Friday, 10 October 2014

The Truth About Single Life

 

In a society where dating and romance and marriage are still very central to our lives, it is natural that there is going to be some speculation around what it is like being single.
Of course, most people have been single at some point in their lives but it is the idea of a prolonged state of 'manlessness', as I like to call it, which seems to be so intriguing to so many people.
Having never had a proper boyfriend, I would describe myself as something of an authority on what it is like to live as a single lady and this is the basis for this blog post.


In the media we see that single women are portrayed in a lot of different ways. Usually they are either eccentric older women who owns a lot of cats and are used merely as a comic foil to the lucky-in-love main character; a strong independent woman who - at some point during the book or film - will have an emotional breakdown at the thought of a life without babies and overcome the coldness that single life has instilled into her heart; the woman who is looking for love and wants to settle down by it endlessly turned down and the woman who 'just wants to play the field' and 'doesn't want to be tied down to one person'.
But I would go as far as saying that single life isn't any of these and that every single woman isn't a no-hoper or a comic Bridget Jones character. Simply because every woman's experience is different.


I would describe myself as someone who is going with the flow and just hoping the right person will come along and enjoying the freedom I have now as a singleton.
But I know some people decide not to date or just to stay single as they have been hurt before or have been through a messy break-up and thus have decided not to go through it all again. Some people just like their own space and freedom and don't feel the need to find someone.
Singletons are not all victims or people who should be treated with pity. Some people choose this life as it suits them better than being with someone.


I have found that being single has helped me to gain a lot of life skills. I am able to do things by myself - such as go for my evening meal or travel alone - and I am happy that I have been able to gain these life skills and know that if I were ever in a situation where I had to survive by myself, I would be able to do it. And I would be confident in going it alone.

When people think of singletons they imagine a plain looking woman in her PJs at 6pm in the evening surrounded by food and cats with no money and no prospects.
This is what we are socially conditioned to think.

Just because I don't have a man, it doesn't mean that I am any less of a person. My identity isn't found in who I am sharing my life with. We may sometimes like to sit and watch Bridget Jones and dream of the day when we find our Mark Darcy - and ask ourselves what is wrong with us - but then we pull up our big girl pants and head off out and do whatever it is that needs to be done.

I am a woman studying a degree and living alone in a city where I knew no-one prior to coming here. About 100 years ago this would have been unthinkable and for so many women around the world, this is still unobtainable. This is what I want to be defined by - not the man who is walking by my side.
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8 comments

  1. I LOVE this post!! I completely agree, being single for a long time has given me skills that mean I won't have to rely on someone else too much in the future. I'm hoping I'll meet the right person soon but at the moment I'm happy being single :) there's nothing wrong with being alone, despite all the stereotypes! xx

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  2. "Being single has helped me gain a lot of life skills" - oh, amen! It's strange and funny how few people really consider the fact that there are many out there whom have chosen to be single rather than not having found anyone. Awesome post, girl :)

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  3. You're absolutely right. Single women are whole on their own and don't need to be treated like they have a man-shaped hole in their life (well, I suppose technically they do, but let's not sink into gutter talk :p) - some of the most fulfilled women I know have been single for long periods of time and it's pushed them to do more with their lives. They've achieved so much and are so independent, it's truly inspiring.
    xxx
    P.S. I'm not single, but I still spend my evenings in PJs by 6pm and surrounded by food :p

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  4. This post is so right in so many ways! Women do not need to be in a relationship to be 'socially validated'. I think it is so archaic when people adopt a view point that there is 'something wrong with a woman if she isn't in a relationship'. Women should only be defined by themselves, just as everyone else has the freedom to do so. Stereotypes need to end and people need to start respecting that for, as you mentioned, every woman's experience is different.
    And though I am in a happy relationship now, those years that I spent single did teach me a lot. I believe it made me a more independent woman as an adult, with a better idea of my morals and views on the world, and yes, I did attain many great life skills.

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  5. New follower here and I just have to say that as a ssingle lady myself, I couldn't agree more with this post.

    imachoccakeaholic.blogspot.co.uk

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  6. Love this post. You are so right. I am a single lady too...the only one at my job. Everyone is constantly trying to set me up with people or asking why I'm alone. It's so very annoying. I'm "alone" because I refuse to settle and I want to wait for the right person to come along.

    Anyways, I truly love this post.

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  7. "I am a woman studying a degree and living alone in a city where I knew no-one prior to coming here. About 100 years ago this would have been unthinkable and for so many women around the world, this is still unobtainable. This is what I want to be defined by - not the man who is walking by my side."

    Bravo! I wanted to cheer when I read this. I have a boyfriend but this sentiment still really struck a chord with me - we should not be defined by whether we have a partner or not (men certainly aren't).

    x

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