Off late, I’ve been coming across several articles listed as “Top 15 Reasons Why Being Single is Great” or “15 Cute Things That Couples Do” and so on and so forth. As a single person myself, I was surprised to find that I didn’t actually empathize with several of their arguments. Most of the ones I’ve come across seem to say that being single implies less maintenance, less of a time commitment and so on. Some of them also seemed to treat being single as some sort of transitory phase into the next relationship. “Being single gives you the opportunity to stake more prospects out”, “You don’t have to be answerable to anyone but yourself” and suchlike. There were even a few that seemed to treat being single as some sort of an unfortunate incident that was meant to be “coped” and “dealt with”.
Surprise, surprise, there are some people who choose to be single. Yes, you heard me right. Choose.
I’m not denying that being in a relationship is it’s own charm and that, as social creatures, human beings are bound to look for groups and so on. The argument for relationships is very strong and I’m not refuting that. What I do object to is the way that people seem to need some sort of re-assurance that being single is okay. More so, there are actually some people who are completely indifferent as to whether they are in relationships or not. Simply because these people have other priorities and other emotional investments to take care of. If I’m caring for a terminally ill parent, looking for a relationship could very possibly be the last thing on my mind. As are other single parents. While these people may be eventually want to socialize, it’s not as though the fundamental core of their being is based on whether someone else will bestow their affections on them.
I may have some equally stupid arguments to present to those who say that “Being single means you don’t have to put in as much into looking good and feel good about it” and so on and so forth. Firstly, I hope to be in a sort of relationship where my looks are not the founding factors. Secondly, even if there was no one to appreciate the way I carry myself or treat myself, I would still do it well because I like to appreciate myself as well from time to time. What I mean to say is that a relationship shouldn’t really be the determining factor invested into self-maintenance. Granted, you may not need to please another person, but pleasing myself doesn’t necessarily mean abandoning those practices. I think I should still exercise because I don’t want my body to start failing me. I think I should still wear make-up if I want to because everyone has the right to indulge in their inner selves before the mirror. It’s one of the rare occasions I get to analyze the finer nooks and crannies of my face and tell myself that I’m doing fine with my flaws and I’m looking presentable enough to myself.
When people say that in order to look for a relationship, you need to love yourself first, they mean that you should love yourself for being yourself. You do what’s good for you. And you do it because your body is the shell that will carry you around for as long as you live. You do not do it because you’re hoping someone else will notice. That’s not confidence for the self, that’s confidence for a show and unless you’re in an industry or an occupation that requires it, that’s definitely not what’s worked for people. Either to get in relationships or stay in relationships.
But what seriously frustrates me is the people (some of whom are around me, some whom I’ve left behind, most of the devotees of advice pages titled “Ten Ways To Get Him To Call Back”) who have many many reasons to love their situation, to be happy with their life, seem to be perpetually upset. Why? Because their object of affections won’t return their feelings to them.
To be honest, once upon a time, this was me. But since my last rejection, since the superficial healing, I’ve been working on re-building myself. Now that I’m scaling some depths of my former self, I see how deeply the scars have affected me, and not just emotionally. Not once did I truly relish the joy of being satisfied with the company of my friends. In some weird way I was looking for that one super-close friend who would manage to satisfy all of my emotional needs and due to the wide spectrum of emotions I experience, it was impossible for me to find that one person who could encapsulate those needs. Then, I did get into a relationship ( most immature mistake to date), and I realized that I needed to work on myself before I went around understanding what this concept of love/dating/sexuality and relationships was supposed to be.
Now that I’m done moralizing, here is my extremely battered two cents from the depths of my grubby pockets:
1) If you do feel somehow disadvantaged by being single, don’t. Literally, tell yourself that you want to celebrate being you and do all the crazy things you wanted to do. Do the things that deep down inside make you proud. And ven if you started off feeling incomplete and weird and lonely or whatever, eventually you will realize that there’s nobody else who keeps you as fabulously entertained as yourself.
2) Be happy with the existing number of people around you. Friends. Family. Pets. Colleagues. Or not? People who make you happy. Obviously, there’s nobody as great as making you happy besides yourself, but when you feel the need for human company, remember that you do have an existing support network. And they love you, no matter what. Seriously, go look into your dog’s eyes or watch your cat cuddle up against you and find a reason, any reason, to feel like you are not complete, not loved, not cared for, or whatever core reason it is that fuels the obsessive urge to please other people. That’s what it means to be self-assured. To know that you are actually empowered to make the most of your life, and that you alone can make it happen.
3) I had only two cents. Now go enjoy yourself!