Blogger | Teacher
If romance movies taught me anything when I was young, it was that the last thing I wanted to be in life was single. When you’re watching sappy, cheesy romantic movies – or, honestly, even young adult and teen flicks – it always seems like everyone is searching for that “special someone.”
Which, to be fair, many people are. But so often we act like being in a relationship fixes all our problems in life, which is just not true. You don’t need to be in a relationship to be happy – your life is just as valid with or without a romantic partner.
As Mandy Hale once said, “Single is no longer a lack of options – but a choice. A choice to refuse to let your life be defined by your relationship status but to live every day Happily and let your Ever After work itself out.”
You’re Missing Something If You’re Not In Love
One huge misconception about being single is that you’re somehow missing something if you’re not in a relationship. While some people may find a relationship to be the “missing piece” in their life, others might be just as happy on their own as with another person.
I blame movies and television for this misconception. For as long as I can remember – even back when I was watching Disney movies – the characters always seemed unhappy without a partner. They were crabby or constantly struggling in their lives at the beginning of the movie, but then when they got into a relationship, all of their problems were suddenly solved. This kind of idea that being in love fixes all your issues is a really problematic lesson to teach young viewers.
With or without a partner, your life can be full and happy and wonderful. While having someone to be in love with can be a beautiful thing, it doesn’t inherently mean that you’re missing something if you haven’t found that person yet. And it’s much better to spend some time alone learning about yourself rather than being with someone else just for the sake of being in a relationship.
You’re not missing something just because you’re single – you’ve just found fulfillment in other places.
Romantic Love is the Most Important Form of Love
As far as misconceptions about being single go, this one is by far my least favorite. So many times, I hear stories of people giving up their relationships with friends or family members in order to be with someone that isn’t good for them. They think at that moment that their romantic relationship is the most important, and then when it goes badly they no longer have the support system to help them deal with the loss.
When I was younger, I definitely fell into the teenage mindset of “My partner is my first priority.” I ended up hurting many friends by choosing my partner over them, and in the end, it was these friends that helped me get back on my feet when my relationship didn’t walk out.
I know that not everyone may be lucky enough to have supportive family or friends that can show them that platonic and familial love are just as valid and fulfilling. I am extremely grateful that I had these people in my life, and I now know the value of these relationships. But I hope, at the end of the day, that anyone dealing with toxic romantic relationships or maybe a lack of romance recognizes that not all love has to be from a partner – support from friends and family can get you just as far and make your heart just as full.
You Want or Need to Date
Another misconception about being single is that because you are single, you are therefore looking to date. During my years as a single pringle, I cannot being to count how many times someone has asked me “Are you dating someone?” “Are you seeing someone?” “Do you have a boyfriend?” And while I know they mean well and that this is just a standard question, it always makes me wonder why we believe that just because someone is single means they are interested in dating.
Many singles out there are interested in dating, and that’s great! Dating can be incredibly fun and you can meet lots of interesting, inspiring people from all walks of life. However, just because you’re single doesn’t mean you have to be interested in finding a relationship.
People are single for all sorts of reasons. Maybe you’re trying to find yourself and rediscover who you are. If you work a lot or travel frequently, it can be hard to find the time to date. Maybe you enjoy using your free time on yourself or your friends and aren’t interested in looking for a romantic relationship. Whatever your reason for being single, there’s nothing that says you need to date.
Date when you’re ready or don’t date at all – at the end of the day it’s completely up to you and you shouldn’t feel pressured to do it if you don’t want to.
This misconception about being single is similar to the idea that singles should be dating – many people believe that being single means you’re lonely. This isn’t to say that this misconception is wrong – many single people may feel lonely from time to time. But honestly, don’t we all?
I’ve been in long-term and short-term relationships, I’ve been single, and I’ve casually dated, and during all those times there were still moments where I felt lonely. Not being in a relationship doesn’t inherently mean you’ll feel lonely in the same way that being in a relationship doesn’t mean there won’t be times where you may feel a little alone. Loneliness is just a part of the human experience.
However, there are plenty of fun and wonderful ways to fill your life with amazing people that don’t have to include dating. And it’s important that your reason for dating someone is because you like them and enjoy their company – not just because you don’t want to be alone.
You’re Too Picky
As far as misconceptions about being single go, this one is a doozy – mainly because I don’t believe being picky is a bad thing. While you shouldn’t expect people to be what you want them to be, it’s not wrong to choose someone based on whether they meet your needs. Obviously, it’s important to be realistic, but at the end of the day many people are dating with the intention of making a lifelong commitment – shouldn’t you be careful with making that decision?
If you have a set list of things you want from a partner, it can help you from becoming disappointed in the future. For example, if you want someone who is funny, smart, and good with kids, it’s okay not to date someone who doesn’t like children. If being good with kids is something that’s important to you, then having a partner who can’t be that will inevitably make you unhappy.
Being picky isn’t bad as long as you’re not being hurtful to someone who can’t meet those expectations and as long as you’re reasonable about what you need from another person.
Your Life is Unfulfilling without a Partner
The biggest misconception about being single that I hope is broken in the future is that your life is unfulfilling without a partner. There are a lot of wonderful things that come from being in a romantic relationship, but there’s also so much more to life than just being in love – finding a job you love, traveling to a new country, making friends, and eating delicious food are all ways that you can be happy in life with or without a romantic partner.
Your life doesn’t have to be full of romance for it to be fulfilling. As long as you’re happy and recognize that love comes in all shapes and forms, you may find that you’re just as fulfilled without a partner as you would be with one.
Then, when and if someone comes into your life that makes you happy, you’ll know that you’re with them because you love them and not just because you feel like you should be dating them to make someone else happy.
At the end of the day, no matter whether you’re married, dating, or single, you are important and you are loved and I hope you never forget that.
About Draven Jackson
Draven is an avid writer and reader who enjoys sharing her opinions on movies, books, and music with the rest of the world. She will soon be working as a teacher in Japan and hopes to use her experience to connect with other teachers and students around the globe. Draven spends most of her time at home with her family, her dogs, and her ferret.
To see more, view all posts by Draven Jackson here.
yes always so important to look at the good and try and focus not on being single but on living your best life
What a nice article. I wish everyone out there would read this and understand.
As a widow I’m remembering how difficult being single was, and still is. There are some good sides to the single life though.
I am telling my sister to read this article. She is 30 and chooses to be single. There are days though when she tells me that she feels like something is wrong with her as everyone seems to assume that she did not choose her life but instead it was chosen for her. I support her choice and I encourage her to not worry about what others think as this is her life not theirs.
Enjoying my single life, after a bad breakup. In a few years I’ll think about dating, but love spending time alone and with my family. I lost myself in the relationship and need to rediscover self-love.