Albeit, most things are better than my Morrison’s own-brand 50p brown bread (say hello to student life; bread luxuries’ are long gone!), but why is it the mention of the two words – I’m single – always meet the same response? Cue the pity face: bottom lip up, slight frown, and eyes burning that sympathy stare deep into your soul.
Having been *officially* single for two years, the pity face is a look I now know all too well. Granted, some of you may even be doing it now as you read this: “Oh bless her, she’s single” whispers the little voice in your head. Well I’ll let you into a little secret. Being single is fantastic. Don’t believe me? You probably haven’t been single long enough to realise how much you could love it.
The reason people pity singles is obvious; we are ‘supposed’ to find a partner. And from an evolutionary perspective that’s more or less bang on; if we didn’t have a mate, we couldn’t pass our wonderful genes to the next generation. But does that make finding a partner the sole purpose of our lives? For some of you, the answer will be yes. For me? No, it is not. And certainly not anymore in the modern world.The sole purpose of our lives is to achieve happiness and contentment.
Yet there is common belief (perhaps delusion may be more fitting) that we need someone else to make this happen, that happiness cannot be achieved alone. And honestly, it is a completely understandable misconception; after a break up people do feel lost and heartbroken, linking your relationship status to two distinct feelings: relationship equals happiness, single equals misery. But is our depressive break-up state really due to the lack of closeness and being alone? No. It’s due to the sudden lack of closeness and suddenly being alone. In other words, change. Unexpected, sudden change. And we, as with most things, do not bode well to change.
People are so quick to blame their unhappiness on being single that they fail to realise it is purely the result of an undergoing adjustment process. Once you’re past this, once you realise you don’t need someone else to be happy, that’s when you really learn to love yourself. You realise being single isn’t so bad after all. In fact, you’ll learn to love it. If you’re me, perhaps a bit too much. So here’s why single life actually rocks and why the pitying needs to stop.
1. Single You Equals Healthier You
No, I’ve not lost the plot. Though finding the link between relationship status and well-being is a complicated one, there have been two recurring points in a number of scientific studies proven to be true: number one, relationships make you fatter; number two, you exercise more when you’re single. And from experience I absolutely agree. How many of us once in a happy, relatively long-term relationship, have piled on the pounds? Being so content in your relationship that, do you really even care? Yes, hands up; I am guilty too.
Being single is the opposite; it gives you all the time in the world to focus on and care for yourself. This is a blessing. You have time to properly look after your body and build the best version of yourself you can. I have had time to fit more exercise into my routine and time to try new forms of exercise (yoga is amazing, don’t diss it ‘til you’ve done it).
Food also helps. I’m not going to eat an entire tub of ice cream and indulge in a Netflix and chill marathon by myself (except from the initial break up phase, but hey we can all get past that). With being single those binge days are ditched! Or at least dramatically reduced. And I have found I take more care in what I do eat. It’s all about self-love guys. Nourish your body and it will love you back.
2. Single You Equals Finding You
If you haven’t seen it already, I recommend you check out my first blog post here; this gives you all the nitty gritty on this point. But seriously, being single provides you with time and space, in turn providing you with the ideal situation to find your true self: the you stripped of societies conventions and traits of your partner you’re so used to that you’d mistaken them as your own. And once you have found and appreciated yourself you’ll feel so liberated and fulfilled with life you’ll realise that in fact, you were all you needed all along.
3. Single You Equals Free You
Ever wanted to go travelling or move cities or have a crazy wild adventure? Now you can. Not that you couldn’t before, but doing so would have undoubtedly put pressure on your relationship and caused you and your partner a load of unwanted stress. Basically, now you’re single you can do what you want without any unwanted repercussions or hurt feelings. Also, you probably have more money for yourself now you’re single to make these goals happen. So do it.
The one thing you don’t want in your life is regret. And the things people regret most? Wasted opportunities. Not taking experiences and not following your dreams. So it’s good to be a bit selfish from time to time. You need to do things for yourself. And relationships are a compromise. Hell, you might not have even realised you were compromising your goals and dreams for the sake of a relationship! But being single means you can focus on what you want in life and start working towards it.
4. Single You Equals Sociable You
Okay, maybe this is partly true for me because the life of a student is naturally very sociable; you’re constantly surrounded by people your age, many with the same interests and hobbies as you all in one place. A big bubble of friendship opportunities and social circles. But it is so easy to get completely absorbed in a relationship and disconnect from the rest of the big wide world. And the world is big and it is wide and it is exciting and it’s so important to be a part of that.
As a single, you can go where you want with who you want exactly when you want. No arguments. No stresses. And you learn so much more about yourself by listening to different people. Plus is fun to get out and about (win win).
Moral of the story? Relationships are great and they can be an absolute blast (even with the hard work, compromise and pressures which all couples face), but being single is so liberating. I’m single should not be a phrase associated with loneliness. With unhappiness. As a phase of life seen to have less importance. As a stage of waiting. And we certainly should not be pitied. I’m single should be associated with freedom. With self reflection and self learning. With self loving. And of bravery. Because facing life alone can be tough and it’s much easier to hide behind each other, masking how little you really know about yourself.
But when self-contentment hits – and it will – you’ll be questioning what all the relationship fuss was about. Single for the win(gle?).