In a society that glorifies relationships and neglects to speak to the single person, I want to share my experiences and words of wisdom about being a single woman in my twenties.
As a social media junkie I can often be found scrolling through Twitter, the home of first hand news reports, controversial discussions and entertainment. One aspect of social media that remains humorous to me is the glorification of relationships. Don’t get me wrong I am not anti-relationships whatsoever, but there is something unnerving to me about a person idolising the relationships of others and shouting relationship goals! at the sight of every romantic post. With February in full swing, talk of Valentine’s day fast became the hot topic. As a single person it is hard to ignore conversations about relationships; I often find myself wanting to participate in online discussions, only to be met by echoes of ‘stay in your lane’! I get it, I’m not in a relationship so what qualifies me to give advice or have a voice? (If you’re not fluent in sarcasm then this is me telling you I am being sarcastic). I have often found that single folk are either pitied or encouraged to enter a relationship, as if that is the remedy for happiness. The topic of relationships is often discussed, but rarely is a conversation had about the benefits of being single. It’s important to have this discussion because I recognise that there are still people out there who believe that being single is a curse. I have been single for the best part of my twenties, and when I say the best part I mean that my twenties would not have been the same had I been in a relationship these past few years. This said I have not always looked at the single life with this degree of positivity, so here I am, being the voice of the forgotten crowd.
As a single person in your twenties you may reach a point when you question whether or not you are dateable, I know this is certainly true for women. And I don’t just mean questioning how physically attractive you are, because that’s just the tip of the iceberg. You begin to ask yourself, am I smart enough? Do I have a ‘good personality’? If you’re confident enough to answer yes to these questions then you swiftly turn to, So why doesn’t anybody want me? Before you know it you’ve entered into a spiral of self-loathing and you find yourself sitting in front of your bedroom mirror applying your favourite lipstick, drinking wine and mouthing the words along to an angry P!nk track. Ladies, why do we do it to ourselves, sit around and wait for some darling man to validate our looks and convince us that we are more than our insecurities. There is absolutely nothing wrong with wanting love and finding joy in another’s company, but I find it unnerving when the need for acceptance outweighs self-love.
Over the years I have learnt that self-confidence takes a lifetime to build and a second to destroy. One bad break up, childhood memories of bullying, or always being the single loner friend can do that to you. For my own peace of mind I had to come to a point where I regularly told myself that I was enough. I am intelligent, hella funny and beautiful too! The first step is telling yourself that often; the second step is believing that you are all of those things and more. If you wait for someone else to show you love, you will live life clinging to their every words and that is far too much power for one person to have over you. I often laugh at my friends that are settled in long term relationships, married or parents, because they look at my singleness like a project or murder mystery! So what’s going on in your love life? Are you actively looking for someone? When are you going to get married? Maybe your standards are too high. You’re too comfortable being alone, I want you to be happy WITH someone. Hmm, or maybe I enjoy the freedom of being single and not having anyone as a responsibility other than myself. (Half joking). Let’s face it, once you are settled in a relationship no doubt people will begin to ask you when you are getting married, and once you are married the topic swiftly moves to children. (Oh you already have one, okay when you having another?) Are you buying a house any time soon? Once you are finally in a place where you feel content, society comes and creeps onto your back with the next life goal. These are not commitments that I want to take up on a whim! Once I commit to these things I can’t return them, well at least not the children. As my good friend once told me, Don’t get lost in the sauce. Take life at your own pace and don’t allow peer pressure or society to dictate your every move. A wise person once told me, Some of us are given a gift, I don’t mean to be single for life, but merely to enjoy the season we are in and not feel compelled to have to share it.
One fear that many people struggle to overcome is the ability to be alone. This doesn’t just apply to women because I have also seen men on a relentless quest to find companionship to avoid being single. After the end of a two-year relationship I found it a difficult transition to revert back to being single. I had become so comfortable with being in a social space with another person that I felt a paranoia about being seen alone. The knock on effects of a bad break up didn’t exactly help my self-esteem either. Some years later I found myself taking the plunge to move to a completely new city to live alone. Though initially strange, I soon came to love the tranquillity that came with it. I knew no one at all so I had little choice but to venture out by myself. I forced myself to enter social spaces by myself because I had become very aware that my dependency on another person had now left me feeling insecure. So I challenged myself to brave the social spaces that I would never have dared to go to solo (coffee shops, cinema, restaurants – does, Nandos count?) and guess what, I conquered them! When it came to going to live music events, exhibitions and the like, I often found that people would flake on me at the last minute. For a short period of time I sulked over the missed opportunities, but once I realised that it was okay to go out alone the opportunities were endless! I would love to say that this transition happened over night, but it actually took a significant amount of time for me to enjoy my own company.
My mantra for living a life of singledom is simple but effective, Focus on you. It’s easy to sit and cast blame on why a relationship didn’t work out, or why you can’t find someone willing to commit, but if you’re really up for a challenge then take time to focus on yourself. Your time of being single should never be wasted. Learn a language, travel, make time for those hobbies you never had time to do, and dare to do something outside of your comfort zone. Here’s a reality check, do you realise how much free time you have as a single person, and if you don’t have children you are even less restricted. Why wait until you have someone to share life with before you do the things you’ve always wanted to do? Myself and a close friend have often said that we don’t want to be the type of people that wait until we get married before we experience the pleasures of travelling, or owning our first pair of ridiculously expensive shoes. I love experiencing life with people, but there is a sense of achievement that comes with doing things for yourself and by yourself. Although I am speaking from the perspective of a twenty-something year old, the same rules apply to any age bracket, and any gender. Embrace your singleness. No one should force you into a space or situation that you are not ready for. And as far as Valentine’s day is concerned I don’t make a habit of going out, however, if an event catches my eye that happens to fall around Valentine’s day I don’t hold back from going. Over the Valentines weekend I spent Saturday with one of my girlfriends, writing at the British library and checking out the latest exhibitions; dinner with another girlfriend in the evening, and on the 14th itself I attended a live music and poetry show – alone! And guess what, I had a fantastic time.
If I were to leave you with any last words it would be, being single doesn’t mean loneliness. Be ruthless with your time and do more of the things you love. And for those who feel as though they have served their time in Club Solo and are ready to move into a relationship, make sure that you become the person you want to attract. A partner should compliment you as a whole person in your union, and not define who you are.
“Your 20’s are your ‘selfish’ years. It’s a decade to immerse yourself in every single thing possible. Be selfish with your time, and all the aspects of you” – Kyoko Escamilla
I’d love to hear from other single people and their experiences. Interact with me and comment below.
Post by Tracey Nash.
This article has been written by a guest, all thoughts and opinions remain the authors own and do not necessarily reflect the sentiments of Kiki Blah-Blah.
If you would like to feature as a guest blogger, we do ask for certain criteria to be met. Take a look