How To Be SINGLE - A Take On What It Means To Be Independent
BY AMIRA DEVORE
“Stop viewing it as a transitory phase because you are your own fucking person.”
12 JUL - 2022
“I find myself wondering why the end goal is to form a life with one person, especially in our twenties.”
Single - adjective - only one; not one of several.
Single - adjective - unmarried, or not involved in a stable sexual relationship.
In a society which inherently benefits those who are in a couple (like… things are literally just cheaper if there are two of you…), when you’re single everyone assumes that it’s not by your own choice. “You’ll find someone!”... “Aww there’s someone out there for everyone!”... “It’ll happen when you least expect it!”.
I roll my eyes everytime I hear a line like this. Recently, I’ve come out of a long term relationship with a man who was seemingly perfect. Why did I break up with the ‘perfect man’ you ask? Because I haven’t really experienced independence in my adult life. When the news broke, I was bombarded with commentary to the effect that I was “so brave” to make such a decision. Why would I not want to be with someone ‘so perfect’? In all honesty, I don’t know. I might have just been inexplicably stupid and that may have been the worst decision of my life for all I know, but I find myself wondering why the end goal is to form a life with one person, especially in our twenties.
In this week’s episode of Kardashian’s, Kim said all of her friends told her 40 was the best sex of her life and that she’s finally happy. So why am I trying to work towards someone else’s expectation that I find one person, choose them and marry them, buy a house and have kids all in my twenties? Can we not want different things? Can we not have different timelines? Monogamy and marriage is a societal construct after all; in caveman times, it was actually a woman's goal to sleep with as many men as possible as they would then be obliged to protect her and her off-spring.
The truth is, being “single” in the 21st century is a lot of things. It’s confusing, it’s overwhelming, and the constructs of modern dating barely make sense. We’re seeing each other, and we go on dates, and we’re dating, and we do a lot of things that couples may do, and we’re exclusive, but I refuse to call it a relationship? Conversations are filled with “what are we” and “what is this” and “why am I doing this.” I can’t act like I’m not a part of the problem. I’m one of those people who loves to feel things passionately, to be in the moment and ride the wave of emotions, devotion and excitement while it exists and move on once it fizzles out. I don’t like to think too much about what exactly our interaction means in the long run, and I’m most definitely not one for rules or labels.
This isn’t meant to be a ‘fuck men’ tangent. If I’m honest, I do love love. I love doing the cute things that you do for someone when you’re smitten, like take them food after a long day, ask them about their day and listen to them complain, cuddle up in bed and watch a movie (a non-exhaustive list). However, I think the judgment that we inherently exhibit toward people that don’t appear to want to follow our own timeline can be reigned in a little. I hear it from people I’ve dated at times… “your love just isn’t the same as mine. I want someone forever.” I’m not saying that I don’t want to be in love with someone forever, I just have a fear of settling. I want to be 10000% sure that what I’m in is right for me before I say that it’s a forever thing.
I guess that’s tremendously unrealistic but all in all, I just feel it’s about time that the paradigm shifts a little on being single. People view it as a transitory phase -when life’s a little more chaotic than usual, you’re hitting the town a little more and posting those insta thirst traps. It’s perceived as the phase before the phase that should be. But what if you feel deeply and thoroughly fulfilled in your friendships and want to view it as something empowering? To use it as an opportunity to better understand yourself and what it is that you truly value in connections with people? To understand that there may be certain ways that you treat a person which are in fact, unacceptable, and to reflect on those qualities and traits to better yourself? To truly reflect on which aspects of a relationship (meant in the rawest form of the word) truly serve you and which aspects you can compromise on? And most of all, to use it as an opportunity to say yes to experiences that you may not have if you had to consider another person’s life and feelings.
The truth is, being “single” in the 21st century is a lot of things. It’s confusing, it’s overwhelming, and the constructs of modern dating barely make sense.
In the relatively short time I have been “single,” I’ve had my handful of whirlwind romances. The boujee man with the $1,000 pants who ordered $200 steaks, the man who looked incredible on paper but fell tremendously flat upon execution, the man with the incomprehensible slur when drunk, the man with the crazy chemistry but crazier clashes, the man who was an air force striker (I genuinely didn’t even know what this job entailed prior to this), the man who (misguidedly) fell for the idea of me and made grandeur gestures, the man who projected his insecurities, the man who told me and my friend we had “problems,” and the man who was as beautiful on the inside as out.
I’ve heard from my friends countless times that I really “know how to be single.” Each and every one of those men, although some significantly more enjoyable than others, have taught me something about what qualities I find attractive in a person, when to have my guard up, when to actually be honest with myself and be vulnerable, when to have humility, when to be forthcoming in situations, when to know it’s not worth your time to convince somebody that you’re not a certain way if they’ve developed their own misconstrued narrative of your personality, and when to just move on.
But, I write this as a reminder to you: if you are single, and unhappily so, stop viewing it as a transitory phase because you are your own fucking person. Lori Harvey broke up with Michael B Jordan this week because SHE was not ready to settle down when he was. That is some QUEEN energy (like?! It’s Michael B Jordan…!!) that I urge you to channel. In an interview she said “don’t let anyone take you off the pedestal that you have put yourself on, go for everything you want in life and NEVER settle” and I just feel that this really resonates with the path I am currently taking and how I view myself, and the way I want every single girl to view themselves.
Rate yourself highly, demand what you deserve and take nothing less than that. Not everything has to revolve around a love life, but if it happens, it happens. You are placing too much of an emphasis on needing another person in your life. He texted you back? Cool, that’s the bare minimum. He took you out for lunch, alright. Clearly the bar is in hell at this stage. Vibe alone for a while and I promise to you the return on investment will be beyond what you can imagine.