I don’t claim to be an expert on anything, but one thing I will never claim to be is an expert on relationships.
Granted, I’ve been in plenty of them. I’ve had my share of good ones and bad ones. However, I remain mystified as to what makes them work. I’ve seen the most perfect, well-matched couples split without any apparent warning, and I’ve seen those relationships that no one ever thought would last manage to go on for decades.
The perception that society has towards single people—especially women—is of particular interest to me. Even though I know many unhappily partnered people who proclaim they can’t wait to be single, being single for too long (and what defines too long is often relative) tends to invoke pity, or at the very least, thinking that something isn’t quite right about this person.
For example, I was once friends with a woman who happened to be blessed with looks, money and a wonderful sense of empathy. She was great in every sense of the word, but her personal life, or rather lack thereof, was a topic of great speculation. Not once did it ever occur to anyone—including myself—that she was single by choice and perhaps happier than most people because of this decision.
While there certainly is nothing wrong with wanting to be in a relationship, some people do not and that is perfectly okay. Some people are better off single. Rather than seeing it as a default status or a sign of defeat, it should be seen as a conscious choice—I chose to be single. (No “because” or explanation is necessary here.)
To understand the advantages, or if there is such a thing as single and happy, look no further than these five brilliant, profound quotes by some notable women writers, all of whom are single or were single for long periods of their lives. (Elizabeth Wurtzel, for example, just got married for the first time a few months ago at the age of 47.)
Keep these in mind the next time you find yourself single or are “worried” about someone who is. These are also great to have if you happen to be single and are asked the inevitable question why:
“My [ex]-husband and I created a lovely world together. But sometimes you also have to create a lovely world by yourself.” ~ Candace Bushnell, author of Sex and the City.
“It is difficult to write a published book. It is difficult to get tenure in the astrophysics department at Berkeley. It is difficult to win the Heisman Trophy. But it is easy to get married: about 90 percent of Americans still do at some time in their lives.” ~ Elizabeth Wurtzel
“A busy, vibrant, goal-oriented woman is so much more attractive than a woman who waits around for a man to validate her existence.” ~ Mandy Hale
“You don’t have to be part of a couple to be happy, you know.” ~ Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
“I think we are going to have to love ourselves. F*ck.” ~ Liz Tuccillo
Author: Kimberly Lo
Editor: Catherine Monkman
Photo: Chris Phutully/Flickr