Single is not a Bad Word

“All the podcasts for singles out there are about dating, how to find love, how to meet people, etc. Why are there so little voices from and about people who are single and don’t feel the need to date?”

This was my gripe to a friend recently. I’m not sure where it is coming from, exactly. To be fair, it’s not that I haven’t come across content by people who are single and who extoll the benefits of singlehood. But, all of them seem to be based on the premise that they are single AT THE MOMENT. They are happy, yes. They are fulfilled, yes. They have meaningful friendships and relationships, yes. But their content seems to be generally based on the caveat that this is not a permanent thing. Their true destiny, eventually, is to be partnered.

And while that in itself is not wrong or something I judge, I cannot help but feel a stab of disappointment every time I come across a page or podcast about a single person, get excited that I have found my tribe, and then somewhere along the way I read or hear a line that goes: “When I eventually settle down with someone…” or “Being single prepares me for being in a relationship because…”

What I’m looking for, I think, is the reassurance that this is a legit way of life. Being single and happy on your own is NOT just a stepping stone to being partnered. Enjoying your own company is not sad. There is nothing wrong with you for not feeling the desire to be in an intimate relationship. There are other ways to get your emotional needs met outside of an intimate romantic relationship. I want to be reassured of these things. Yet, the messages I constantly get from society tell me that this is meant to be a passing phase, that I just haven’t met the right person, that I’m just afraid of intimacy, that there is a Yet To Come.

Who knows, perhaps one day I will look back on this post, turn to my partner and laugh about it.

But for now, I am an angsty single person who is tired of all the implied societal messages about what happiness should look like. I want to rebel by taking up my space as a self-partnered individual and not feel smaller or less entitled for it. I want to claim my identity as a single person and not worry that people might feel sorry for me. I want to say “I’m single” and not feel that I’ve just said a bad word.

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