Putting the SIN in single

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Whilst at Uni I had this strange sentence hurled at me:
“Enjoy being single, you deserve it”.
He meant it as an insult, I take umbrage with this and here’s why.

Now firstly whether you’re in a relationship or not isn’t really something you ever ‘deserve’, it’s not something you earn. I’m sure everyone reading this can think of some simply awful people with a ‘bf/gf’ and some wonderful individuals who are single, most of my friends are currently in the latter category, and my friends are awesome. No one deserves to be single just like no one deserves to be gay. It’s simply an alternative state to being in a relationship (or straight). A state I might add that every single one of us will be in at some point in our life (pun very much intended). That doesn’t mean it’s necessarily a negative experience we need rescuing from.

Now point two which is the thing I have the most beef with: The way he said that sentence was like being single is some sort of penalty for a woman not adhering to a set list of criteria. What these magical criteria are I do not know. Let me just reiterate that, the lack of a boyfriend is a punishment for a woman being a bad woman. Women who are fundamentally flawed in some way that makes them unlovable to men; and golly gosh don’t you all just know I’m dying to hitch my wagon to some big strong man, so that he can lug said wagon around for me, and I won’t have to trouble myself with lifting (or thinking)  anymore! Guess that makes me a bad woman.

I haven’t got anything against relationships; it’s the assumption that those of us without them have something missing from our lives that yanks my chain. I don’t need a man to validate me and neither should you. With that in mind here are my top ten reasons to savour being single:

1.       Friends

Once you meet that special someone you will end up having to apportion a huge chunk of your time to them. That time comes from all sorts or places, and even if you’re the most devoted of chums, some of that time will be taken from time normally allocated to your compadres. So enjoy socialising whilst there’s no time-sponge on your arm. Hang with your buds, they really are what make life worthwhile, and as your relationship with them doesn’t involve boning you’re a lot less likely to lose their companionship. Invite them round for a cuppa and ask them how they’ve been, have a picnic with them on Southampton Common, have a marathon session of your favourite multiplayer game, my personal choice would be Earth Defense Force on Xbox360 or Crash Team racing for PlayStation but there’s Mario kart for all you Wii fans out there.  As a side note don’t take your friends for granted when you’re coupled up, make time to see them, because they’re the ones who’ll be picking up the pieces in 3 months when your honeybun dumps your ass for someone new.

2.       Family

Pretty much the same point as above. Show them some appreciation for all the things they’ve done for you. If you don’t get on, take some time to try and repair the bridges, if you do get on then get to know each other a little better, and if you are already close well then lucky you, you now have some free time together. If you’re fortunate enough at 18 to still have any grandparents alive go visit them, seriously they’re not going to be there for that much longer. How about you spend just a little bit of the money you would have spent on your sweetheart on your family instead? Pay for your sister to have her ears pierced, give your brother some non-heart-shaped chocolate, buy your mum a bouquet for Christ’s sake she’s the one person guaranteed never to cheat on you.

3.      Promiscuity

There are arguably two major positives about being in a relationship, the emotional support, and the sexy time. You have your friends and family for emotional support as highlighted above, but “Gasp”, you’re suddenly single! No more reliable regular sex, how will you cope?

The answer: Promiscuity, or as the unenlightened would say “being a slut”. Many people are in relationships just for the sake of it because they want a steady flow of sex without being judged- don’t be one of these fools. You can have your sexual gratification cake and eat it too.

You can now kiss, fondle, grind, blow, sext and fornicate with whomever you want. Monogamy is over rated, having sex with the same person over and over again can get dull and boring, and variety is the spice of life. You can try out new things and be experimental and completely uninhibited. If the other person thinks you’re weird, hey you can just leave in the morning. Also don’t underestimate the comic value of a one night stand; when they’re good they’re good, but when they’re a disaster they make an excellent story. That being said, one night stands are often unsatisfying and rubbish, but why limit yourself to this one type of casual sex? If frustration alleviation is what you’re after get yourself a ‘fun buddy’. Why not have multiple fun buddies? You are single now, and after all you deserve this.


4.      
Go your own way

You no longer have to answer to anyone. You want to stay out until 6am get horrendously drunk and make a disgrace of yourself in an all-night casino? Wonderful! You can, and no one is going to judge you because of it. Your friends may ruthlessly crucify you for it still months after, but no judgment! All too often we end up criticising our lovers because we see their less desirable habits as a reflection of the choices we’ve made, but right now you’re not on a team. The only person you’re representing is yourself, so wave your freak flag high.
You don’t have to compromise what you want for what your Boo wants, or worry about hurting their feelings.

“What’s that dear you want pizza tonight? Well pizza sucks and I want Mexican, we’re going to have to toss a coin. Oh wait, you don’t exist. Looks like I’m having a mex fest feast all to myself and scarfing down your burrito too.”

 5.       Flirting

I put this in a separate category to promiscuity because it’s enjoying the simple everyday interactions with the opposite sex (or same sex) that you wouldn’t indulge in, in quite the same way if you were taken. It’s a wink, a smile, a welcome compliment, the exchange of phone numbers; you don’t have to act upon it.  You’re available, and that combined with a little confidence can make you devastatingly attractive to the opposite sex. After a while in relationships people get comfortable and they don’t make as much of an effort, they also get complacent and can take each other for granted, so revel in your relative single hotness and enjoy your admirers’ attention.

6.       Money

It’s all about the Benjamins, or Darwins in this country. You’re not spending money on your snookums (or having a heart attack every time Valentine’s Day/your anniversary/ Christmas/ their Birthday, comes up) and you have time for a part time job while you’re studying. Do it, it’ll build your confidence, experience, and your bank account.

7.       Nicknames

No one calling you babes, baby or baby-girl; making everyone else in the room feel nauseous (unless you have particularly nauseating friends who like to call you by such atrocities). You may have nicknames but they’ll be appropriate ones designed by your friends like ‘Rox box’, or ‘ro-jo’ or ‘the shark’ because of that time you bit that guy…

N.B Nicknames are usually based on your own name, physical attributes/personal qualities or feats of awesomeness as determined by your friends. You cannot choose your own nickname.

 8.       Peace and Freaking Quiet.

Even the best couples argue and fight, and if they say they don’t, then they’re liars. By being in a relationship with someone you are essentially saying here are 50% of my emotions; please make me miserable if you feel like it. Your emotional wellbeing currently depends on numero uno, there’s no one to throw you off kilter with a hissy fit, so sit back and enjoy the serenity, maybe take a bubble bath or just go stare at some clouds.

9.       Work

I hate to sound like your mother but you didn’t come to university just to party; you are working towards a degree you know. Concentrate on the academics, you’re smart and you’re at a smart uni, you’ll feel pretty stupid if all you graduate with is a tattoo of your ex on your back and a broken heart.

10.      Hobbies

The final reason, and it’s a biggie. What makes you, you? It’s time to make an investment in developing your personality. Maybe you play an instrument, are on a sports team, play video games, or make movies, perhaps you just really like to party. Independence is precious and a sign of a strong character don’t let it slip away.

The moral of the story is this, riding solo isn’t all that bad, in fact it can be pretty great, and as the majority of us are going to end up with someone someday anyway we should enjoy this opportunity to be an ‘I’ not a ‘We’. Whether you’re a wild oat sower or someone who wants to master their circus performance skills, utilise this time, cherish being a singleton because just like your virginity it’ll be gone one day! I am not one inadequate half of a broken heart necklace I’m a whole human being that doesn’t need completing. So thank you unnamed man, I will enjoy being single, but your permission was never really required.

*Please don’t mistake irony and humour in this article for bitterness.

 

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Discussion12 Comments

  1. avatar

    “*Please don’t mistake irony and humour in this article for bitterness.”

    …Apart from the digs you keep making at your ex?

    Name
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    I tried to write it in a humorous style so it’s a shame if I’ve come across as bitter. The article’s not about my own sex/love life, I’ve never been cheated on, or bitten someone, or had an argument about Mexican food. The only part that’s slightly relates to me is I almost had a long term boyfriend’s name tattooed on my neck, but thankfully that’s a lesson I didn’t have to learn the hard way.

  2. avatar

    I’m sorry – I can’t ignore the closing line.

    Without wishing to make too many assumptions, it seems that the author may not have enjoyed the support and companionship that comes from a long-term (by which I mean more than 3 months) relationship?

    A number of your points are correct – you are indeed free to stay out late, drink with your friends, and prioritise your sense of self.

    However, give me a long-term relationship to singledom any day.

    Name
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    Without wishing to make too many assumptions, it seems that you may have been fortunate enough to have enjoyed long term relationships which are satisfying, supportive and offer companionship?

    You mistakenly imply that all relationships lasting beyond three months are so.

    Give me singledom (by which I mean drink, time with friends and a prioritised sense of self) over long term relationships instilled with feelings of inadequacy and anger, accentuated by the simultaneous experience of love.

  3. avatar

    I’m going to swim against the tide of normal responses on a news website by, unbelievably, not criticising the article. Society dictates that it is normal to be in a relationship and single people can sometimes feel under pressure to be in one because of questions from family members, friends etc. Long term relationships can be wonderful, but they are not always. I would rather be single than with someone unsuitable. Thus, I think the article is good and reasonable. It makes some fair points. I don’t see it as an attack on relationships but a defence of being single and surely we are all entitled to our opinions. I don’t necessarily agree with everything that is said in the article but I also don’t need to.

  4. avatar

    Now I’m not saying that all relationships are bad, most of them are actually very good. But sometimes a relationship turns bad after a while and Singledom is a welcome breath of fresh air. Unfortunately being single has received some bad press, for example with Bridget Jones and the notion that a woman requires a man to be happy. A woman does NOT require a man to be happy, and speaking from experience I can say that I am much happier being free and single than being trapped in an unhappy relationship.

    Name
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    “It’s better to go alone than badly accompanied”

  5. avatar

    Well-written if a little long winded and repetitive.
    It’s hard to take entirely seriously as an objective piece when there are implied undertones of passive aggressiveness. This likely isn’t the intention but it’s how it comes across.

  6. avatar

    I must be honest I can’t see the passive aggressiveness some of the commenter seem to be finding, I found it an enjoyable enough article to read, certainly better written than a lot of the stuff I find online on a frequent basis.

  7. avatar

    Glad to see the WS has fallen into the trap of pseudo-journalism. I’ll go to the Tab if I’m looking for a brainless and stereotyped ten-point commentary on various aspects of life.

  8. avatar

    Oh look! Another list article. These are starting to crop up with disturbing frequency these days and are, in my opinion, the lowest form of journalism besides reporting on the whereabouts and actions of Z-list ‘celebrities’. If you can’t sustain a single extended narrative without breaking it into chunks so that your readers don’t get bored then please: don’t bother.

    As a side note, I think a few recent contributors to Southampton’s student publications need reminding that neither the Tab nor the Scene are personal blagging platforms.

    Meg
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    My god journalism would be dull if none of it was informed by personal experience. As long as the author tries to make the article relevant to an aspect of student life, I don’t see what the problem is.

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