Being single in your 20’s is now a thing. Like, more than physically. If you google “Single in my 20’s” you will find entire blogs, websites, gif’s, twitter accounts, etc. dedicated to the thoughts and feelings of being single in your 20’s. Most of them are pretty negative and will make you feel like shit. EXCEPT this one it’s priceless.
What’s the big deal you may ask??
I didn’ t know until I became single in my 20’s. Almost immediately a cover was lifted from my eyes and I saw the world in a different light. It’s like a secret world that no one really talks about and you truly don’t get unless you’re part of it. So let me fill you in on what it’s REALLY like to be single in your 20’s – and not just any 20’s, but LATE 20’s. You know, the doomed age.
Despite our society becoming more accepting and open-minded, and as we break down the rigid ideals on the institution of marriage, we still obsess over it, a lot. Once you reach your 20’s most of your friends start getting married. Your summers consist of weekend after weekend of weddings (seated with the mutants at table 9) that you hardly remember because you just get drunk and grind to every single song played – including the slow songs. It’s seen as a natural progression. Many girls – including myself – had an age that they thought they would be married by. Mine was 25. So you set these landmark ages for yourself and then you reach them, and then you turn 26. Then what? Well then panic sets in and you start to think, “am I a mutant?” The pressure becomes more intense as those summer weddings start to slow down, your friends start having kids, and there you are STILL un-wed like some poor deformed puppy with one eye and tumours that no one wants.
When I became single, one common word kept reappearing – brave. What I did was brave? Leaving a safe, secure and loving relationship with a wonderful guy for the dark recesses of the single life was considered brave. I didn’t think I was being brave at all. But now I see why people said that. There is so much fear surrounding singularity. I see many people staying in relationships because they are too afraid of what the other side has to offer, that and they don’t want to deal with the bullshit of a break-up. It’s sad that we live in a society that forces people – in a way – to stay in unhealthy and unhappy relationships because it’s considered the norm or what is to be expected of them. Straying from the well-beaten path is not something that is embraced very well by many. Plus, the older you get, the more doomed you are to live a life of loneliness.
What frustrates me the most is the false sense of hopelessness. Like some how you’ve missed the boat and now you’ll have to settle for something less because your window of opportunity has closed. Once you start reaching your 30’s, or even worse, you are in your 30’s, it’s all over. At least that’s the perception. People start to think of reasons why you could be single, what’s ‘wrong’ with you, what could you be doing differently? This can have serious implications on your self-esteem at a sometimes very vulnerable time. But who created this ridiculous expectation for us and why do we have to fit into it? I have friends who are completely happy being single, I myself am happy. But you get critiqued and questioned. Your ideal partner is suddenly unrealistic, your sights are set too high, all the good ones are married or gay, you’ll have to wait for the divorce wave, you have to go much older or much younger to find someone, you should become a lesbian/are you a lesbian? Why can’t I just be happy being me and not daydream about prince charming?
Being single doesn’t mean there’s something wrong with you.
It means that you have made the conscious choice to be the best you can be, the happiest you can be. You chose adventure, or a change. You chose to put yourself before others to live your dreams. You chose not to settle. It doesn’t mean you never will but you also don’t have to if you don’t want to. You get to focus on self-growth and self-care. You become uncomfortably self-aware as you discover what it’s like to be alone with your thoughts, wants and desires. When you’re ready to start the full-time position of being someone’s partner again, you will do it. Until then, you can be like me a wake up on a Sunday morning with a caramilk wrapper on your pillow and an empty chip bag beside your bed and know you had a fantastic night of googling things and watching documentaries on Netflix for 7 hours straight. Just you being you. Okay, so I do the exact same things whether I’m single or not BUT in one lifestyle my legs are shaved more often and my pajamas are cuter.
So can we stop making women and men feel terrible for being single at any age? Can we lay less guilt on someone for wanting to put themselves first? Is it possible to stop judging us single twenty-thirthy-forty-fifty somethings? I look at websites like Plenty of Fish, Match.com, eHarmony and although I know they’re great and helpful, I wonder what message we are sending (well besides that you should be white and there are only attractive people on theses websites). There is so much focus on being in a relationship. Yes, I hope to have one again. A very loving one. I like being in love, it’s a nice time. But I really don’t think I need constant reminders/pressure that without love or without a relationship, somehow I’m not fulfilling my life’s purpose.
You know what I like about being single?
Reading a ton of books. Reading requires quiet, alone time. I have plenty of that now.
Watching all of the movies I love over and over again without anyone complaining. I want to be able to recite the words to these movies within weeks.
Eating rice cakes with spoonfuls of crunchy peanut butter for breakfast, lunch and supper. Regularly.
Having the whole bed to myself. Plus my teddy.
Being able to say ‘yes’ to anything. No need to run my plans past anyone.
Spending an excessive amount of time in the bathtub.
Saving money by eating rice cakes with spoonfuls of crunchy peanut butter for breakfast, lunch and supper.
Skyping with my girlfriends for hours.
I’m going to enjoy these things and my time, while I can and while I have it.