Sure, being in a relationship has its perks, but it's time we admitted that being single can be one of the best phases of your life. When you spend a large amount of time being by yourself, you learn how to truly love and enjoy your own company. But what's even more important is that you learn how to work on your problems by yourself instead of seeking validation from a significant other. So if this is you—congratulations on learning how to thrive as a well-rounded, independent adult!
But while you love how *sorted* you are and the freedom that comes with being unattached, being by yourself for a long time can come with some side effects. Raise your hand if at least one of these *annoying* things have happened to you!
Sure, sometimes it seems nice that your friends think about you when they meet someone and think that the two of you would click. But it begins to get exhausting when all that your friends or family ever want to do is to set you up with their sister's friend's colleague's brother just because he's single. What they don't understand is that it IS possible to enjoy being by yourself—and just because you're open to meeting someone, it doesn't mean that you're just dying to be in a relationship and will go for the first guy you think is half-decent.
We can't tell if this one is sad, inappropriate or just downright hilarious. If you're over the age of 25 and haven't dated anyone for a continuous period of time, this is bound to happen. That's because society thinks it is abnormal if you're not trying to pursue a relationship or are not in a relationship. So when you've repeated "I'm happy being by myself" far too many times, your family will question your sexuality. And if they're anything like mine, they'll ask about your sexual leanings and *still* try to set your up according to your 'new preferences'!
One of the most annoying things a single person can possibly endure is learning how to deal with all the unsolicited advice from your friends and family. It can range from polite (you should put yourself out there more often!) to intrusive (maybe if you just changed your hair or lost some weight) to just downright rude (you'll never meet the right guy if you're sooo picky!). Newsflash: single people ARE capable of making their own decisions and choices. And being in a relationship does not make one an expert!
When you're not constantly devoting your time and energy to a partner, you find ways to utilize your time effectively—be it putting in extra hours at work, a passion project on the side or just a creative outlet that de-stresses you. The point is that you're putting your heart and soul into leading a happy and fulfilling life, and yet, people tend to undermine and downplay your achievements but focusing on the fact that you're unattached. It doesn't matter if you got that massive promotion at work—all your maasi wants to know is when you'll 'settle down' with a 'nice boy'. *Eye roll*.
When you've been single for a long time, you'll constantly find people pitying you. It doesn't matter how much you remind them that you're happy and thriving—they will continue to feel sorry for you because they believe that being alone is the same as being lonely. The truth is that we need to cherish our time between relationships because that is when you truly discover who you are and what you want. As the saying goes—you can't love someone till you love yourself.
Another annoying misconception about single people is that just because they don't have a partner, they're always free! You'll relate to this if you've ever had a colleague asking you to come into work on your day off or if your friends have asked you to babysit their child last minute because they have other plans. No, Pooja, I'm not going to drop everything just to watch your 'cute' two-year-old on a Saturday night. Repeat after me, single ≠ always free.
The thing that irks me the most is peoples' reluctance to accept the fact that being single can be a positive thing. Maybe your previous relationship was abusive, maybe it just made you unhappy and maybe you just wanted to spend more time working on yourself—there can be a million reasons why someone is single and each and every one of them is valid. Couples will assume that if you're single, you're either *dying* to be in a relationship or you're just so miserable that you've given up on love altogether. But guess what? It *is* possible to lead a fulfilling life without falling under either of the two categories!
So if you find yourself newly single or have been for a long period of time—just remember that being coupled up shouldn't be the only goal in your life. Focus on finding what makes you happy and enjoy getting to know yourself. Just because you're aren't in a romantic relationship, it doesn't mean you aren't loved. Appreciate the people and things that brighten up your life: your parents, friends, pets and all the activities that bring you joy!
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