Stop Slandering The Single Life

Being single. It’s like the Gen-Y equivalent of the Millennium Bug; destructive, all-consuming - something to be avoided.
If we scroll through our Instagram feeds, we find pages dotted with posts that quietly slander the single life. We find parodies illustrating solo Netflix binges; empty sides of a bed and screenshots documenting how we get more notifications from Apple about our iCloud being full than we do actual messages.
We have made ourselves think being single is the sole reason for our unhappiness.
In a time where we are more independent, able and intelligent than ever, how is it that our strong stance has been swapped for “requires a partner to maintain happiness“?
I’m single“ is more often than not met with a melancholy “Don’t worry, I’m sure you’ll find someone soon“, like you’re admitting you have lost your dog and want some reassurance of its return.
When in reality, the statement is as regular and devoid of meaning as saying “I’m wearing jeans today“.
We’re on the edge of thinking companionship is our only key to happiness.
And like drones we desperately seek to unlock it.
We swipe left and right; flirt with empty pixels and post deliberately provoking material to grab someone’s eyes, and tempt them into a slowly dying conversation. A conversation hot with lust that will cool in ten minutes, catching hold of feelings that will dissolve as soon as the sun rises.
If life is a quick-fire game of snap, we keep matching with the wrong pairs, and make ourselves think that we’re running out of time.
Is a single life really the reason for so many millennial upsets?
If we view life with lonely eyes and walk streets without a hand to hold, we realise how easy it is to think that, by having a partner, it will grant us everything we need - the happiness we’re so desperately seeking.
When we were young, we weren’t afraid of being independent.
We threw our love out like confetti, sprinkling rooms with passion and life. Our hearts were on our sleeves - the same sleeves that helped us when we fell into puddles, or helped us back up when tripped over our feet. The sleeves that were rolled up in summer and pulled down in autumn - the same sleeves that dried our eyes when something became too much to handle.
Being single isn’t the reason for our sadness.
We need to regain that child-like euphoria and carefree hysteria we lost so many years ago, way before we became obsessed with projecting the idea that we had it all figured out.
We don’t need to be a picture-perfect version of ourselves to be happy - we just need to let go and embrace whatever stage of life we are at, single or not single, Apple notifications and all.
The Millennium Bug didn’t change anything, just like being single doesn’t change anything. Don’t let your marital status dictate your life, and stop allowing yourself to unlock happiness only when you’re one half of a plus one.
Lucy Farrington-Smith, originally written for HuffPost Women UK
Image Credit Matheus Ferrero @ Unsplash
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