Why is the word ‘single’ such a misunderstood word? Let me set the scene. You’re at a party and you find yourself stuck in the kitchen talking to a friend of a friend of a friend’s colleague. The two fail-safe questions that are a go-to in a situation like this inevitably pop up;
“So, what do you do?”
“Are you with anyone at the minute?”
Now, I don’t like to generalise but if your reply to the latter is ‘Yeah, I’ve been seeing this guy for nine months now”, I would bet my life savings (which probably wouldn’t even be enough buy a coat in Zara, don’t get excited) that their response to this would NOT be:
“Oh no, why what happened?”
Respond with “Nah, I’m single” on the other hand, and instantly poor little lonely you gets bombarded with:
“Aw dear, why?”
“Don’t worry, you’ll find someone”
As if this unfortunate single circumstance couldn’t possibly be by choice, and you have been forced against your will by a cruel twist of fate to live a life of solitude and die alone. It doesn’t even cross their mind that there is a possibility that you might, just might be choosing to remain single.
You grit your teeth under that plastic smile you’re forcing your face into and say:
“Oh no, nothing has happened, I’m just not interested in being with anyone at the minute”
To which their reply is to stare at you blankly, so you justify your single-ness with:
“I’m just happy working on myself at the minute” (Whilst thinking to yourself, ‘lol, can you even work on perfection?!’)
As the fake justifications come pouring out, a memory trickles into your head of you prancing round your room in your undies to (in my humble opinion) one of the pussycat Doll’s greatest works of art; I don’t need a man. Trying to mimic the hip movements Ms Scherzinger does in the music video with the same vigour, but less sex appeal. Whilst belting out at the top of your lungs,
“I don't need a man to make it happen I get off being free I don't need a man to make me feel good I get off doing my thing I don't need a ring around my finger To make me feel complete So, let me break it down I can get off when you ain't around, OHHHHH”
This friend of a friend of a friend’s colleague has clearly never felt empowerment like this; so, you can only pity them and their ignorance.
Recently, however, this type of subtle single shaming is happening less and less. A change in the wind has made the S word that people were branded with should they choose not to spend their life partnered with someone as less of a temporary state of failure and more of a label to wear with pride.
We’ve got Lizzo putting ‘the s-i-i-ing in single’ while she ‘aint worried bout a ri-i-ing- on her finger and Emma Watson inventing the term ‘Self-partnered’ for people who are single and happy to be so, making being single the new in thing. So now, us people who have been loving ourselves, shaking our junk and singing to I don’t need a man and meaning it since 2006, can call ourselves the pioneers of this ‘single pride’ movement.
What being single does mean is that you can do what you want, when you want. You get to dictate every single aspect of your life, which is something that changes as you naturally want to please your partner. It’s not a bad thing, it just happens. Gradually, people are starting to realise that being single isn’t this dark pit of boring loneliness that people can’t wait to get out of. You haven’t failed in life if you haven’t made someone fall madly in love with you by the time your 25. Your life still has meaning if you haven’t moved in with someone and aren’t thinking about kids by the time you’re thirty.
Remember; who’s the one person in this world who knows you inside out and who has only your best intentions at heart. YOU.
Being happily single is the new trend, follow it.
Words by Ella Winfield
Graphics by Katie Janes