If you're currently livin' the single life, then I bet everyone has an opinion about it — your mom, your friends, as well as the rest of society. (Ugh.) It can start to feel like, no matter what you do, you can't win. And that is precisely why there is a ridiculously long list of things you shouldn't feel bad about if you're single.
Because no matter what, I bet someone in your life won't be happy about your chosen course of action. Either you'll be dating too often, or not enough. Or spending too much time home alone, or not enough. And everyone will want to "fix you." As psychologist Dr. Kim Chronister says in an email to Bustle, "These people may see [you] as unfulfilled or even inadequate, and it is simply untrue."
In fact, you probably love being single. Or, at the very least, see it as a necessary (and totally OK) step on your way to finding a healthy, happy relationship. And you'd be totally right. "Being single can help foster identity," Chronister says. "It can help you gain connections and it can create a habit of being active and exploring activities that promote mental and physical health."
These are obviously all good things, so don't let anyone make you feel bad for being solo. But if you need a little extra boost to rock your singledom, then take a look at these other things you shouldn't give AF about. Here's hoping you can confidently keep doing your thing, while ignoring all the nosey naysayers.
1. Spending Time By Yourself
Overly concerned friends may be poking and prodding you to "get back out there," but there is really no need. If you're enjoying single life, and want nothing more than to chill all by your lonesome, then don't let anyone try to convince you otherwise. You'll get back out there if and when you're ready.
2. Livin' It Up 24/7
On the flip side, single people with packed social lives are often given the side-eye — usually by jealous friends. After all, you're hitting up happy hour on Tuesday and Wednesday, and again on Thursday while they're only wishing they had the energy. Point is, being single is fun. So don't let snide remarks or judgmental stares make you feel bad about having a good time.
3. Being Single For Months (Or Years) (Or Forever)
There is no timeframe for when singledom turns into a bad thing. "Three months is OK. Three years is OK," said Nico Lang on ThoughtCatalog.com. Heck, your entire life is OK if that's your jam. Besides, if you need the time — whether to work on yourself, recover from a previous relationship, whatever — you are more than free to take it.
4. Following A Traditional Path (Or Not)
For decades (centuries? millennia?) it has been considered "normal" to get married ASAP, buy a house, have 2.5 kids, and call it a day. But now that times are a-changing, it's much less "normal" to follow this strict path. "Now, women build careers before they build a family. And there’s nothing wrong with either path," said Jen Glantz on HuffingtonPost.com. "Your life, and how you live it, is your choice."
5. How Often You Get Out There
Are you going on five dates a week, or one every few months? It really doesn't matter. "You don’t need to 'start putting yourself out there' more," Lang said. Remember, it's your life.
6. Dating More Than One Person
If you want to meet up with several internet strangers a week, that's your prerogative. It's even kind of the norm. "For a large stripe of people, especially in cities, dating one person at a time is uncommon, if not completely fictional," said Aaron Horton on Glamour. So don't feel bad about it — just do your thing.
7. The Last Time You Had Sex
It doesn't matter if you had sex five minutes ago, or five years ago — it's nobody's business, according to Lang. No only that, but there's no right amount of sex, despite what all your friends might say.
9. Feeling Discouraged After Bad Dates
It's normal to feel exhausted by the whole dating scene — especially after your third Tinder date goes awry. But don't let bad experiences get you down. "It doesn’t matter how many people reject you or how many crappy first dates you go on, because you don’t need all those people to like you, you only need the right person to like you," said Chrissy Stockton on ThoughtCatalog.com.
10. Taking Time To Figure Yourself Out
Again, the theme here is this — don't rush yourself. If you want to be single, then be single! It's a wonderful thing, and can help you learn a lot about yourself. And if and when you decide to start a relationship, you'll be better for it.
11. Being The Only Single Person In The Room
This one can be tough, as being dragged off as the fifth wheel on a double date isn't everyone's idea of fun. But it happens. And when it does, it can help to remember that you aren't alone. "You’re not the only person who feels perpetually single or the only person who feels like they are never, ever going to find anyone," said Glantz. We've all been there, and we've all survived.
Because whether you want to be dating or not, being single can definitely come with its ups and downs. The thing to keep in mind, however, is that there's zero reason to feel bad about it. So don't let anybody's opinions drag you down.
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