Singledom is a funny thing. On the one hand we live in a culture that celebrates freedom and independence (err hello SATC and Queen Bey), on the other we seem to view long term single life with abject horror.
There is a whole web of myths surrounding singledom that have us fear it like the plague. But the truth is, being single is not only liberating and fun, it’s also scientifically proven to be good for you.
Let’s take a look at some of the 5 most irritating myths about singledom that we’re tired of hearing, and that you should be too.
Single people are looking for love
There’s this seriously irritating myth in Western culture that all single people are on a perpetual quest to not be single. Our notion of a “happy ending” is generally two people falling in love.
Cue real life and the situation couldn’t be more different. Single people are a far cry from the army of sad, lonely folk crying into an oversized glass of wine. In fact, according to a study carried out in 2010, fewer than half of the single folk surveyed were looking for love!
Truth is, being single gives you a unique opportunity to be wholly and unequivocally answerable to yourself. You have the freedom (and time) to figure out who you really are, what you really like, and explore what you actually want to do with your life.
Being single allows you to take risks, be bold, have fun and trust your instincts. It’s easy then to understand why so many people are perfectly happy staying outside of a relationship.
Being single is lonely
This myth really gets our goat. Not being in a relationship does not equal being lonely. Far from it.
Multiple studies show that single people have better social connections and more friends. That’s because you’re free to be spontaneous and fill your diary with as many social engagements as you can squeeze in without having to factor in anybody else’s schedule.
Friendships are often just as rewarding and satisfying as romantic relationships. In fact, having large friendship groups can actually be beneficial for us.
Rather than putting all of our eggs in to one basket (i.e. into one partner), having lots of friends allows us to develop a strong support network and to rely of different people for different things.
It’s impossible that one single person can fulfil all our humanly needs. It’s much better to lean on different friends with different attributes to keep us happy, healthy and grounded.
Single people can’t do romantic things
Sadly we live in a culture where it’s a little awkward to take ourselves out on a romantic solo date. But seriously, going on your own to enjoy a romantic date night for one is one of the most uplifting and energizing experiences you can gift yourself.
Whether it being going out for dinner, to enjoying a solo spa date, solo date nights are often a golden opportunity to really connect with ourselves.
Being single is bad for your health
Despite what Western popular culture might have you believe, being single is one of the very best things your can do for your productivity, sociability, health and happiness.
Studies show that single people work out more often than those in relationships, and on average have a lower BMI. Let’s face it: being in a relationship eventually makes us comfortable enough to ‘let go’ a little. We get secure enough with our partners that gaining a few pounds from all those cosy nights in front of Netflix is easily (and commonly) done.
The link between physical and mental well-being is well documented. Being in good shape boosts not only our physical self, but empowers us with self-confidence, personal satisfaction and boosts mental resilience. So being single can not only make us healthier, but happier too.
Single people have less money
Ok so it’s true that married couples enjoy double salaries and tax breaks. But that certainly doesn’t mean that single people have less money.
Think about it: relationships are expensive. You have all kinds of activities to finance, from dinners, to outfits for date nights, to birthday treats. Add to that the cost of an average wedding (which comes in at over $30,000) and single folk come out better off.
Best of all? You get to spend your money however you please. All the money that would have gone into funding a relationship lifestyle can be invested into things that make you happy. Want to take a piano class? Do it! Or just want to head off on a big travelling adventure? No problem. Being single allows you to dedicate your money into precisely the activities that help you to grow, learn and explore.
So whilst we’re certainly not knocking being in a relationship, there are plenty of amazing things worth celebrating about singledom. Forget the myths, if you’re single and enjoying every minute of it, then embrace it! You’re on just as wild and wonderful an adventure as any couple. Whilst you might eventually want to couple up (or not!), in the meantime enjoy having all the time in the world to get to really know yourself.