How to Cope Being Single

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.

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Photo by Văn Thắng via pexels

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?)

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Photo by Văn Thắng via pexels

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

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Photo by Văn Thắng via pexels

Featured photo by Hutomo Abrianto from Pexels

 

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30 thoughts

  1. With my closest friends I leave their personal lives alone unless they ask for my opinion. That is a subject that can hurt a friendship. It is your life, not mine, but I am here to list and give advice only if you ask.

    You come across a happy and confident person and that’s all that matters to me.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Not sure if advice offered is good for being single or a sci-fi novel. I added my thoughts of the single life into the mix of my new book -Stranger Thoughts- which features horror yarns and advice for dating while avoiding supernatural menaces Like Frankenstein, I’ve had to worry about being set aflame. For me it was not an angry villager but gal.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Let me tell you (as someone whose life divides neatly into two parts: entirely single until 23 and entirely not-single afterward): when you get into a relationship, the uninvited advice does not go away. In my experience, it intensifies, at least at first. Advice about marriage, advice about kids…
    I’ve been married for over eight years now and it’s mostly stopped, thank the Lord. Very occasionally people ask me for advice, but apart from that I try to keep my mouth shut. If people want to know what I think, they’ll ask.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. You have no idea how relieved I was to click on this post and read about how “coping” with singleness is bullshit (the title made me a little wary). Speaking as someone who’s been single for almost my entire life so far (I dated one guy for about a month. It didn’t work out), there are ups and downs to being single just like there is with any other aspect of life. Yes I’m lonely sometimes, but I can be damn happy too! 😁

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Nice post, i’ve had all those pearls of wisdom said to me before. Plus a few more probably haha.
    I’ve never cared and just managed to be happy on my own. 🙂
    (Something some people can’t seem to understand)

    Liked by 2 people

        1. Yes…. and that is the key…. you want to be happy single so just in case the relationship isn’t bringing you just as much or more happiness, you can easily know that person isn’t for you.

          Like

  6. Ugh! The worst one is don’t be so picky give him a chance. I’ve heard it myself and I would never ever say it or listen to anyone that did. Seriously even if you don’t want to be single if your instinct is giving you a warning listen to it! There are far, far worse things than being single.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You should let those people who say not to be so picky know that you can be more picky when you’re already happily single and in a good space, oppose to being with someone just to say you got someone if you don’t see a long term future with them… Also, in general, that is how life works in that the better space you are in you can be more picky…. whether that is where you live, what type of car you drive, what type of job you’re willing to accept,etc.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ah this is so true! I wish I had of thought of that angle (about the merits of being picky) when I was single. I was so content with my situation that I had every right to be picky. Why invite someone substandard into my life when everything is going so well?
        Some great advice here. I could write this article all over again using everyone’s input haha.

        Like

        1. Hindsight always 20/20…. so don’t give yourself a hard time about not looking at things from another angle then. Last, I feel anybody you’re with is either an asset or a liability…. and if the person has you stress out, unhappy, and you was doing better financially before they came into your life, that is certainly a liability.

          Like

    2. Yes exactly! I have always despised hearing the “you’re too picky” cliche. It’s kind of an insult, not to mention it’s pretty much telling you to give that “red flag” guy a chance. Hey that guy is jerk, but don’t be so picky, give him a chance! Ah yeah no.
      I understand if someone well-meaning uses that phrase if they think their friend is being so picky to the degree that it’s hurting their chances of finding someone, but then again, it’s not really their business anyway.
      If someone ever tells me AGAIN that I was sinlge for all those years because I was too picky, I will tell them I had every reason to be. I wasn’t desperate and I had no desire to be in a relationship with a dickhead just for the sake of having a date to take to all of those family weddings.

      Like

  7. I’ve misread “if you’ve been single at all in your twenties” as “if you’ve been single all your twenties” – which is pretty much my story (though there’s still a few months of ‘twenties’ left for me). And my daydreaming (which eventually got me to writing) would probably never got a chance if it was otherwise. All I can say is that, yes, “when you don’t look, someone will come around” is total nonsense.
    Are there days when I wish I was in a relationship? Yes. Are there days when I’m glad being single? Yes. Are there days when I can’t find a single damn to give about it? Hell yes! Maybe it’ll happen someday. Before it does, I’ll enjoy the daydreaming (which includes the MC of my WIP being in a relationship) and the solitude of wandering the hills alone.
    Let’s dream on, whether single or not.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Haha I was single most of my twenties! I was fairly certain I’d be singe most of my life until I met my current boyfriend. I still find it foreign being in a relationship, but I love the guy I’m with and really enjoy his company, so that’s made it easier for me.

      As you said, let’s dream on, whether single or not!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. It’s OK to cuss on the internet. S**t and f**k and all the other faked up expletives are cop-outs. Thinking you’re getting away with something by not printing shit or fuck is lame. If you don’t want those words avoid them. But don’t use them halfway.

    Single? Do you what you love and eventually you’ll find someone who is doing it too. That’s the key.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. THAT’S why you’ve been MIA lately. I hope you’re happy and I wish you good fortune in whatever comes next.

    I mean well. When I hear someone say: “I will never find someone/ I will die alone”, I try to cheer them up and I say one of the cliches: “You’ll find someone when the time is right”. I do believe in it. I cannot even begin to imagine what people think when they ask all sorts of invasive questions or try to give you advice when you don’t even ask for it. Being single is NOT a curse in the XXI century! Being single is OK. If you go to a restaurant, some people choose a steak, some chicken, some fish, and some pick the vegetarian option. Being single is not a death sentence. It can also be a choice. Now, it’s a different story if you are desperate to be in a relationship…

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Goldie! How are you these days? I do apologise for being MIA, but will elaborate a bit more later.
      I will also jump over to your blog as soon as I can, I’ve just given myself the mission of replying to everyone’s comments, but I’m pretty hopeless haha. Checking out your blog seems like a nice respite.
      I’m guilty of saying these cliches too, sometimes without even realising. I think many come from a good place. Some definitely don’t haaha.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’ve been well. Keeping busy, but I really can’t complain too much.
        As long as your time away was a good one it is all that matters!

        I look forward to seeing you on my blog. I’m sure replying to all these comments can be daunting, but isn’t it nice? To see that people are still here for you?!

        Like

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