If you are a single woman, can you really be happy alone?
If I do say so myself, yes.
Growing up, we are constantly bombarded with the idea that a life can only be considered complete when you are attached, married, and with kids.
If I had a drink every time I was asked when I was introducing a boyfriend, getting married, or when am I having kids by family and friends, I would have checked into Alcoholics Anonymous a few years ago.
It is as though any other kind of life is not worth living. This can really mess with one’s perception of whether they are living life “correctly”. During the periods of time when I was single in my teens and early 20s, I often wondered if there was anything “wrong” with me.
Why won’t the men I like, like me?
Why can’t my relationships last longer?
Why must I experience heartache?
Am I the reason these relationships keep falling apart?
It took years of work to be comfortable being single and to not let every rejection and breakups get to me.
Here’s what I did to learn to be happy being alone as a single woman:
Relearn what I learned about relationships
I had to throw out all my initial preconceived ideas about romantic relationships, which were formed by Hollywood and how society spoke about them. Instead, I took a long hard look at the reality of relationships around me.
It was illuminating, to say the least, to realise that I looked at potential romantic relationships as something that could “save” me from the parts I did not like about my own life. That is a tall order to give anyone. Naturally, it resulted in disappointment that my own love life was not going the way I wanted it to.
Instead, I decided that I was the only one who could “save” myself, rather than putting all that pressure on another person. This has made dating a lot easier, and frankly, less likely for me to settle for less than I deserve.
Being comfortable in my own thoughts as a single woman
As a natural-born introvert, this comes easily to me. I can happily spend an entire day without talking to anyone at all.
When you learn to like being alone, you will not just pick any random person to be by your side just to fill the emptiness. I firmly believe that being alone is not the same as being lonely. You can feel just as lonely next to someone who does not acknowledge or respect you.
Being a single woman, you can also choose the space you want to build for yourself. Here’s why moving out as a single woman was the right choice for me.
Nurture old hobbies and pick up new ones
It’s easy to feel like relationships are the be-all and end-all, that this is the ultimate goal to pursue. There is an unflattering term for that – the term is “desperation”.
Read a new book once a week, memorise the dance you’re learning, practice the new musical piece you’re playing, cook a new recipe, and so on. You can also treat dating or meeting someone new as a once-a-week hobby, rather than something you must excel at from the first date.
This takes the pressure off dating. Even if you aren’t meeting The One, you may even be making a new friend – or at least be able to try out some delicious food even if the date doesn’t work out. Enjoy your life – you only have one!
Fully understand sometimes it’s not me, it’s just them (though admittedly it can be me)
It’s normal for relationships to not work out, or for you to not be someone’s type. We are all complex beings with our own issues, hang ups, wants, and desires. People can be completely compatible in many aspects, but just one sole irreconcilable difference can drive them apart.
Differences can be (but are not limited to) religion, political beliefs, desire to have kids, or even wanting a relationship at all. It does not mean that you are unlovable – something I used to think about myself.
A loving relationship comes about when you are putting yourself out there and meeting the people on the same frequency you have, with the same wants and beliefs. It is okay to be a single woman until you find exactly who you want at the right point of time for you – or not at all, if that is what you want too.
If all this isn’t enough, read how to cope when everyone around you seems to be getting hitched.
Bonus: Read Reddit’s AITA subreddit
Finally, if you really are sad about being a single woman, I recommend this quick fix. Go to Reddit and find the AITA subreddit. People from all walks of life write in about real-life situations to find out if they were the offending party.
Find the ones written by wives or husbands about their other halves. After reading a few of these, you might find yourself feeling pretty happy to be single. It might be freeing to feel like you don’t have to deal with those particular situations.
You are welcome. May you find happiness no matter what your relationship status is like.