I'm Happy Being Single
Being single, far from a relationship status, really means that you’re moving through a particular stage of life in fullness and freedom, without needing to wait for anyone or look for anyone. Because single doesn’t always mean available; sometimes, it simply means committing to yourself.
Even though most studies support the idea that married people are generally happier than single people, they also point out many different things: the happiest couples are the ones where the spouses are good partners and great friends. At the same time, it’s common to go through many different relationships before finally finding, or not finding, the right person.
I’m not waiting, and I’m not looking. I’m satisfied living the single life because I’m committed to myself, because I don’t need a partner to experience happiness.
Even more obvious is the fact that emotional relationships can either bring us the most sublime happiness, or the taste of disappointment and sadness. Love is worth experiencing, without a doubt. However, it should not be your only reason for being.
Your own happiness, wellbeing, and sense of balance should come from yourself, like an everlasting fire that can guide you along your path, whether you’re alone or hand-in-hand with someone else.
When society turns singleness into a social status
Not long ago, the media around the world reported a piece of news entitled “The Leftover Women of China.” In this traditional and patriarchal country, the one child policy has changed, as the gears of progress have started to require more manpower. This implies that women must fulfill their roles by providing children. Thus, when a girl hasn’t gotten married by 25, she and her family are identified and labeled by state media.
These young women receive the nickname of “Sheng Nu” (leftover women) and are urged to be part of a type of marketing to search for a forced relationship. However, there has already been a marked turning point as these women try to break free from the stigma. They defend their singleness and above all, they fight for their individuality, something that doesn’t fit in very well in a communist political context.
In many countries, singleness has become a social status, and therefore, a category. In reality, you don’t have to travel to China to see this type of behavior. In contexts like our own, these ideas are more implicit, but just as present. Single people aren’t considered “leftover,” but rather “incomplete.” In fact, in many countries, being single at age 40 is little more than a personal failure.
Just as an example, consider the simple but explicit illustration above. It is by Idalia Candelas, and it depicts the delicate reality of single women in Mexico. Despite not being seen well by society, single women live alone but without suffering, without being depressed. They feel secure and enjoy their own company, even though much of society doesn’t understand.
I’m not waiting or looking for anyone
A few years ago, an article was published that revolutionized the academic world by putting the words “happily” and “single” right next to each other. For decades, happiness only came from the hand of love, of being in a relationship, of living together with someone.
Sometimes singleness is the price of freedom, and it teaches us more than any type of company.
Suddenly, single became fashionable, and even travel agencies and event organizers saw a new marketing segment to “exploit.” However, ultimately, marketers focus not on singledom, but on encouraging single people to find a partner, to abandon their singleness. And we fall into the same vicious cycle.
This is both a social and a business irony that contrasts with reality. Let’s look at it in a little more detail.
Single and not ready to mingle
Singleness isn’t a crossroads or a waiting room where you wait to reintroduce yourself to your role as a spouse, as a partner, or as an emotional companion. Some single people simply aren’t prepared to mingle.
Each case is unique and everybody carries their own baggage, but there are also many people who end up discovering that singleness allows them a more enriching life. They can dedicate themselves to their interests and passions, and even make more significant decisions when they’re alone.
Of course there are people who want to find the person of their dreams, the person who fits into their curves and edges and shares the same values, but that doesn’t mean they should obsess over or look for them in every corner of the world. Sometimes you have to let yourself be found, while you move along the path of personal growth, where you can feel good about yourself.
Where you expect nothing, and hope for everything…