… than with the wrong person.
The thing about being single, is that people seem to judge it as a failure. A failure to find a partner.
Unless you’ve just come out of a relationship, if you’re over the age of about 25, people seem genuinely surprised to find out you’re single.
If it comes up in conversation, as a girl, the statement is normally met with sympathy.
Were I a single man of 30, the same statement would probably be met with a clap on the back, and jealous respect.
But being single is far more than either having failed to find ‘The One’, or opting for a player lifestyle.
I’m big into independence.
As a child, I can still remember being scared of the idea that one day, I would be old enough to walk the 100m down my street to the corner shop, all by myself. And then one day, I managed to do it – all by myself!
Even now, as a 30 year-old woman, I’ll look back at something I’ve done, with a genuine sense of surprise and pride that I’ve done it all by myself.
And something I’ve realise about being single is that you do a lot more stuff on your own.
Not in a lonely way.
Simply in a practical way. On a day-to-day basis, whether you’re one half of a live-in relationship, or flying solo, most of life’s challenges are the same for everyone. And when you’re single, you end up facing more alone.
Whilst that may sound like a negative, it comes with a really strong benefit. When you achieve something alone, the sense of achievement is incredible. Whether it’s buying a house, travelling around the world, or setting up a company – achieving something alone is a real personal achievement, and a massive self-confidence boost.
Don’t get me wrong – I don’t plan on being single forever.
But I’d rather be single, than in a relationship with the wrong person, simply for the sake of it. Or in a relationship with the right person, at the wrong time (as I rather sadly realised with Mr SC at the start of the year).
All this might make me sound like a cold fish. I’m not. I’m as much into love and romance as the next girl, but I also know a fair bit about reality. And no matter how fairytale-like the story, reality doesn’t always work the way you want.
My parents, who I’ve spoken about before on the blog, were a proper fairytale couple. They were made for eachother, two complimentary parts of a perfect circle. But after 28 years of marriage, and 30 years together, when my Dad died suddenly from an undiagnosed brain tumour, my Mum was completely lost.
She’d been with him since her 23rd birthday. She didn’t know how to exist in the world without him. And ten months later, she gave up the will to live – almost literally dying of a broken heart.
I have a lot of friends who are never out of relationships. They literally click from one relationship straight into the next. And I genuinely worry about them. Not because I believe their relationships won’t last, but because I know reality can suck sometimes. And if they haven’t had proper singleton time as an adult, I don’t know how they’ll cope if they end up single for some reason, later on in life.
So yes, I would love to wake up next to the man I love every morning. And send someone text messages throughout the day, telling him my every silly thought. I’d love to tackle life’s challenges with someone permanently at my side – whether those challenges are buying a house, or scaling a mountain. But I also know I can do those things alone.
And that if the cards life throws my way, mean I’m left on my own, out of nowhere, I can stand on my own two feet.
Miss Twenty-Nine xxx