Why You Should Give Yourself Permission To Hate Being Single

With winter's "cuffing season" and many cold nights ahead of us, you may be feeling a little unhappy or insecure in your single status. This year, why not give yourself permission to hate being single? While it's easy to understand where the girl-powerish I'm-fine-alone sentiment came from, it's gone too far and may actually be keeping you from getting what you really want in life.

It was refreshing to see Alana Massey's article on this topic recently in Pacific Standard. She quite sensibly points out the obvious advantages of being in a good relationship (cuddling! emotional support!) but finds, to her dismay, that this opinion has become so unpopular to proclaim publicly that her sources only want to give quotes anonymously. When did it become so embarrassing to want something normal and good? Why are we pressuring ourselves to find happiness in only our work? You don't have to add a layer of shame to what is already the unpleasant state of loneliness.

Allowing for a diversity of single opinion also makes sense in light of recent research showing that some personalities are better suited to singlehood than others. A study suggests that, if you don't mind a little conflict in your life from time to time, you may stand to benefit from a relationship way more than it costs you mentally and emotionally. Then, it's only natural that you would be very interested in finding a keeping a partner, that would be totally rational for you.

There's a certain weird anti-feminist angle to insisting that you should be happy alone too. Before feminists were urging us to "lean in" professionally, they argued that other aspects of women's lives, specifically in the domestic sphere, were going chronically undervalued. Maybe you do ok making a living but you really shine at making a home and tending a relationship. Who are other women to object that it's an illegitimate source of happiness?

It's natural and appropriate to feel sad if you are missing out on something that you think, in your best judgment, would improve your life. If it's ok to hate being stuck in a dead-end job or an uncomfortable apartment, then it's at least equally ok to hate being stuck without the kind of relationship you think is right for you. That doesn't mean that you hate yourself or have no life in the meantime, or even that you necessarily need a self-esteem boost. Hating being single may just mean that you know what you want and are motivated to get it, which is never a bad thing.

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