consensuses would be too. And despite the progress made, there are improvements that need to be made.

As a single woman in her 30’s, I have learned to embrace myself and my singlehood. I learned that life is about so much more than just marrying and having kids. And while that may be one person’s calling, it may not be another’s. And that’s okay. No one should be made to feel bad or ashamed about their relationship status.

It seemed to me that the desire to get married — Which, I regret to say, I believe is basic and primal in women — is followed almost immediately by an equally basic and primal urge, which is to be single again.

Nora Ephron

Wishing you to never let anyone discourage you of your singleness!
Stay healthy, stay safe, stay strong

Michal B.L.

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Hey there! My name is Michal, I was born and raised in Israel, currently I live in a small city near Jerusalem. I'm a certified life coach, and in my Single Life Blog, I write about single life in all its glory and share Single Life Lessons to help you embrace yourself and your singlehood. I offer tips and advice for a better, happy single life, how to be independent, feel comfortable in your own skin and company, and how to not chase toxic people - all of which are based on my own 7-year single life experience.


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