It’s time to let go of pre-conditioned notions that being ‘hitched’ = being happy, and that being single = being on the eternal search for ‘the one’.
It all starts with the raging hormones of puberty: you begin to feel those strange butterflies in your tummy as a certain someone walks in the room. ‘Why do I suddenly feel so self-conscious around them?’, you wonder. After a while, you learn labels for these feelings: ‘attraction’, ‘crush’, ‘desire’ and so on. As we grow up, the pressure to couple-up grows too.
You see your friends getting into relationships of all types, pursuing hook-ups like rabid monkeys, and falling in and out of ‘love’ as quickly as they change clothes. Whether you’re a serial dater, never been in what you’d deem a ‘serious relationship’, or have experienced more heartbreak than you’d like– the journey of dating and relationships is long, winding, complicated… and unique for each of us.
In India, the idea of dating quickly morphs into the pressure of marriage, as early as your late teens and twenties. The conditioning that you’re only worth as much as your future "marriage prospects" is drilled in – a notion deeply embedded into our society. “Don’t wait too long– all the good boys will be gone”, says Aunty X, “Don’t spend all your time on your career, when will you find a good husband?”.
For men too, the pressure to be with the “right girl”– one who fits the bill of a wife that ticks the family boxes, and gets your friends’ nod of approval– and subsequently to provide for her, is very real. In our world, many believe that life without shaadi = barbaadi. And on a personal level, being single can sometimes feel like playing a game of musical chairs from hell, where your peers have quickly and comfortably grabbed their seats, and you’re left scrambling.
But contrary to what you may have been led to believe: you’re not a stock, with a declining ‘value’. Nor a bot with a ticking biological clock. You’re human. And your worth is NOT measured by your relationship status.
While being in a relationship can be beautiful and life-changing, being single can be as profoundly fulfilling. Here are some reasons why we think it’s time to savour, relish and enjoy time with ourselves:
Self-Reflection Leads to Self-Love
We’ve been conditioned to always need something, someone, or somewhere external to make us feel “whole”, but it’s not always a straightforward answer on what that something, someone or somewhere might be. Whatever it is you’re looking for, and whatever your purpose in life is– the only way to find it is through self-reflection. It’s not up to someone else to tell you what’s right for you. Being single is an opportunity to dig deep and understand yourself. It allows you to face the darkest corners and thoughts of your mind, and hold yourself in compassion as you work through them.
Two Words: Individual Autonomy
Being single means there’s one person in the driver’s seat: You. Without the responsibility and obligation of another person impacting your every decision, you can live your life the way you want. Enjoy and embrace this freedom– travel solo, explore more, learn something new, move to a new country or job on a whim, be selfish with your time, spend it with your family, friends, or whoever you want to, prioritise your hobbies. The world is literally your oyster, and being single is a great way to experience it.
You do you
Given that we’re spending all this time by ourselves, we’d be crazy not to relish the joys of masturbation (more on this soon). Masturbating and taking the time to understand your body can be blissful (just ask your adolescent self). Whether you’re going old school with your hands and fingers, or taking things a notch higher with some good vibrations, flying solo can unlock a whole world of pleasure. Being single also means you get to explore new sexual experiences with other partners, if that’s what you desire. Traversing the spectrum of sexuality is a journey that’s mind-opening and critical to self-growth. Learn to love, the way you like.
Letting go of old beliefs
Whether you, dear reader, are married, single, divorced, separated, polyamourous, aromantic, or in some undefinable cult– we really don’t mind. But no matter your relationship status/ label, it’s time to let go of tired old notions, gender norms and stereotypes, and embrace new ways of being. PSA:
Married folk– Don’t look at your single friends with pity. Ask them about their careers, passions, or a million other aspects of their life.
Single folk– Don’t compare yourself to others (life isn’t what it looks like on Instagram). Keep going after what makes you happy, whether that’s a relationship, a kickass promotion or the pursuit of multiple orgasms.
It’s time we reframe our perspectives and forget about old standards that dictate how we “should be”. Let’s set our own standards (and keep em high).
While our contributors do research a great deal to give you up to date and relevant content, this is basis publicly available information. Our contributors are not doctors or healthcare service providers and our content does not constitute or act as a substitute for medical advice or diagnosis under applicable laws. All suggestions, advice, points of view etc., are meant for adults in the privacy of their own homes.