Disclaimer: The clichés are all true. Being single is actually pretty amazing.
by Emily Mary Chin, Carrybeans
When your friends are saying, “I’m sorry,” and, “Don’t worry, your time will come,” it’s easy to fall into the trap of believing that being single is a source of shame. I am truly 100% single for the first time in 5 years and I’ll admit, sometimes it does suck. But when you take the time to do the things that don’t seem pleasant at first, you realise that they’re actually kind of life-changing.
Every couple needs couple friends. And when you’ve been in a relationship for a while, you’ll find yourself spending more time with your couple friends than you do your single friends. That’s just how dynamics work.
Once you’re single though, it becomes challenging hanging out with those same couples as being the sole single can be awkward. The dynamics within the group have been tilted off balance. Now, planning couple vacations and watching your friends indulge in PDA is no longer fun or cute. It’s cheesy and uncomfortable and reminds you of everything you once had but no longer do.
However, there’s always a pot of growth at the end of every awkward rainbow.
Being around other couples when you’re in one too is easy because you see them as one unit and vice versa. But hanging out with couples as a single means you start to see them less as a unit and more as two human beings. If you can push through the awkward bits, you may find yourself with better friendships than you started with.
There’s an underlying stigma when it comes to doing things on your own. Having dinner alone, watching movies alone, going on vacation alone—it can all be incredibly daunting. If you’re an anxious person, often your significant other acts as your shield. And with a shield, it’s infinitely less scary doing life.
So the truth is, the first time out without your shield will be frightening. It should be. It’s where you realise how dependent you are on your ex and how much you rely on them for security. You may have trouble figuring out what to have for dinner because you usually have someone to bounce ideas around with. You may forget to pay for parking because you’re so used to someone doing it for you. It’s fine. It’s normal. And you’ll eventually learn to do everything yourself. You’ll learn that there’s power in the quiet moments of being alone and you’ll learn how to love yourself within those moments. You may also learn that you are your own best company.
I told you, guys. The clichés are real.
Being in a relationship means compromise. It means making decisions not just for yourself but for someone else. Relationships can teach you to think outside of yourself and about other people instead. These are all wonderful things to learn.
But being single means independence. It means your decisions are completely your own and you neither have to justify them nor change them if you don’t want to. Because as rewarding as a healthy and committed relationship may be, you also run the risk of losing parts of yourself within it. Because as much as relationships are about compromise, they’re also—like I said—a shield. It’s easy to convince yourself that your career isn’t all that important when you have a relationship to fall back on. It’s also really easy to avoid trying new things when you tell yourself you’re too busy with a relationship.
But when you’re making decisions for just yourself, you are forced to question what it is you truly you want in life and what kind of person you want to be. Again, it’s scary. But again, it should be.
So yes, being single kind of sucks sometimes. It can be really scary, especially if you’re not used to it. But no one has ever done anything great by avoiding their fears. As much as there is to learn being in a relationship, there is just as much to learn being single. Change is inevitable. Growth is necessary. You can try avoiding it forever, sure. But no one else has to live with the consequences. Just you.
Besides, nothing is ever all as scary as it seems. Monsters are only frightening in the dark.
What scares you the most about being single? Does it scare you at all? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below.
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