Andrea has a background in Myers-Briggs and Western astrology. She mostly writes about relationships.
My Time as a Single Woman
I thought I’d be married in my 20s, but I was wrong. It took me longer than that to settle down. I went to several weddings, and I felt like I was constantly making and losing friends. I didn’t trust that people liked me. I often thought they were playing a game, teasing me, or wanting me for something nefarious.
I figured walking down the aisle to say my vows was exactly what I’d end up doing. I thought I’d be raising kids in my 20s. I used to go to bed at night as a teen excited that one day I would be sharing my bed. I daydreamed about kissing, going on vacations, raising gorgeous children, owning a house, and growing old with someone. I’d make up dialogue for these particular fantasies. It’s what I’d think about before falling asleep.
As I got older, I realized that dating only stressed me out, and when I stepped away from the idea of relationships, I had better mental clarity, I started to do the things I loved to do, and I was overall happier. (I also realized a bed all to myself is ideal.)
I was worried in my 20s that I wouldn’t find a partner at all. Everything would end in unrequited nonsense. There were a lot of worries, and if I could go back in time, I’d tell my younger self that I was wasting my time. I didn’t need to worry so much.
I thought about my singleness all the time, but I didn’t really explore that singleness like I could have. I could have used that time to deepen friendships, develop skills, and travel around the world. I didn’t realize my singleness and independence were gifts.
My twenties were about driving my car, going to parties, learning new things, and taking on new jobs. By instinct, I could tell when someone wasn’t a worthwhile romantic partner. I pushed away bad prospects, but it also made me lonely.
I was chronically picky, so I was chronically single. I was a little judgmental too. (Though I’d rather have some discernment than none.)
For a period, I thought I was better off single. Waiting for someone who aligned with me felt like a test of patience that I wasn’t sure would actually resolve.
I remember what those feelings were like, and so I present to you: signs that you’re better off single.
Should I Be Single?
You might have a sinking suspicion that you’re better off single, whether for a period of time or permanently. I’m here to tell you that doesn’t mean it’s the end of the world.
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You may have noticed you smile more, you express yourself better, and you conquer more when you focus on yourself.
So how do you know if singlehood is a state you should keep going with for… I don’t know… forever? To be honest, I don’t think you need to make a forever commitment like that to yourself. Maybe turn yourself off to dating and suitors for a few months. Check in with yourself at some point and decide whether you’d like to continue to be closed off to dating.
You don’t have to date anyone unless you want to. Sometimes when we’re directly trying to look for love it isn’t natural, so we get in the way of ourselves. Love has a flow to it, and you can’t force it or manufacture it.
If someone ends up coming along, that’s a luxury for you. You don’t need to force a luxury. Cher, the female empowerment diva, saw men as a luxury, not a requirement. Translation: any romantic partner is a luxury, not a requirement.
Your singleness has value to it. I refused to trade in my singleness until I was with someone who I knew my life was better with them.
So how can you tell that you should stay single?
- You find yourself having existential crises frequently from social interactions. Perhaps staying in your own introverted world, where you can escape to fantasize, to use your imagination, and go to the ends of the earth is a better, happier match for you. Sometimes confronting the shared reality of others only results in confusion, misunderstandings, and weirdness. You know the truth about yourself: you are wonderful. So why is this world so confusing, and why does it seem less interesting than your own private world?
- You find yourself enjoying life better when you go solo than when you are paired. What sounds more exciting to you: traveling the world by yourself or with a partner? Does traveling with someone sound exciting or like extra baggage?
- You don’t mind doing most activities by yourself. This includes eating, shopping, taking care of the bills, having pets, working out, listening to music, going to concerts, sex, going downtown, hitting a bar with your friends.
- You enjoy freedom more than social obligations. You hate parties. Going to a bar to meet up with someone sounds exhausting. You checkout when you’re on a date. You’d rather stay home in your sweatpants eating a bowl of ice cream and watching a Korean drama. You’re like Poppy Li from Mythic Quest.
- You enjoy how you compliment yourself more than anyone else compliments you. You find yourself saying “I know” rather than “Thank you” when someone tells you that you’re attractive.
- You find that relationships are usually the worst part of your life. You’re like Ian Grimm from Mythic Quest. (Okay, so if you’re like a character from Mythic Quest, you probably shouldn’t be in a relationship.)
- Relationships to you are like extra fat. They feel like baggage. You’re not interested in putting in the work to make it healthy. It sounds like a chore.
- You may have a positive view of relationships but everyone around you really is a bad prospect. They’re mean, self-absorbed, no accountability with money, negative, in omnishambles, or a cloud of sadness and Cheetos. You’re not finding someone who seems like a romantic match.
- It’s not that you find yourself unlovable, you just find the extent of a relationship to be less satisfying than the world you’ve created for yourself. You like traveling on a whim. You prefer going to school to further yourself. You’re someone who goes on random pilgrimages. Your life is really spontaneous.
- You don’t like kissing. You find it gross, you hate PDA, you don’t like touching people, you don’t like thinking about touching people. The very thought of someone kissing you makes you squirm.
- You’d rather spend time growing yourself. You’d rather learn a new language, learn how to write, learn more about music, and learn how to skydive.
- You’re not motivated to put in the effort it takes to have a healthy relationship. You want to do the bare minimum, you want it to flow and be spontaneous, but you don’t want to further it with plans and commitments. You’re aloof, and you don’t care that you’re aloof.
- You feel like you’ve heard it all before, and nothing is really going to excite you anymore. You’re bored of people.
- You are at a dance club, and you’d rather dance by yourself than with someone else. You’re not even looking at potential people to dance with. You also have zero dignity and put out any weird dance moves you want to put out. It’s a beautiful and bad mess.
- You feel 100% satisfied when you think you’re pretty, and it does nothing to you when someone thinks you’re attractive. You just want to be pretty for yourself, and you could care less what someone else thinks about your looks, even a partner. Especially a partner. To the point it’s weird.
- You are never fully comfortable showing how weird you are, how talented you are, how bizarre you are. You hold back a lot because you feel like fully showing yourself will make the other person feel uncomfortable. You have a feeling that if someone had to live with you, it would be difficult because you’re extremely creative. Your expressive self is cooking up nonsense at all hours, and it isn’t always pleasant. Sometimes you pretend you’re a cockroach squirming on the floor. You like to make noises when you’re home alone, like barking at the door.
- You don’t like all the standards and systems people say make a relationship work. You jumped ship a long time ago and are thinking outside the box.
- You find more appeal in being celibate and monk-like than being the next A-list Hollywood couple. You’re preparing to become a priest or nun. You pride yourself on your lack of sexual expression. You prefer modest clothes and styles. You wouldn’t mind time traveling to become a Puritan.
- You get a better high from using your brain than spending an entire weekend with someone else. You’ve never spent a weekend with someone and not gotten annoyed by the end of it.
- You feel too grounded in a relationship, to the point of being oppressed. You lose yourself in relationships. Your identity turns into wallpaper.
- You’re not sure how to mix your modest and sexual ways into one person in the public eye, when you know you’re a mix of both. You’ve still got work to do, basically.
- You don’t cry over breakups. You rejoice and throw a parade. You always feel better after you cut attachments with someone. Let the cleansing fire come already!
- You enjoy entertaining yourself far too much, from going to movies by yourself to creating the next musical composition for a feature-length film. You don’t have much room for someone to pursue your heart and the very thought of that is cloying.
- You’ve been burnt by so many relationships that you are questioning whether there is such a thing as a healthy relationship. You’re burnout, exhausted, and fatigued. Love is dismal, right?
- You have such a big delicious brain that it is really hard to feel like someone is actually compatible. Most people can’t keep up with your brainwave. They can’t untangle your thoughts. They have a hard time understanding what you’re saying.
- You have doubts all the time and cold feet when it comes to someone else. You feel relieved when the relationship is done. You don’t like awkward feelings.
- You fantasize about going away to be by yourself. You have imagined a tropical island that’s hidden from civilization about a thousand times.
- You’re happy hiding from the world for a week, a month, six months, a year. You’re a hermit, not a lover.
- You think more about your career than you do a long, lasting relationship. You’ve been mapping out your next steps for so long that there is no exception to your rules.
- You’ve never felt satisfied in a relationship. You feel like you’re wasting your time.
- You don’t think you believe in romantic love. It’s all just chemicals and chemical reactions to you, so who cares?
- You DO believe in romantic love, but your expectations are too high. You demand that prince charming wins your heart, and he comes to you on a white horse with a royal saddle. You will be given jewels from all over Europe and crowned as the queen of the universe. You’ll also begin an age of world peace.
- You find romantic gestures cheesy and sex too dirty. You laugh at everything. You think it’s all a joke. You can’t take anything seriously.
- You’re a stickler for your freedom. When you picture yourself on your best vacations, it’s usually just you…. flying solo. Forever. To the moon and back.
- You would rather spend all your time working and improving yourself than spending time working with someone on their personal problems. You don’t find most people who are interested in dating capable of being independent.
- You would rather focus on your family than build a new family outside of it. Let’s face it: your family is already complicated enough. Adding more people into it will just complicate things.
- No time in your schedule. You have a difficult career path that will pull you all over the globe, and there isn’t much room to have someone tag along with you.
- You’re your heart’s true desire. You find yourself having the most growth when you fuel the energy on your own rather than with someone next to you.
- Support isn’t something you’re interested in having. You want to prove that YOU can do things and without help. You don’t want to split chores, you don’t want to compromise, and you don’t want to find common ground.
- You find yourself when you are alone, not when you are with others. You feel lost around company. You can’t sort your thoughts. You lose your grip on reality.
Take it in Stride
No one is required to have a relationship, but you are required to be an individual. You can find more clarity when you are by yourself. You can enjoy your friends, your family, your interests, and the spaces between your toes. You were born into this world as one person and you will die that way. At the end of the day, everyone is automatically single. And then there are some people who get a +1.
Relationships are complicated and can easily muddy up your life. Not everybody is meant to be in a relationship, and no toxic relationship is worth ruining your life over.
You want to be as strong as you can, as independent as you can, and to be able to go after your own personal goals as much as you possibly can. Dig deep into who you are, and don’t let someone prevent you from revealing the mystery of yourself to yourself.
You are beautiful just the way you are. Love yourself. Love your own heart. If someone comes along…… then so be it. But you never, ever have to force yourself to be in a relationship.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2016 Andrea Lawrence