Growing up the assumption was that you would go to school work hard, get your A levels, maybe go to university and then meet a nice boy get married, buy a house and have kids. For the most part that's what played out.
Most of my friends were getting married in their late twenties.
For those who didn't, there were nights of “what's wrong with me?’ “am I too fat” “am I too boring” why is everyone always telling me “plenty more fish in the sea” “why am I always the bridesmaid”
I could see my single girlfriends becoming gradually more depressed, isolated and miserable. They became offended by some of the comments like “Why aren’t you married yet”, “Are you being too picky?” They complained about feeling the need to defend themselves as if they had a “marriage deadline” hanging over them.
I remember having a conversation with my closest friend and saying to her have you ever thought you might be the one putting the deadline pressure on yourself because you agree with the notion that you are NOT where you should be in your life at this point.
This is definitely not the conversation you want to have with your friend and not what they want to hear but then the reality hit her that actually, I might have a point. No one actually expected her to do anything other than living her life for herself, make herself happy, and enjoy herself.
So what did she do?
She rediscovered herself
Learned to love herself
Live life for the moment
Understand what makes her happy and spend time on those things with those people
So how can you rediscover yourself? By finally releasing these four misconceptions about being single.
#1: You are not eligible or undesirable
Many singles complain of feeling less worthy because they are single, particularly those who consider themselves to be “past marriageable age”. There is absolutely no reason why a single person of any age should have any less self-worth than anyone else. Being in a relationship does not give you self-worth you develop this yourself and you should be really proud of who you are no matter who challenges you. You also have every right to choose to be single, and should not feel pressured to be in a relationship, which you are not happy to be in.
#2: You have issues
Some singles may have some blocks, which cause them to be reluctant to enter into a new relationship. However, that does not mean that all singles have issues!
Now, the problem with this stigma is that it connotes that singles are broken, incomplete beings that need a relationship to be whole, and that they are failures for not being with someone. That’s not true at all.
All of us have issues to work through, but this doesn’t make us any less complete than others. Single people have issues, attached couples have issues, and so do married couples. Everyone has “stuff” to work through, no matter who you are.
#3: Your expectations are too high
It’s good to have high expectations. It’s also great to clarify what you really want. Spend some time exploring what makes you happy. What activities interest you? What do you enjoy doing with others? What do you enjoy when you’re alone? Are you happier in a group or on your own? Often we think we want one thing when we actually want something else, by learning about ourselves it is easier to see what we really want. It also has the added bonus of giving you lots of interesting stories and experiences to share.
#4: You’re desperate
Many singles limit themselves for fear of been viewed as desperate. If you are single but want to be in a relationship don’t limit your chances of meeting someone by isolating yourself. Dating agencies, apps and events have been designed to support you not to stigmatise you.
Let’s remove these misconceptions within us first so that the rest of the world can follow our lead!
What are the misconceptions you struggle with the most? Members can start a conversation in the Community Boards right now about this topic and help each other navigate out of these notions and into personal freedom.