On Being Alone: Rethinking The Single Life

It is a truth universally acknowledged that when a man or a woman reaches a certain age, an age that one also generally associates with sexual attractiveness, fertility, the beginning of economic security and the decline of teenage angst, that he or she will seek a partner, indeed, fervently desire a partner, and do everything within his or her power to meet, marry, and mate. In my nod to Jane Austen, here, I am suggesting, as cheekily as I am earnestly, that the societal standards that are steadfastly ingrained in our psyches regarding relationships are still rather predictable, conservative, and normative. And, if I may be so bold to admit—being myself a young woman of a certain marriageable and fertile age—rather draining, dreary, and downright depressing.

As you, dear reader, can deduce, I am single. Solitary. Unbetrothed, unwed. As long as I have been “eligible” to date, I have generally been single. I have had relationships, sort-of-boyfriends even, although given a variety of factors, including but not limited to my own anxieties, my enjoyment of solitude, mismatches based on the naïveté of youth or differences in styles of communication and emotional needs or bad timing, rejection, or the sheer difficulty of sustaining a relationship over a long distance, I have been alone.

I have learned, over the years, that my description of my rather persistent singleness is not neutral. The reception and interpretation of my lack of a romantic partner has called up some of the most interesting, misguided, or presumptive statements and unsolicited analyses of my psyche and my behaviour. It has suggested to many that I may be too nervous to date, too preoccupied with my career, too picky about prospective partners, too conservative, too liable to pick “bad” matches, too this, too that. Funny how one’s personal life so quickly becomes open season fo armchair psychologists! And while these commentaries and assumptions can be only rather irritating at times, the banter of a nosy relative or well-meaning friend, I have recently noticed how awfully sinister, how awfully narrow-minded and rife with victim-blaming they can be.

  • How often they suggest that past relationships are failures, rather than experiences that can offer both parties the gift of insight, as if because something was time-limited or brief or is no more, that it was not fulfilling or wonderful or an occasion to learn.
  • How they imply that women and men who are single must be flawed, broken, undesirable, inflexible, psychologically damaged, unskilled at sex or love or communication, rather than, perhaps, individuals who may simply prefer solitude, prefer a different type of relationship arrangement, who may have done the emotional work that makes them less likely to enter hastily into (or stay in) abusive or unfulfilling relationships, who may have other types of partnerships and connections, or who may simply not have the desire to be in a romantic partnership (now or ever).
  • How they argue that there is one type of love and relation that is aspirational, against which all others pale. As if the love of our families, our friends, our colleagues, our communities, our lovers…were not enough. Eros trumps all, trumps philia, trumps storge, trumps agape.
  • How they infer that until we meet our (presumably monogamous) partner, and fall into some sort of nebulously and poorly defined thing called “love,” we singletons are mere shells of human beings, eternally waiting for our “other halves,” our “soul-mates,” or, at the very least, a person to co-habitate with, and at some point, possibly sign a legal contract that has nothing in actuality to do with love, despite social norms that try to convince us otherwise. As if we are less than whole people, always lacking.
  • How they advise that a single person must simply “love themselves enough” before they find a partner, as if self-love and worthiness were not things that people must and should do for themselves and for the many other relationships they have with their families, friends, and co-workers. As if self-love were not, above all, for one’s self. As if the very people who believe that they are worthy just as they are, who have developed communication skills, who can be vulnerable and sit with others’ vulnerability, are those who do love themselves enough. As if breaking up with someone cannot be an act of self-love, or, indeed an act of love towards others to avoid mutual disappointment or resentment.
  • How they discount the other accomplishments in our lives by assuming our happinesses or our successes are not enough if we do not also “find someone nice to settle down with.” As if the only occasions worthy of public and community celebrations are marriages (and having children).
  • How they presume that being in a relationship or being married automatically makes someone a more skilled communicator, empathic person, sexually open partner, considerate human being, or expert in love than any single person could ever hope to be.

I’m sure that I may be perceived as being too harsh here, or as making some rather broad and hyperbolic statements, or that I am assuming that these are simply things that the coupled say to the uncoupled. But these are also things that we single folks tell ourselves. They’re things that I’ve told myself, when relationships haven’t gone right, when I feel lonely, when I feel envious of those who have a partner, and when I get frustrated with the complexities and unpredictability of love and dating. And believe me, admitting to that is not easy. It is, however, useful and necessary.

The normalization of monogamy aside—and the aspersions it casts on the singletons—is that there is, of course, something more profoundly existential at play here, and that is that solitude and loneliness can call up some of our deepest fears and sorrows.

The fear of being rejected for our flaws.

The fear of not being able to handle the flaws of others.

The fear of not having our lovers’ snores or our bustling households to distract us from other sources of shame or feelings of unworthiness in our lives.

And that big fear: the aching, gnawing agony of our mortality. Death as the ultimate solitary event. Spinning silently through the vastness of space on this tilting rock, we cling to each other. The figure of a single person can remind us, painfully, of our need and desire to cling, to love, to make meaning in conjunction, even though we wax poetically about self-sufficiency, independence, and aloneness. If we are insecure or overdependent in our partnerships, the single person can terrify us, reminding us that we have not yet learned to tolerate being alone, to sit with the discomfort of being all by ourselves.

Singleness can also remind us also of how we exclude. How we don’t call up that friend, or that family member, or invite them over for dinner. How we can, so easily, take the companionship and presence of our partner for granted.

Singleness confronts us with how precarious and unpredictable relationality can be. That there’s not always “someone for everyone.” That even if you are emotionally healthy, even if you have a wonderful career, and a good sense of self, that you may end up without a romantic partner, or that the romantic partnership you envisioned in your late teens or early twenties—the fairytale romance—may not be exactly what you get. That your partner may suddenly become ill, or be unfaithful, or die long before you do: that you may once again be alone, and not through your own choosing.

Singleness reinforces the consequences of our choices and situations in life. That with togetherness, as with aloneness, comes compromise, different lacks of fulfillment, different ways of being, different sources of joy. And as they say, the grass is always greener on the other side.

As I enter my mid-twenties, I’ve decided to embrace paradox while I confront my own thoughts about singleness and about partnerships. While I have been told that I can be, at times, rather unromantic in my realism and cynicism about love, I have also been told that I am unrelentingly optimistic and hopeful. I can be wonderfully happy being single, and enjoy the freedoms that it affords me, but can also long for and dream of finding a partner who is my equal, my companion, and my fellow pilgrim on this strange and foreboding but curious and extraordinary road of life.

But most importantly—and I do hope this is the lesson that I can impart—I know, deep in my heart, that it is a truth universally acknowledged that we are all worthy of love, trust, companionship, acceptance, and kindness…whomever we receive it from.

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217 comments

    1. Fantastic insight Lucia. Such an interesting piece to read. Loved it! I am a 30 year old single woman and a lot of what you’ve found out about yourself some women never even begin to explore. Bravo!

      This part in particular resonated with me: “How they imply that women and men who are single must be flawed, broken … rather than, perhaps, individuals who may simply prefer solitude, prefer a different type of relationship arrangement, who may have done the emotional work that makes them less likely to enter hastily into (or stay in) abusive or unfulfilling relationships…”

      It touched on parts of me, and on parts of my friends who I know are not happy in the marriage, or relationship. But society tells us we are failures if we are not married by 30, maybe now 35. No children? Must be something wrong with you mentally. Or, you just sleep around. It’s probably too late to change the mindsets of generations above, but for the ones below, my fingers are crossed the pressures they face may ease soon.

  1. Good to explore so eloquently that which other young peoeple in this era do not articulate. As big houses give way to bachelor pads, does our society make aloneness the norm as well? Our society is evolving into one of multiple singles. Oh to live in the future with the ability to look back at this time when the educated and urbane largely stopped haveing families.

    1. Yes! This is exactly it. I hear a lot of people my age who look down on living with one’s family/parents/grandparents, as if the only options are either living alone or living with a romantic partner. I feel like in this society, singleness is supposed to only be a temporary measure in one’s 20s, in which we flee from our families of origin, gain independence and have some life experiences, before settling down once again with our partners…

  2. This is a fantastic piece, it really made me laugh and everything you are saying in it is so true. You seem to be a very sophisticated writer and I really envy your ability. Well done, you are a really clever writer and really take a good angle. Perfect

  3. Been married for over forty years, same woman, three kids, two grandchildren and sometimes just sometimes I want to be alone. That lasts for about a half hour. So I understand. No woman is an island. You will find someone who also wants the same as you, and that is compromise which is the basis of all relationships. If you want a laugh read Love is a Stamp on my blog. It tells how I met my wife in the mail. Good luck, Barry

  4. Great post, thank you!

    For myself, I’ve been married twice, last divorce was August of 2000. Over the past thirteen years, I’ve gone from caring about being in a relationship, to not carry. That transition was assisted by a couple of strokes after which, I was told I’d live maybe three months.

    Years later, I realize what a “stroke” of luck it was to have those problems. Being forced to face my own mortality caused me to learn to be happy with myself, to enjoy the time spent with family, and to be unconcerned about the lack of a special confidant.

    Two years ago, I started to relearn to play guitar, my favorite hobby that was lost to the strokes.

    Today is my fifty-sixth birthday! My daughter and son-in-law, along with my two grandchildren and 21 year old son, took me to lunch, then back to their place to play.

    Although I would never say I won’t have another relationship, if I don’t, I’m okay. If I do, I’m finally ready.

    Congrats on being freshly pressed.

  5. This is brilliant. I’m a couple of years younger than yourself but already I’m starting to feel the pressures of exactly what you describe. My own blog tries to deal with some of the ups and downs of attempting dating, sleeping around etc all in the pursuit of love. You have the right idea though and I agree wholeheartedly with what you say about everyone deserving to be loved.

    For so long I have felt that I can only be validated by a relationship status and quite frankly that’s utter crap and this blogpost of yours has reminded me of that. I wish you all the luck in finding “the one.” True happiness and self awareness comes from loving yourself and- ironic as I am “looking”- some of the most unhappy people I know are those in relationships.

    Beautiful article and articulated to perfection! Good luck with your future and congratulations on being freshly pressed! xx

  6. Consider yourself lucky to be freshly pressed now for a blog post you wrote over 3 months ago. It’s pretty rare. 🙂

    Meanwhile people who are unhappily married, wonder about the freedom to completely redefine oneself and redefine one’s personal time when one is single.

    Wishing you great journeys in life whether or not you meet the special person in life.

  7. Thanks so much for putting into words what, I think, a lot of people feel. I know I do, for sure. I have friends asking why I don’t date and why I haven’t dated in the past, like something is wrong with my ability to make decisions, and my response (a lack of interest in having a romantic relationship as they classify it) seems to baffle more than appease. Heaven forbid a girl be alone because she wants to be. I’m glad to hear that you have a sense of hope while maintaining the realistic approach that I’ve been criticized for as well. It gives me hope for the future, too, and damn if 22 is too young to be so cynical about love and partnership!

  8. I very much agree with your post and can only say when you reach your late 30s and are still single things only get worse. It separates you from your peers and you do become a somewhat sub-standard citizen in their eyes, even if your singleness is not by your design. I can only say that while I long for a partner I won’t settle just not be alone … and maybe that makes me an ‘outcast’ but at least I stay true to myself

  9. Yes! People can be single and still be whole and complete and content. If a relationship makes your life better, take it. If not, then don’t- there are so many wonderful things about being single. It was nice to see this so eloquently stated. Thanks!

  10. I want to pull you into my corner at the awful party, away from the pretend-to-care advice givers about something so personal. Beautifully written.

  11. I once asked my best friend in the whole world, “Do you think I’ll ever find a partner who will leave me alone 90% of the time.” And she said, “If they’re smart, that’s what they’ll do.” And I knew at that moment I had found my one true love.

    For some of us, the secret of a good relationship is finding someone who knows when to leave us alone, and that is indeed a rare and wonderful thing. Some people never find this–a partner who understands so well and loves so much that they will go away.

    Anyway, I’ve found if you wait long enough, people stop pestering you–this usually happens after their divorces go through and they’re not quite ready to dive into the pool. Give it a few years.

  12. Only you can know when you want to be with someone.

    It’s none of anyone’s business when or if you couple up. I’m married, for the second time, but didn’t marry for the first time until I was 35; (didn’t want kids.) I was sometimes deeply lonely in my 20s but also traveled widely, had a kick-ass career and don’t ever regret waiting so long to marry. Some of the most fun relationships you’ll have (briefly, or not) are those with people eminently unsuited to monogamy, fidelity or the very real responsibilities of marriage. Go for them anyway.

    Do what feels right for you. It’s your life.

  13. I remember reading a quotation somewhere: ‘Being single is better than wishing you were’. There are so many people in unhappy relationships, yet you are right in noting that our society considers the single status to be inferior. The political rhetoric here is all about ‘working families’. What about people who work but don’t have a family? Are they less important?

    This was a well-written piece. Congratulations on being Freshly Pressed!

  14. Sometimes we need to have “blinders” on and not take notice of what everyone thinks. It is your life, do what you feel is right and feels good for you. Love this blog! Don’t give up on Love though…there is someone out there for everyone 🙂

  15. Found myself nodding along, until I hit the last sentence/paragraph. Aren’t you simply reaffirming the norms which you so thoroughly challenged throughout the rest of this piece?

  16. Very well spoken, Lucia. I was once single and in your shoes. By legal terms I still am “single” but the only difference is that I have come to the realization that life’s happiness for me is in living an alternative lifestyle that is both less volatile and more fulfilling. By not putting all one’s eggs in one basket by having a single, conditional relationship with someone who can, at any time, leave, it opens the doors to getting a whole lot more out of life.

  17. Hi. Very well written. I think for ,any cultures, most especially here in Japan, having a partner validates you. It proves your worth as a male/female.Many people assume that something is wrong with a person who has not been married since birth (divorce is forgiveable) Married males will tend to be promoted at work too (because you have a family to work hard for) . I personally think people shouldn’t be judged based on their civil status, but it has been ingrained on many of us. I know people whose mothers used to tell them when they were kids “If you do that, you won’t be able to marry!”

  18. Great post – I identified a lot with it. I finally married at 34 (met my husband at 32). Prior to meeting him I went through a long period of time where I dated irregularly and didn’t have any relationships – about 6 years. Those were some of the best years of my life! I learned a lot about myself, I traveled alone, and went to movies alone and I dined alone. That isn’t to say that I didn’t have friends that I hung out with, but I decided that if there wasn’t someone around to go with, I wouldn’t stay home because of that. I became comfortable in my own skin…

    Not to mention, I didn’t have to go to movies I didn’t want to see or go places I didn’t want to, just because a boyfriend wanted to. All movies I watched were ones I wanted to watch! All vacations were destinations I chose! What freedom! I got to a place where I was very rarely lonely, and if you have ever been in a bad relationship, you certainly know that alone and lonely are not the same thing. It is just as possible to be lonely while lying 6 inches from somebody in bed.

    Whether you do or don’t meet someone and marry, just remember to care for yourself.

  19. Insightful and beautifully stated.

    Take it for what it’s worth; this 61 year old woman believes in writing one’s own directions thru life, although everyone else feels entitled to give their opinion(s).

    Yes, I was lonely when I was single, but I’ve also suffered loneliness within my marriage.
    Learning how to navigate the ups and downs are the necessities to growth. Only the individual experiencing the nuances knows what their needs and desires are. Don’t bother with the clock on the wall, the calendar, or those on the sidelines.

  20. I speak as a 20 year old virgin who constantly questions her state of perpetual singlehood and cannot understand for the life of her why she is still alone. It’s made for some very difficult times and a struggle in realizing my self-worth and loving myself. Thank you for writing this. It articulated so well the things I struggle with, and was so beautifully done. Thank you!

  21. You have intrinsic value being created in the image of God (Genesis 1:27). Market values go up and down, but intrinsic value is unchanging.

    Mathematician Kurt Gödel wrote the incompleteness theorem (1930s) which states that any closed system (like the human psyche) requires at least one assumption taken from outside the system to obtain stability. A good relationship offers stability; a relationship with God offers not only stability but a model for other relationships.

  22. Aside from the hyperbole as you call it, you write very well. As far as the mundane nature of being conscripted to the marriage bed, there are very many ways to go. Perhaps now is the not the time and it may never be. A great aunt of mine and her sister never married. I would not even begin to speculate only the nature of their lives was the subject of a lot of gossip. I hate gossipy speech but what I do respect is clarity and brilliance and if you seek to what you are passionate about, you will get it. Nice blog

  23. I think it defeats the point when love feels like an obligation, and those comments you listed seem to display that sentiment. Personally, if someone is interested enough in me to start a romantic relationship, that would be nice, but I don’t want to force it as it’s more fun to expect the unexpected. Love manifests itself in so many more forms that one shouldn’t fixate on eros.

  24. Spot on! I remember feeling the same in my late 20’s-early 30’s. People seemed to not like me as single and felt it was their goal in life to marry me off. I couldn’t just go hang out with friends, it was always a set up. I did marry at 34, don’t regret it a bit. But I found someone on my terms on my time.

    1. I also had angst and fear about finding the right partner and settling down in my 20’s and 30’s but I believe that when I met my husband, I was ready and so was he. To me that is truly the secret, you settle down and enter coupledom, when you are are ready for it! Singleness allows you to define who you are and what you really want in a partner if at all. It is not a mandatory state, and nor should anyone be regarded as not whole by being single. We are complete people with potential, passions, dreams, friendships and interests that we are individually on our own.

  25. Great article and enjoyable read.

    I honestly can’t see why people hold on so tightly to outdated notions of relationships while at the same time happily chasing the latest in tech gadgetry. Relationships and what makes them work is not static; it changes through the eras.

    You kicked off your entry with mention of Jane Austen. I simply have to shake my head and laugh at people who think her writing and period of time was in any way romantic. She was highly critical of her society and era and was a satirist first and foremost.

    Most people today don’t realise she was a satirist because they don’t realise how difficult it was to be one and how delicate one had to be when writing satire in such a constrictive and repressive society as she lived.

    It’s the 21st century! Revel in your singleness without shame! 🙂

  26. All those doubts and uncertainties will be very light to carry if you link yourself sincerely with the ALMIGHTY just like the narration in the “Footprints in the Sand”. ” The man or woman who possesses the knowledge of God will not be very ambitious.” “No good originates from the body.”

  27. I think its all about being intravert VS extravert. It’s all about exchange of energy. Intraverts recharge their batteries alone and spend in the company of others. Extraverts recharge in the company, and spend alone.
    Plus, yes, the social programming. The ecosystem takes care about reproduction, therefore the people are conditioned to bond and procreate.

    We are all enslaved in the Big Wheel. Being alone is often the first call that you desire True Freedom.

    Me, was married, hated it. My current spouse never understands the desire for solitude (she’s an extreme extravert) and thinks this is a illness. We are actually breaking up now.

    If you’re an intravert, think twice before letting anyone into your personal space. You may want to get back to freedom an independence when it’s too late.

  28. Thank you for this amazing piece – you have so beautifully articulated so much of which I have been living everyday.

    The point that stood out for me is the assumption of being flawed if you are single… one that so many of us end up believing because we hear it so repeatedly.

  29. This made me in touch with my inner “self”…One day, I shall find my “fellow pilgrim” in life…but for now, I shall open-heartedly receive and reciprocate every love I get from everyone else…”we are all worthy of love, trust, companionship, acceptance, and kindness…whomever we receive it from.”

  30. As someone who long sought relationship — and went 17 years in quest of “suitable helpmeet” between divorce to remarriage — I’d like to add a word of gratitude for the circles of spiritual friends who were present along the way.
    Being single does not have to mean lonely, and solitude can allow deep growth.
    And being with the right companion, as I’ve now been 14 years, can be even more nurturing.
    Just forget all the stereotypes and be true to your path.

  31. Life is a journey
    All of us are destined to travel necessarily
    First single by compulsion
    Then if fortunate to have attraction
    And find a person of thy liking
    Who understands thee with all thy liking and disliking

    Here have to be a little cautious
    Choose someone who loves thy impersions
    As that person loves thy persons

    That person supports thee
    When thee are in low and high
    Provides thee succour all the time
    Happy & sad times

    Adjusting in life is a two way traffic
    If one is at fault
    The other partner ought to correct that
    Without taxing other’s psy self

    Finding such a person is not a difficult one
    For adjusting in life is the name of the game
    If one falls
    Other ought to pick up
    And bestow a soothing hug
    Which naturally cures
    All hurts inflicted from all sides.

    O! our Creator
    The benevolent of all
    Provide us a partner
    Who is our partner
    In wheel or woes alike
    Thee love that person
    And Ye return love without reservation
    And life becomth lovely full of compassion.

    HARBANS KHAJURIA

  32. I`ve been single for exactly a year, and have never had a better life than now! You grow, grow and become who`re meant to be. It was only scary the first couple of months, and I`m so proud I survived it:)

  33. @…”Singleness reinforces the consequences of our choices and situations in life. That with togetherness, as with aloneness, comes compromise, different lacks of fulfillment, different ways of being, different sources of joy. And as they say, the grass is always greener on the other side…>>

    **WOW to be so young(or least younger than I..) you’ve SO well wrapped up the entire situation about the “situation of being single”! I, on the other hand have hardly EVER been single..At 50 years of age & just re-entering the dating scene..this 3 year self-imposed voluntary bout of being single has been GREAT for me..Yet? I could afford to do it, and needed it, for a breather/to re-situate myself after moving cross country/& just go do some me time.For the past 30 years? I’ve been co-raising 3 outstanding sons. married, divorced, & engaged twice, been a college student & held down a career..There was hardly a moment just to BE..People who don’t know my ‘herstory’ are SHOCKED to discover I’m not only single but also celibate..Yet? I don’t expect nor require folks to understand or “get” where I’m coming from..For honestly? They don’t know where I’ve been..

    On the flip side of that single coin..My eldest son? Is single /no children/no steady at the moment but at 30 yrs old is very, very soon going to have his PHD. First in our family…He’s got friends who already have children, married & some divorced already, a mortgage, etc etc…Only very briefly does he stop to consider what he’s sacrificed in order to have his PHD(which has always been first for him..) I think he knows he is IN demand; and that his time will come for having a wife/children…And he’s also rather highly selective like his mother; ME..

    In reading your piece it appears you’ve got a healthy outlook on being single..And again you’re SO young! This is the time to be doing YOU & exploring actual DATING.And I look forward to reading your future experiences ; in everything. Very glad you were FP’ed so I could follow you. Wishing you much good luck & blessings. Stay UPlifted!

  34. Excellent post. Incisive and heart-felt. I struggle with being alone having split with my wife just two months before a faulty artery in my spine ruptured and left me paralyzed and forever in a wheelchair. My ‘prospects’ for what one would consider ‘normal’ companionship are now well diminished. I’ve been reading a book called “Lonely” by Emily White that examines being alone in the context of predisposition to loneliness. I’m quite enjoying it. Loved the post and will be following from now on.

  35. A masterful summation of the whole ‘being single” situation. Life is there to be enjoyed as much as you can. And whether that enjoyment comes from being single or being married, so be it! Congrats on being Freshly Pressed.

  36. Great post! I love your writing style.

    On the other note, being alone enables one to like his/her own company and from there, we can reflect a lot and do things that we want as well. There’s nothing wrong to be alone or single.

  37. Aah, a single can understand what another single says and does not – brilliant…absolutely magnificent confession – am sure, your post must have healed a lot many out there…hails to you and congratulations for speaking so well.

  38. I love this! I hate that so many things in popular culture center around women “getting their minds right” to date. Do this, do that, don’t do this, don’t do that. How about just be happy and if someone happens to join in your happiness then so be it! Well said. X

  39. A relationship in my opinion should not make you feel like you’ve lost something, rather, one should feel that, the freedoms which we associate with being single, are inconsequential. And this, like all the other matters of the heart, is best experienced when it comes spontaneously. I love being single too, but at 30, I would like at least one aspect of my life to be permanent and maybe that is why I would gladly change my status, even if it means sacrificing a bit of me. I wonder if I made any sense at all.

  40. I loved your post and I relate well, being single and constantly being bombarded with “relationship advice” from others. In the past year I have changed so much that it would have been impossible to be in a relationship as I am a completely different person. Now I know who I am, and I sincerely enjoy being alone with myself. I feel like I could have written your post myself… but much less eloquently. Your writing style is fantastic and thanks for a great read.

  41. My dear young friend. Thank you for writing this extra special piece; and doing such a wonderful job writing it. This is one more subject I need not write about as you have covered it all so well. This is a very delicate subject when single. I know it all too well myself. Had I written this piece I am afraid it would have been far too lugubrious for the readers. Your writing style is nothing short of brilliant as you are so capable of weaving words together presenting a very clear and enjoyable picture for your readers to view. From your words, your understanding of our beautiful language, and your ability to express your deepest feelings with its use is very pleasing to me. For you there are many people out there that you cannot now see. They too are looking for someone just like you, and perhaps exactly you. You have so much to offer surely you and the one you seek will come together. That of course is when you are truly ready in your mind and heart for that relationship. It will happen. Please continue to write as you are very gifted and I look forward to reading your future posts. And congrats on your place in Freshly Pressed. You are well on your way to greatness.

  42. I spent basically until I was 30 single – not inactive, simply single and although I lamented the entire way through it that it was unfair and must be because of this or that and all my friends and colleagues offered up their unsolicited advice I can look back in my mid 30s having had the most fulfilling love life since I grew out of being a self centred prick of a 20 something.
    I can only speak for myself but I had a LOT of life experience to have, a lot of trial and tribulation, a lot to sort out, a lot of soul searching, a lot of learning to enjoy my own company and not run from it.
    If it weren’t for my solitary 20s I wouldn’t be the much nicer, much more stable (yikes, can’t believe I can say that right now) much more grounded, much more assertive, less dominating, less arrogant person I am today. And I’m glad for all the time I had to be alone to learn who I am and although I was always the oddly constantly single one and now people find it hard to relate to me in a relationship I wouldn’t take an angsty moment of it back.
    Solitude is something I crave now – amazing how things change.

    You’re an incredibly intelligent and talented writer, congrats on being Freshly Pressed it was a thought provoking post xo

  43. Beautifully written, and so honest. I am not single but as I enter my early 30’s and approach the 5th year mark with my partner, I have been bombarded with the dreaded question: So when are you going to get married, have 2.5 kids, house with a picket fence, and a timeshare in Barbados?? Everyone is so quick to judge. Thanks for sharing.

  44. very well written! i’m single myself, so i can relate to what you’ve written. however, unlike you who have just entered your mid twenties, i’m already on my 30s, so more people are wondering why i’m still alone. some people think that once you hit the 30s mark and still single, the difficulty of settling down is harder. sometimes i also think the same thing, but most of the time, i’m just satisfied with being alone, working hard towards goals i have set out for myself.

    congratulations on being FP. 🙂

  45. Beautifully communicated. I am so glad to know that I’m not the only one that gets aggravated with those that think that, despite all of the wonderful things in my life, I am not complete without a mate. It is more straining to my heart than being alone.

  46. I was really moved by your honesty and insight to solitude. I have experienced some of what you have described myself. Moreover I feel that the older I get the more difficult it is to adapt or even put up with an other person in that kind of proximity. I get set in my own ways and get accustomed to not having to compromise or consider someone else. On the other hand, apart from our lifetime, we have no guarantee of having an opportunity of being in a relationship, loving and being loved, having companionship and sharing all what we have with an other being. It might be a one off opportunity but as every other achievement in life, it requires sacrifice. The sacrifice of giving ourselves up entirely and becoming one with our partner. It is easy to see how this works on a sexual level, however it is just the same in every other aspect of the relationship. But, it takes two..

  47. I love your finishing words, “…we are all worthy of love, trust, companionship, acceptance, and kindness…whomever we receive it from.” It is easy to become disillusioned and jaded in love and relationships, whether married or single, because it’s so easy to forget our worthiness and the worthiness of others when we’re distracted by life and insecurity. Keep on loving! 🙂

  48. Love this…the ever tiring conquest of trying to find the other half, and yet always feeling so far. I think even feng shui is tired of all the moves I’ve made in my personal life in order to find ‘the one’…they say have faith- I say – where is the wine?

  49. it is simply the consequence of modern life.
    All happens too quick, too early, and when one eventually makes sense of his/her own life, is too late. Scars are made, which are not healed, the fundamental grammar of emotions has been long lost. The loss of conventional values was a mixed blessing, carrying the total loss of sense. As previously many empires did, so we surrender to our end, casued by a simple absence of people who will carry any values worth be propagated.
    A great bitter piece, a consequence of these times.

  50. So much wisdom in a young woman, and very deserving of being Freshly Pressed! Congrats!
    I was in relationships for most of my teens and twenties, and half-way into my thirties. Then I discovered I was much happier alone! There was a bit of discomfort as my biological clock ticked out, but once I decided I did not want to pursue kids unless the right partner came along, I was much happier than I had been “in relationship.”

    I’m in my mid…OK, late fifties now, and have had the most wonderful, fulfilling life you can imagine. People stopped asking me “are you seeing anyone?” a long, long time ago. I have a million friends, a good number of close friends, and lots of kids in my life. I’m an “auntie” many times over.

    I do think it’s important as we travel through life “alone” that we put serious time into developing our spiritual natures. This one thing will give us the grounding and serenity we need to stand on our own two feet. Knowing we are never, actually, alone.
    Have a wonderful life!

  51. You couldn’t pay me enough to do my 20’s over again, or my teens for that matter. It’s the time of life when you’re finalizing your identity and to a degree putting the finishing touches on who you’re going to be for the rest of your life. Staying “unattached” until this stage in life is very beneficial.

    Life has a way of making the foreseeable future that which never happens, and the unforeseeable that which your life becomes. Don’t resist for whatever you resist will persist and what you embrace dissipates. Embrace your aloneness, embrace these moments for they will never be here again. Allow your life to be exactly what it is. If I’ve learned anything in life it is that I do not have control, the illusion on control is routed in a false belief in the sovereignty of my life.

    Make your intention to be of service, to contribute, and to love others. Adopt this intention and hang on to it the way that a pitbull has ahold of a tire. It is your inner attitude and commitment that will draw you to another that is on the same wavelength. This is the difference being with someone to fill your void or being with someone to fill theirs. What is your intention?

  52. I’ve been in a relationship for three years, and, I’m pretty sure I’m still inflexible, flawed, broken, psychologically damaged, and generally weird. Socials norms are normally absurd. Well put, oh single one. Single on… single on.

  53. I understand where you are coming from. I am older than you and I too have been single never married for most of my life. I see other look at me and say “if only he had a nice girl that would make him happy.” And there are times when I ask myself those same questions you stated if I am too picky, flawed in some way, etc.
    Well I am happy being single. I would love to find some one but in the meantime I will enjoy being single. Well writen post.

    Live Long and Prosper

  54. At 60, I can honestly say that I wish I had put more effort into my romantic relationships, because when I look back, they were more important than anything else. For me, there is nothing else that even comes close to the experience of loving and being loved.

    1. While we may agree or disagree about certain things, to love and be loved is a requisite in our lives. The basis for love is the honesty to trust and the willingness to be hurt. That’s lfie!

  55. You don’t have to be how someone else tells you you should be. Maybe it works in their world, but that doesn’t mean it will work in yours. Marriage looks disagreeable and like it makes a lot of people unhappy. Two people that don’t get along will pass those feelings onto the kids and make them miserable.

    If committed love works for you, that’s great, but if not, and you enjoy your own time, you shouldn’t worry about it. I love being alone and become a little depressed when I have to hang out with my gf, no matter how much I like her or how hot she is.

    I like my other interests and hobbies more. When I feel horny I watch porn and then feel normal and happy again.

  56. A beautifully written post. A few weeks ago I had my seventy-fifth birthday, so many would assume I have no emotional life at all. Shockingly enough I feel I am still the same person, although considerably rougher round the edges as I was at thirty. I have been married to the same person for forty-seven years, I say that merely as a fact of my life. I long ago believed in happy ever after, of course this is a fairy story. I have been happy and unhappy. Live your life the way you want to.

  57. I loved this, because at one point I was reading it and saying to myself, “Society doesn’t tell me this, I do,” and in the next line you said just that. People have told me I’m old-fashioned, or I’m cold, or that I don’t give others a chance. I can never explain to them the sense of freedom I have experienced from being where I am in life. And as someone who just entered her mid-twenties too, I’d say, enjoy the singleness, it’s precious.

  58. I loved reading this; and you are a crafted writer. I have been single for most of my adult life and I am now 40 years old. There is a stigma attached particularly to women who reach a certain age and they compare the chances of getting married at 40 less likely than getting struck by lightening. I have a greater chance of getting struck by lightening then finding a mate. Who studies this shit? And how do we know? All I know is, I think there is a beauty in being single. It took me to places I never knew existed. And there is a freedom. But society teaches us girls at a young age to find our prince charming. I think it’s a loaded gun. I liked your post a lot.

  59. At the risk of sounding like someone almost twice your age (and I almost am), as I read this entry I was sure you were much older than mid 20s. My God, mid 20s! And people are on you about being single? Crazy. Any major metro city in the universe has a plethora of you–all having fun, living life and finding themselves. Which is really what your mid 20s are all about . . .

  60. I have noticed that being alone by yourself in a quiet room can be one of the most difficult experiences in life. It is impressive and sometimes sad the things we do to avoid that.

  61. Beautifully written and insightful. It inspired me to come up with PROJECT R: a project investigating our views of relationships: http://shardsofsilence.wordpress.com/2013/10/07/project-r-i-think-best-when-i-think-with-others/
    You are part of the acknowledgements, as I have borrowed your insights to formulate my questions.
    I have also drafted a reply to your post. It is quite a long one. You gave me a lot of food for thought and it just couldn’t be done in fewer words. I will post it tomorrow.
    Thank you again for a wonderful post xx

    1. On self-love…Once upon a time, in a country far far away, when I had only just found my wolf and he dutifully agreed not to eat Grandma in exchange for my hand (I do have one tasty hand), this question found its way out of the woodwork:

      Me: Why do you love me?

      Him: Don’t know. Just do.

      Me (winy): But whyyyy?

      Him (indulgent): Because you’re amazing. Just wonderful. And because…

      Me (expectant): Yes?

      Him: I’m ecstatically happy when I’m with you.

      Me (well pleased): Ditto.

      Notice that, at no point in that exchange did he ever say “Well, darling, it’s because you love yourself so damned much!”

      I still ask that question every now and then (because it’s fun, and I enjoy his variations on how bloody incredible he thinks me), but still… no self-love conditional ever came into the equation. Ever.

      It almost scares me how topical this is. This friend I told you about, the one recovering from the heart-trampled-over situation, received the following message: “X will never be able to love anyone else before X learns to love x-self”.

      To recap. This was a post breakup message, by the breakup initiator, to the mother of said “X.”

      Low blow, isn’t it? Please promise me you will never do that to someone just because your relationship time is up. Why say it? Why say it via someone else? Why after the breakup?

      I have no answers for this I’m afraid. It’s not something that I would ever dream of hanging around someone’s neck. I cannot understand it.

  62. Good job lucia….an amazing piece of writing. U r truly a talented writer. Kudos n all the best for future. Well done once again. Honestly, a gutsy insight to our present worldy mental scenario.

  63. My favorite part –> ” who may have done the emotional work that makes them less likely to enter hastily into (or stay in) abusive or unfulfilling relationships”

    Amen to that! I’m in my mid-thirties and have found myself mostly single throughout my date-able years. I’m okay with that. I have been able to develop into a strong, very self aware woman which, I feel, is extremely important.

    I certainly don’t have it all together in other aspects of my life, but when it comes to dating and relationships – I’m all over that. 🙂

    Great piece. Keep it up!

  64. Reblogged this on like an apple and commented:
    Another post to give you pause. I loved this part:
    “Singleness confronts us with how precarious and unpredictable relationality can be. That there’s not always “someone for everyone.” That even if you are emotionally healthy, even if you have a wonderful career, and a good sense of self, that you may end up without a romantic partner, or that the romantic partnership you envisioned in your late teens or early twenties—the fairytale romance—may not be exactly what you get. That your partner may suddenly become ill, or be unfaithful, or die long before you do: that you may once again be alone, and not through your own choosing.”

  65. Me – 31, divorced and now single. As you pointed out, the society we will live in has created this notion that if we aren’t married by a “certain age” then we are lacking in something. As a divorcee, this notion is extended to folks like myself as well. The thought process is rationalized in that single individuals, if a man, must be some sort of woman-beater, not know how to treat a woman, or homosexual. For a woman, she is either not pretty enough or homosexual.

    But, again as you pointed out, perhaps fulfillment can (and will) come from other occurrences in our lives. After all, it is never good to put all your eggs in one basket, whether it is love, your children, your career, hobbies or whatever the case may be.

    The most important thing is that we feel fulfilled with ourselves and that whatever we are doing, we feel it is the right thing for us, even if that differs from the rest of society. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I encourage you to continue on the path you are on. Often times in life, things happen to us when we least expect it and aren’t looking for it.

    Best wishes…

  66. You write about love with a very sharped edged sword, the truth and although I agree there is no need for a partner to be happy it really is a plus (if it’s a healthy relationship) I mean i’d much rather life my life with someone than alone, we need connections,bonds, relationships because we are social creatures. now what I absolutely love is you impression on how ” solitude and loneliness can call up some of our deepest fears and sorrows.” I too am single and I feel at times trapped in my insecurities because, I have been alone for so long it makes me wonder if it’s because of me, my personality, my looks, my background and so I retreat to my own personal world called my mind and my fantasies. i might be a little demented though! anyways check out my new blog 🙂 it goes through the topic of loneliness and hope on my last post. though with a happier tone.
    http://itzamarreyes.wordpress.com/

  67. I agree and want to add that this is the time to be single. I’m a divorced single mom and if I could do it again I would have waited into my thirties to get married. Once we settle down and have kids that is it. Those kids are ours until they take off for college and marital relationships don’t work unless you commit series time and effort. Also, people romanticize marriage and I’m not sure why, it’s the good, the bad and the ugly, the toothpaste, bad breathe, vomit, bathroom and flatulence moments all thrown together for years and years. Enjoy being single and tell people who give you a hard time with it that your going to stay away until they respect who you are as an individual, in a nice way of course. Check out my blog familiestink.wordpress.com. Families and significant others shouldn’t define us any more, it was helpful when we had to worry about the Huns or the Vikings, but now family should be those we choose because they make us better individuals.

  68. Girlfriend I love it! Very well stated … Hang in there … You are not alone on this journey … I’m in my forties almost 45 to be exact … Some may feel it’s an emergency or to the point of desperation to have their soul mate.. But I still wait.. On that true and lasting love that meets my every need and desire of my heart …. As I wait I watch and pray and will not settle for counterfeits because they have come and I had to use my discernment to weed them out yet continue to wait… With my motto “keep it moving” don’t stop here… So my friend I say to u … From Galatians 6:9 Let us not become weary in well doing for I’m due season u shall reap a worthy mate if u faint not.
    God Bless thanks for sharing your
    thoughts … A very good read!!!!

    Harriett

  69. That’s very insightful, i mean, so long as YOU know WHY you’re staying single, and the reasons for you being single is valid, even IF it’s only to you, then, it shouldn’t matter what other people say about it, after all, at the end of the day, you, and you alone, will be left, with the consequences of the decisions you had made in life, so long as you can BE true and honest with yourself, then, that’s ALL that matters…

  70. Great post! Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I’ve entered my late 30s and I’m still single. Sometimes it just takes time; it doesn’t mean there’s something wrong with you. Being single has actually enabled me to do, learn and grow so much. I have a much better chance of finding the right partner and having a fulfilling relationship now than I did in my 20s.

  71. Reblogged this on Curly Bookworm and commented:
    oh-oh! very bold and becoming… Becoming Jane, the modern counterpart ^___^

    Suddenly, I realized that my solitary soliloquy has been voiced out in a way so unexpected! Thanks for sharing your two cents! Kudos!
    Single life could be more of sweet solitude, but with my case, there’s joy in waiting! 😀

  72. Congrats on being freshly pressed. As I read this I thought surely you must have been at least mid-thirties. I’m a firm believer that being single until you are 35 or 36 is a good thing. You have your whole life to be married/coupled and there is no rush! By that age you certainly know what you didn’t want in a life partner as much as what you do want.

    I enjoyed my single-hood enormously and only gave in to the pursuit of the man I eventually married at 35. We are still married and still in love and enjoy one another’s company.

    It sounds like you are not about to let anyone hurry you! Bravo for that.

  73. oh-oh! very bold and becoming… Becoming Jane! the modern counterpart ^___^ Suddenly, I realized that my solitary soliloquy has been voiced out in a way so unexpected!

    Thanks for sharing your two cents! Kudos! re-blogged this 🙂 http://curlybookworm.wordpress.com

    Single life could be more of sweet solitude, and in my case, I’ve got that eureka moment: there’s joy in waiting! 😀

  74. This is awesome even for those who are not single. I am in a relationship and those who are married and/or have children still feel the need to cast their opinions, typically in the form of it will soon be our time to join their misery. Why would we do that? We need to take the next step so we can be as unhappy as everyone else? Quite frankly it scares me into the opposite direction.

    I am happy in my relationship now, though sometimes I do feel push back when I am hesitant to make the compromises you mention that relationships seem to require. Compromises are not always compromises sometimes they just feel like giving in. Holding true to yourself is not a bad thing just because it is no longer a common thing.

    I wish my friend would read this article as well, but I feel as though I would become that friend who is putting my 2 cents in… she is very nervous about the preconceived societal timeline. and will make just about any relationship “work” to make her deadlines. i find it difficult to give her advice while walking the line of butting in too far and being hypocritical.

  75. It was as if somebody had read my mind and typed it here… Exactly what I’m feeling these days. Thank you for the comforting article, Lucia, and congratulations on being Freshly Pressed!

  76. I like your article. Being in a relationship is a very wonderful experience. It’s wonderful when things are at it’s nicest stage. I do think of my times when I was alone at times. But when I think of those times I’m either unhappy at certain situations. It wasn’t so bad since being alone I just saw it as not being able to share my life with another special someone. I think of what I didn’t have then and what I have now. I’m happy now, but if I ever go back to being alone I would think of it as just another day in life without someone in my life. Being alone is not a horrible experience. It’s just you being alone with yourself and that’s not a bad thing.

  77. “Eros trumps all, trumps philia, trumps storge, trumps agape.”

    Nice reference to the many types of love that the ancient Greeks parsed out. Being able to consciously distinguish and articulate closely related feelings gives you a leg up on analyzing what’s going on emotionally. Perhaps it underpins the clarity of your essay. I’m impressed with clear-headedness of your piece and the insight into your situation that you have elegantly achieved.

  78. I think those rational fears you examined are…well, rational. But, the flip side of it all is that is it better to be in solitude and confront those fears, or, is it better to be in a relationship and never confront those fears. Reasonable minds can disagree, but it seems to me that being in relationships (especially ones formed early in the teens or 20’s) tends to make people stop growing; they learn the other person and how to deal with them, but they stop introspection in any real way. & it’s because that introspection comes from solitude – from being alone, not having thoughts and ideas thrust upon you, but having them come to you endogenously.

    I always wondered if some of the interesting women in their 60’s or 50’s ever married – some did, some did not. I never really saw either choice as being a bad one, just one that made sense for each of them.

  79. It’s fascinating how thoroughly the subject of love surrounds us, every day, almost every minute. It’s also completely depressing, enraging, irritating and sometimes uplifting, depending on where we’re at in the subject at the time.

    I think your piece is fantastic in that it’s so real. It is the opinion, views, hopes and cynicisms of one person, but resonates almost perfectly with the vast majority, no matter where they are on the scale between “single and avoiding all other human life” on one side and “desperately mashing their face against a another’s face 24/7” on the other side.

    Because I don’t think it really matter where they are on that scale, they’ve all felt what you speak of.

    In ending I would like to say I think there is someone for everyone, I don’t know about that “perfect person set on Earth to be with you and only you” but someone you can have fun with and enjoy being in the company of and being comfortable with and who feels the same towards you. Sometimes you just have to keep looking.

  80. Reading this, I got reminded of my single days. Although I felt pretty much of what you are feeling right now, looking back I realize those were one of the blissful days of life dedicated to no one else but only myself 🙂

  81. Wow! Thank you so much for writing this. This is exactly what I’ve been feeling and even telling myself the past few years. The pros and cons of being single are sometimes hard to dicypher and sometimes its hard not to take what society is telling you to heart.

  82. Great post! I am in awe of such wisdom of someone 20 yrs younger than myself. If only I could have been this in touch with my inner feelings at this age and content in solitude yet realizing also that it was MY choice! At age 47….. I am finally there. Whew!

  83. Absolutely excellent post! I totally agree with the previous comment, for someone so young, you have wisdom that is so insightful, and your style of writing is just exquisite. You have so much insight into this topic and are spot on with how you express your ideas and thoughts. Your post is by far, one of only a few that I have found with the talent and expertise you display. Every sentence is constructed as if it could actually stand alone. You have placed so much meaning and value to your work with your choice of vocabulary which perfectly describes the point you are making. I am now single, not by choice, but divorced after a 30 year marriage, and I could relate to many of your points. My ability to relate is a wonderful example of the broad base you manage to cover in your post, but also remain true to your own individual feelings. Excellent read!

  84. fantastic realism here and v. well written. We can thank Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks in the early 90s for giving single women everywhere fairy tale notions about romance and relationships. As someone who is divorced with no children, the question I often get is “arent’ you afraid of growing old alone?” My biggest fear? Settling because I can’t truly look life in the face. That is my answer. There isn’t much of a conversation after that. lol Thank you, Lucia for this articulate notion that single equals opportunity, whatever that may bring.

  85. Reblogged this on inhannover and commented:
    Könnte es nicht besser sagen, auch wenn ich ein paar Jährchen mehr Erfahrung in diesem Bereich habe.
    Could not say it better, even with some years of more experience in this matter.

  86. an extremely well written post! and very bold as well i should say. The part that I most identified with was fear of my own flaws and fear of not being able to handle someone else’s flaws.

  87. Well written. I did not marry until I was 40 years old. My husband was also 40. I found in my days of singleness that there were those women who really did like me, but did not know what to do with me. At church when we had functions, of course, I was there alone, having a wonderful time talking with everyone. I worked with the young people at that time which put me in contact with some of the male leaders. Oh the wives would get all in a bunch because I was single and getting too “close” to their husbands. After a while it really got old having to make myself be someone I was not just to keep the “ladies” happy. I hated the dating game, but was tired of being alone, even though I did not see it as a problem. However, I was tired of looking out for myself by myself and I set out to find “the one”. Well, 20 years later, I have a husband I am not in love with, not living a happy life, and craving the days that I am able to be by myself even if it is just for an hour.

    Until you find that someone that you know is the right one, do not let people bully you into marrying. Treasure your days alone if that is what you like because once you marry, your life as you know it will be over.

  88. Wow, that was really powerful! I am in a relationship and plan on marrying that person, and I never realized how truly lucky I am that that has happened to me. Thank you.

  89. I am not single, but I’m pretty sure that if I had not find my actual boyfriend I would still be single. I personally think you should stay single until you find the right guy- when there’s no doubt that he is the one for you. When I found my man, I didn’t hesitate, there was no questions, no “but’s”. But if I’d not met him I would still be single and would be attacked by my family. And the pressure never ends if I was single they would be accusing me of what not… And now that I finally found the one- they still pressure me saying I must get married. And it’s silly and stupid- I won’t rush into anything just because society thinks it’s right. I will do what I find best for us. But I have to deal with many stupidity like “when I was your age I was already married” “if you don’t get married fast he will leave you and you’ll be single forever” and I know the pressure will continue even when I’m married- they will pressure me to have kids. That’s why I’m not led by all society rules- it’s plain stupid.

  90. After reading all the comments here, I guess radical feminism’s got it all wrong. Women obviously want to be loved by men. Not one comment convinced me otherwise, which is wonderful. Now we just have figure out a way to kick them off the grandstand and let nature take its course to happiness and, stop wasting our youth concentrating on pointless careers at the expense of our personal lives. Great post. Very illuminating, honest and thought provoking.

  91. Good post. You are lucky to figure this all out at an early age. One should only get married because they just have to be together they are so much in love. If you are rationalizing why you ‘should’ marry this person then it will probably be a disaster. Even when you are mad, crazy in love, relationships are not easy. The mad and crazy takes on a new form.
    While it’s true it’s better to love yourself before you find a mate, that’s not what happens in reality. When you don’t love yourself enough you constantly seek your ‘other half’ or someone you think you will fulfill your life. Then you find some who’s looking for their other half and you come together like magnets. You have expectations that the other will complete you. You think they should be make you happy. But neither of you are whole to begin with.
    I’m really enjoying living alone. While I would like to get a crush on someone and date, I’m not to keen on someone moving in. It would have to be pretty damn good.

  92. What people seem to be unable to understand is that the situation is different for everyone. I know people in awful relationships, people who have settled for someone who ‘does the job’, who are just terrified to be alone and I find myself regarding them as pathetic, yet these are often the same people who will ask such things as ‘have you found someone yet?’. ‘still single?’, ‘why don’t you join a dating site?’. Then there are those singletons desperate to find another half because either they hate being alone, they are needy, or maybe because they just love human contact and adore relationships…how are you to know which category they fit into? I personally love being single, I am always busy doing things and have always been the same (both busy and single) yet I would welcome a relationship if someone amazing came along. They key for me being I do not need it to make me me, or to make me feel a certain way. In fact, I often discuss with my other single friend how we are the only women left in the world who value friendships, real friendships, over finding a man and that the ideal would be a man who we saw every now and then as long as he didn’t ruin girls night! Not having another half does not equate to not having relationships, not being able to feel or share. Some people just need different things from others at different stages of life.

  93. Great words here! Thank you. I have been more single than in relationship and each time I get home from going out on a date or return from a group activity I realize how much I cherish my singledom, my domain, and the time I enjoy spending listening to late night jazz, writing nonsense, hugging my dog, making a garment, jumping into the pool, eating when I want to and laughing at the most ridiculous things; sipping wine and eating when I want to, something I’ve prepared from ingredients that perhaps no one else would like. I have no need to fit in with someone who wants his food prepared a certain way and would want me to eventually become part of the furniture. I have good times with people attending my yoga classes and give thanks for ‘own time’ which is often construed as ‘selfishness’ by those who want me to be part of something I don’t have the energy to maintain when life is already so very entertaining. As for snoring … I really, really need my sleep.

    Live Long, Eat Chocolate! 😀

  94. this was awesome mostly because it acknowledged the fact that this is what we put ourselves through as single people. yes a lot of time these assumptions are made by others but more often these are the thoughts that cross our minds and bully us into thinking we’re incomplete without a significant other. ironically i think we’re more incomplete in a relationship than out. just think of all the compromise and decisions/actions you want to, but dont make in order to spare your partner’s feelings or avoid trouble. in a sense you lose a piece of you to your mate and vice versa which is totally fine unless you have yet to declare, find and embrace yourself as whole first. something many of us have yet to do. thanks again.

  95. For the past 2 years I have been wearing my own form of “scarlet letter” if you will: I am divorced and single. Adding insult to injury the reason for my divorce? Ah, now there’s a not so very interesting story as it is the classic cliche: he followed his dick to greener pastures. 🙂

    Great post! Congrats on being FPd! 🙂

  96. Thank you for that insightful post! Everything you wrote is so true. I am 31 and I am single, I often feel like because Im single and have no children Im looked at differently( I dont know if its in my head or if its true but I feel that way ) Now! my family is a different story I KNOW for a fact they judge me and feel that I should be married by now or at least be in a relationship. I have felt put down and sad because of society my family and maybe others judging me for STILL being single, but after going over it in my head and to close friends a million times, the truth is YES, I want to have a great guy in my life and have a family, but I AM NO GOING TO SETTLE just for anyone to fit into whatever everyone else thinks my life should be. There is nothing wrong with being single, in your twenties have fun live your life have life experiences, and lessons, DO NOT force a round circle into a square peg if it is not meant for you right now. Everything will happen in due time. I had a plan when I was younger and i thought i would be married with at least 3 children by now. Your plan may not be how your life is suppose to go, and thats ok!. I”ve dated and have had relationships in the past but not currently in one, but make no mistake im happy with my life it has lead me to discover and know what I really want in a man and what I am willing and not willing to compromise in a relationship. I have accepted being single and it will happen when it happens. Thank you 🙂

  97. Every time I see certain relatives, they’re always going on about how I need to get married. I’m 21 years old. Upon meeting people my age, they always ask why I’m not dating someone right now.

    Yes, because the ability to be happy depends on me having a boyfriend. *headdesk*

    Thank you so much for this post. It is beyond awesome to see someone else agree wholeheartedly with what I don’t bother trying to explain to the people rolling their eyes or looking down at me.

  98. I’ve been married for ten years and recently I found myself needing to remind myself to think and behave in ways that I did when I was single – in order to be more forthright and break new ground personally and professionally. Funnily enough, my husband likes the “single” me more, too!

  99. Amen. For the record, I never planned to get married and even now that I am, I still strongly believe that a person is great no matter their marital status. Everyone can be loved like you said, but everyone can be independent, too and that is not just okay, it is powerful.

  100. Such a great read and a great way to look at things. I write about dating and relationships on my blog and haven’t even scratched the surface on how there is nothing wrong or flawed with being single. I believe that if you have a partner and are happy, then great. If there are people that prefer to be alone, are just single, and are independent to not rely on anyone, then that’s even better. A partner would just be a bonus to an already independent self sufficient person. Thanks again for the great read you’re writing is very inspiring.

  101. Your approach intrigued me; it found resonance in many of my own musings on the subject – such difficult issues they are too.

    I find it difficult to believe that anyone would disagree, but then… There are always those who must.

    So… to it then!

    1. On Failure. LL: “How often they suggest that past relationships are failures, rather than experiences that can offer both parties the gift of insight, as if because something was time-limited or brief or is no more, that it was not fulfilling or wonderful or an occasion to learn.”

    Every time when a friend comes out of a relationship, it is always a struggle to persuade them that they have not failed; that simply because a relationship has run its course, it does not make it any less meaningful. Perhaps they need to think badly of what has passed in order to get over it.

    If I thought this would be helpful in the long term, I’d leave them to it. Alas… If only!

    Being happy in a relationship, even if it is a short-lived one is a success, not a failure. Being on your own – again happily so – is equally a success. Failure is a term too often attributed without any forethought. Societal norms have a lot to answer for in this respect.

    When it comes to marriage too… Is marriage a failure is it ends in divorce? Is staying in an unhappy marriage – because either or both are too afraid of going it alone – a success? Is “length of service” ever a consideration when it comes to success or failure?

    To live in misery with someone for a lifetime is to fail them and yourself. It is to rob two people of the possibility of happiness, whether that comes in the form of another relationship, or in the form of single contentment.

    2. On Being Flawed. LL: “How they imply that women and men who are single must be flawed, broken, undesirable, inflexible, psychologically damaged, unskilled at sex or love or communication, rather than, perhaps, individuals who may simply prefer solitude, prefer a different type of relationship arrangement, who may have done the emotional work that makes them less likely to enter hastily into (or stay in) abusive or unfulfilling relationships, who may have other types of partnerships and connections, or who may simply not have the desire to be in a romantic partnership (now or ever).”

    This misguided attitude has been something of a thorn in my side for some time. Admittedly, society is less punitive in its attitude towards bachelors than ‘old maids’ – even at the level of language used that is evident, but still.

    Feeling like a failure for not being able to make a relationship work, wondering whether there is something the matter with you, whether you are somehow ‘broken’ because your partner left even after you made every effort to keep the relationship going…

    How can you explain to someone and persuade them that relationships sometimes end without any blame on either side. The flame burns out. That is all.

    It is tough when it burns out for one quicker than the other, but why automatically assume that it must have been something that you did or did not do?

    Sometimes it is simply better to say “thank you” and move on. Unfortunately the “f*** you” is far more often the preferred phraseology.

    I do wish there would be a way to reverse this self-destructive tendency in both men and women.

    The truth is that we are all flawed: we are human after all.

    We are all broken (psychologically damaged too perhaps: one in three people suffer from depression) – yes. we are all broken sometimes; we all have baggage and it is not that easy to leave it behind. We’ve all done battle. We all have the scars to show for it. If you have never been broken, you have never lived, nor loved.

    Undesirable? Well. If we expect to be universally desired, we won’t get very far. But undesirable how? And to whom? What about all the people who are there for us, always at our side? Who love us just the way we are. Why are we so quick to take all that is negative to heart, and yet so slow to see the good in our lives?

    Inflexible. What does flexibility have to do with it? Sure, we are all slaves to habit up to a point. Yes. Perhaps we are not quick to adapt our routine to the new entries into our life. Hm. And high standards, high expectations, high – what have you… We are all guilty of this to some extent, but why sell our freedom short? (Excuse the monetary terminology).

    To be happy with someone else, surely means to be able to be yourself when with them. If that means being inflexible, then I salute all inflexible men and women of the world.

    Do we have to abandon ourselves, completely erode our identity for the sake of getting a partner? If that is the case, I’d get a vibrator. It would satisfy just about as much of your needs as a partner who expects you to become someone else for their sake.

  102. Yes. So true. I wish I could figure out why I so long to be with someone, why I want to be completed when I’m already whole, and how I can forget the pain that comes with being in a partnership. Being single is easier, has no pain of breakup, freedom to do what you want who you want when you want, has peace and activity rather than turmoil and waiting.
    Yet I still find myself sad and less than to be single again.

  103. Reblogged this on and commented:
    Had to share this. Expresses my thoughts and feelings exactly, written in a way I never could have. You took the words right out of my mouth. Reading this actually clarified and brought into full awareness these feelings I have been dealing with related to being alone.

  104. Speechless, this is one great piece of writing. I recently made a decision to relocate, and as I was chatting with my beloved mother, I said well these are some of the advantages of being single. That part of the things I have not to worry is how am I going to pitch this move to my spouse or kids. I just have to make up my mind and if the move makes sense there i go.
    Cease
    Well what came from her mouth was so interesting, trust me she loves me to beats, but there she went, may be you are selfish that is why you can’t get coupled. This was a new one to me. Thank you for your blog, there is a lot of misconceptions out there towards people who embrace solitude.It is like a myth to many, why would a seemingly successful young man or lady fail to find their significant other? I live it there because you have shed some light in this. Thank you.

  105. But the thing is: can you stick to your idealism until the day when you meet with the partner you desire? I am trying, but find it really hard especially as far as my background is concerned.

    My parents are going under a lot of pressure. My cousins are cursing me for not giving my parents a grandson.

    But I am still hanging in here, hoping that day will come sooner.

  106. ‘Singleness reinforces the consequences of our choices and situations in life’. I like this thought. we live with our choices, I am 70 years old and single, and more satisfied with my life now then the 30 years I was married.

  107. Hi 🙂 thanks for that, it was a great read. I think your post was pretty comprehensive and I haven’t read all the comments, so I hope I’m not repeating a point that’s already been made. I’m a guy in my early twenties and have a pretty busy life (degree, family, sports, etc), so I don’t really have much time to date. I don’t feel miserable and I’m definitely not depressed. I’m pretty happy with the way things are and just want to focus on my plans at the moment. I don’t think it would be right to go out of my way to look for romance for two reasons. It would detract from my efforts in other areas. More importantly, I think it would be forced and artificial unless I got very lucky and met my “soulmate” all of a sudden. I think love can only happen when people aren’t desperately searching for it. Just be yourself and learn to go with the flow every now and then (I’ll cut down on the cliches from now on). Anyway, I’ll quit rambling on. Thanks again for the post, not just because it was interesting and eloquent but also for the responses it prompted. This discussion was clearly needed by a fair few people.

  108. Bravo!! I thoroughly enjoyed reading this Lucia, thank you for sharing your insight. This is beautifully written and it hit home for me as well. Thank you!!

  109. Wow, it’s so good to realise that someone else understands EXACTLY what I’m thinking!! Especially about people believing we can’t be ‘truly happy’ until we settle down with someone. Always combating that one from my parents. Thanks for your beautifully written insights.

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