My blog has never been about relationship advice (unless it’s to do with bonding with your cat), but I needed to make the exception this one time. If you’ve been single at all in your twenties, you should understand where I’m coming from, which is what, 99% of the population? I wish I actually knew this statistic.
How to cope being single: what does this even mean?
I hate the word cope, I really do. It suggests that being single is some great misfortune that you must endure until your “situation” is over and you’re happily tied down to a life-partner. I think this is wrong, so wrong. I think if there was no stigma attached to being single, some people might be… single forever.
“How to cope being single” is a phrase you will come across everywhere. I digress, not everywhere, but in enough places to render you defeated. Type it in google and let me know what you find. Or better yet, trawl any relationship advice website and you’re bound to find at least one article telling you how to enjoy being single using trendy titles such as The Art of Being Happily Single or the slightly alarming ones like 7 Ways Being Single Affects Your Health – the alarming bit being that as a single adult, your heart health is more at risk.
Wut. Is that a joke.
But there are some good articles out there. Marvellous ones, epic ones, ones that send clichéd tingles shooting down your spine.
I was reading this great story the other day about a single 31-year-old woman and the bs advice she receives. It’s a truth universally acknowledge that single peeps will be gifted contrary advice from every single creature on the entire planet. Yeah, even your cat will judge you.
Here are some comments I myself have received:
- You’ll find someone when you’re least expecting it!
- You really need to put yourself out there if you ever want to find someone.
- You should aim to be happy despite being single, and if you aren’t happy you need to ‘work on yourself’.
- You’re too picky, just give that (red flag) guy a chance.
- You will probably need to date someone who lives in the next town over, there are simply no men (of your “type”) in this city.
- Don’t worry, you’ll find someone when the time is right.
- Having a SO isn’t all it’s cracked up to be!
- I’m so jealous you can have so much alone time. Please, take my boyfriend off my hands anytime you like!
I can’t even say how many times I’ve heard these exact phrases! Sometimes even from the same person within the space of 30 seconds. They’ll say, “You’ll probably find someone the moment you stop looking, but if you really want to find someone, you should go on as many dates as possible!” Then they’ll finish off with: “but you know what? You need to be looking without actually looking. Like, you need to be going on dates, but not getting too obsessive about the process. Just, you know, be chill and it’ll happen.”
Be chill and it will happen?? Yeah nah.
Who gives a s*** what anyone thinks
It’s true that sometimes you’re single because you don’t really care to be in a relationship or you’re just not ready, but sometimes you’re single because you’re that unlucky one in the group that can’t find anyone despite all the positive vibes you’ve been sending out into the universe (cue elephant figurines with trunks raised and lucky plants by the door). No one can really know what you’ve been through, even your bestie who held your hand through every break-up, ghost and slow fade.
It’s okay to feel sad about being alone. It’s okay to be lonely when you’re single. It’s okay not to be okay all the time.
You’re allowed to be sad when you’re single (because like, who wouldn’t be?), just as you’re allowed to jump on the couch and be ecstatic because you’re single. You know, you do you.
And really… you should aim to be happy irrespective of your relationship status.
Similarly, don’t listen to other people’s advice on what feelings are acceptable for you to feel when you’re single – including mine! I have been guilty of this many a time, delivering epic relationship speeches to downtrodden friends who couldn’t see through the murky wasteland of their toxic relationships. It’s come to my attention that this is not cool. Sure, an outside perspective is great, but in the end, you are not the one in the relationship. You are not the one who is single. Listen to your friend’s woes and be supportive, but don’t tell them what to do or how to feel unless it’s necessary (such as if there are mental health issues involved.)
Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy receiving subtle, well-meaning suggestions from my friends when faced with a tricky dilema, but stern lectures and snarky comments can stay where they were created – in the mind of their creator. The best way to handle these situations is to not get angry. Just tell them you don’t agree and move the conversation in another direction.
Every individual should be allowed to handle the single life in their own unique way, whether that be singing to Whitney Houston’s I Will Always Love you while eating ice-cream in your granny pants or diving into the wellness movement and hiking mountains in Kananaskis every weekend.
I am not here to tell you how to live your life or how you should “cope with being single”. I’m here to tell you my story (but f***, it took me a while to here, didn’t it?)
How I coped being single
First of all, I never had to “cope”, because as I mentioned earlier, that’s a bs word. A better title would be what wicked cool things did I get up to while I was single? – but who’s gonna google that? And you know, it wasn’t all rainbows and sunflowers.
I was single for 8 years and as you can imagine, that meant I had plenty of me-time to play around with (or cat-time, I should say). Even my grandma told me she wanted to “come and visit me often while I was still single and had the time for her”. Bless you, granny, I will always have time for you.
Admittedly, I did spend plenty of time wondering where the hell the greatest love of my life was and if they would ever turn up. I also had to come to terms with the idea that… they might never arrive.
I tried not to dwell on these nightmarish thoughts though, as being the geek I am, my life motto is and always will be: Never Give up, Never Surrender! And you know… enjoy your life, because we only get one and it’s a damn cool world out there regardless of your relationship status.
I still can’t believe I was single for like… 8 consecutive years maybe? Phew, don’t ask me why I remained single for that long, because I still don’t know. It was just how my life turned out. If I have one regret, it’s that I didn’t travel and live overseas.
Oh yes, on to what I did!
This might sound lame, but during my single years, I wrote romance stories every single night. Some dripping in bloated clichés and ruined by trashy plots, but God how I loved writing them! In some strange way I could live through my characters and feel their emotions, a watered-down version of love perhaps, but love nevertheless (check out Reddit’s r/ImmersiveDaydreaming sub if you don’t understand how this is possible, yes I’m a freak and I already know it).
My seemingly eternal singleness gifted me the love of writing, which I’m forever thankful for. I could not have written my first novel at 20 if I’d been dating. Nor the one I wrote at age 23… let alone the trilogy I’m currently writing.
The single life has a meandering way of delivering you to the exact spot you need to be, whether that be in a relationship, or not.
And please, don’t be afraid to be your weird self, which for me is writing sappy love stories while listening to Audiomachine’s latest releases.
Have faith, find a passion and go from there 😉
P.s and yes I am off the market, but that’s all I’m saying for now hahaha