Never be afraid to be single

The pressure to stop being single often comes from inside you. Yeah you have internalized ideas from society about how much it supposedly sucks to be single but, ultimately, you are the one who has the greatest influence on how and what you think. Being single in today’s society is such a stigma that it’s a bit like leprosy and you want to get rid of it as soon as possible.

Maybe your paired friends don’t invite you to stuff (and in my case one married friend tacitly uninvited me to her birthday after she invited me and the guy I was then going out with but I said I’d go alone so she more or less disappeared and said no more about her birthday event until like a month later. And yes the event happened just without those of us who were single). The paradoxical thing is that she used to be single when I was single and she met the guy she married because of a website I told her about (oh and we went to one of their singles events which was the most icky gross disappointing event – and I mean icky gross sticky carpets and a drinks bar with glasses that you’re too squeamish to touch because it really looked like a grubby place). That, my dears, was one of the many lowlights of being single. That yucky feeling of going to a singles event that no one there seems to want to be at except some leathered hardcore singles who are well practised at the art of singles events.

Experience has taught me that being afraid of being single is a big reason why you stay in a bad relationship, why you pick a partner who is unsuitable for you, and why you insist on being in a relationship that you are unhappy in and that feels worse (far far worse) than the lowest moments of being single.

Not being afraid of being single doesn’t mean that you give up on the hope of finding love but that you give up on the fear of never finding love. That you simply feel okay and happy as you are.

That is easier said than personally experienced. People who find “the one” often say they gave up right before they miraculously stumbled upon “the one” just as they had started not giving a sh*t about being single and just as they were actually quite enjoying it.

No one can make you happy. Only you can make you happy. Someone can introduce happiness to you but only you can actually transform it into a real experience within yourself. So, start by finding yourself by working on your non-dating life in ways that you enjoy.

It does not mean that you should be narcissistic because that’s a kind of inverse of being desperately single. Narcissism is like dating yourself — you will never really be happy that way because you will keep seeking perfection within yourself in a way that makes you miss out on happy experiences. Take the time to find other people interesting — your friends, family, writers, artists, and other people in the world. Take the time to enjoy nature and to genuinely find animals, birds, sea-life and plants intriguing. When you find the world interesting in a humble way somehow the idea of being single is less frightening and happiness comes from you and other things in your life rather than a date or a mate.

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