Words by: Alice Wright Art by: Annabel Condon
After a few years of failed situationships, awkward first dates and many aunties and uncles asking, “are you seeing anyone at the moment?”, I have somehow found myself in a place of comfort in my independence. But I can confidently say: this wasn’t an easy place to get to.
If you have ever been single, I’m sure you have felt the external pressure to be in a relationship. I have always been confused about the incredible value society has placed on two people being in a partnership. I know from experience that when you are alone, people tend to worry about you and suggest that you must be continuously looking to find the ‘right one’. Or there’s that one friend who, out of nowhere, likes to remind you that it is in fact okay that no one loves you, even though I wasn’t worried about it in the first place.
If you are reading this as a guide to help you be happy on your own, maybe try asking yourself: why do you find more value in being entangled with someone else? In all honesty, I’ve found in the past that when I’ve asked myself this question, the answer often relates to my insecurities. Or, I’m struggling to fully love myself so I want someone else to do it for me. Anyone in a healthy relationship would tell you that these are the worst reasons to get into a relationship.
So, maybe it’s time to practise self-love. Everyone will have a different approach. I love working on projects, I like tapping into my creative side, I take every chance I have to get away and travel, and achieving fitness goals makes me feel motivated. It is also important to find comfort in spending time on your own. If you can’t find anyone to go to that exhibition you’ve been wanting to go to for ages, go on your own. Is your favourite band coming to town but you don’t know anyone going? Go on your own. Have you got a weekend off from work and there are cheap flights to a place you’ve always wanted to visit? GO ON YOUR OWN!
I love my own company. I love planning activities to do by myself, I enjoy knowing when I have a night off to spend alone and I get excited to sit with my thoughts. Nothing is embarrassing about any of this.
I remember one time, when I was getting down on myself after going through yet another failed attempt at a relationship, that I turned to my older sister for advice. What she told me was probably the most insightful piece of information that someone has ever shared with me: the right person will come when you stop looking.
When you are striving to reach goals, focusing on bettering yourself and finding ways to make a busy schedule, you will come across someone you didn’t realise existed. This person will fall into your life easily, because you already have a great understanding of who you are and your wants and needs.
But this article is my advice on how to be single. So, discover happiness in knowing that this moment may be far away, or that it may never come at all. Remind yourself: either way, that is okay. I understand how hard it is when all your friends around you are in relationships and seeing people. It’s hard not to compare it to your own life and judge yourself. But for all you know, they could be thinking the same thing while looking at your life.
You have a lot more time for yourself when you are single, don’t let it go to waste. Travel, go out, see places, and do new things. Just do what you love and you’ll begin to love yourself. We are all always searching for answers and trying to fast-track life to get to where we think we want to be. Time is precious; if you take it for granted you’ll regret it later. Experience the life the world has gifted you for what it is and explore your time in solitude with an open mind.