As February 14 rolls around again, and lovey-dovey couples prepare to gorge on fancy prix-fixe dinners across the land – it’s easy to start feeling sorry for yourself if no one is buying you a chocolate rose or gold plated heart-shaped pendant.
But ask yourself this: are you sad and lonely because you are single? Or are you sad and lonely because society tells us that single people are supposed to be sad and lonely?
The story told by our culture goes like this: Real happiness can only be found through true love – and one’s romantic partner must fulfill all of their emotional and physical needs at all times. Anyone who is not in a serious, committed relationship is sad and lonely, because the only accepted path to happiness is through marriage, children, and a white picket fence.
The only problem with this cultural narrative is that it’s bullshit. New research in the book Singled Out:How Singles Are Stereotyped, Stigmatized, and Ignored, and Still Live Happily Ever After proves that for many people, marriage is not the path to happiness.
Today there are more singles, independent women living on their own, and people who will never get married than ever before. And they aren’t being forced into a life of independence – they are choosing it. Today’s singles live long and happy lives, full of strong friendships, engaging careers, and exciting adventures.
Your independence probably intimidates people – especially marrieds – which is why they’re always trying to push relationships down your throat. But if marriage is so great – why is everyone trying to sell it so hard?
Sad because you’re single? Hardly. Tell yourself a new story this Valentine’s Day. Being single means that you are free.
Embrace life on your own, and relish the reasons why being single rocks:
1. You can get up early or sleep in for hours. Do what you want, because there’s no one beside you snoring and kicking you in bed.
2. You don’t have to wax.
3. You can stock your fridge with only the foods that you like to eat.
4. You can enjoy doing things that make you happy right now, instead of spending time with someone you hope might make you happy in the future.
5. You can unplug a bit from your phone when you aren’t constantly involved in the never-ending text conversation that modern relationships require.
6. You can spend your money on other priorities. Such as a spa day. Relationships are expensive!
7. You never have to put up with a partner’s immature friends – or wonder why he likes them so much in the first place.
8. You have extra time to spend with your girlfriends, and nourish relationships that have a greater likelihood of lasting throughout the years.
9. You can plan an amazing future for yourself without having to consider a partner’s needs, job location, or passionate desire to live as a bum in Hawaii.
10. You can go out with whomever you want. In fact, you can do whatever you want!
Celebrate your freedom this Valentine’s Day. Celebrate being single!