7.4
February 4, 2020

I’m Single—& I Wouldn’t Have it Any Other Way.

My grandfather married for convenience.

His new wife wasn’t rich or outstanding when they met, and was most likely pursuing his money herself. Still, she was a good fit for a heartbroken man who had just lost the love of his life who abandoned him for another man.

She is always well-groomed and uptight.

It shouldn’t have been a surprise when she saw me over the holidays and concluded that I’m wasting my life by staying single.

“You can’t imagine what you’re missing out on. You’re alone, and you have to do something about that. You remember your cousin, right? He has a baby now. A wonderful little girl. I just wish you could be as happy as him.”

“I don’t know how many times I have to say that I’m pretty happy with my life,” I told her for the 14th time. “Or would you like me to run outside and harass every man on the street until someone takes me in?”

We spent the rest of the evening hearing the stories about her wonderful grandson who achieved so much in his life in the eyes of my fake granny. That night, she didn’t forget to give me a share of criticism for working freelance and being isolated from society since I don’t have an office to go to.

My grandparents didn’t seem to think that writing and managing social media for companies and bloggers is a respectable profession. I realized this when they asked, “Who would even want to read your stories?” According to them, I don’t have enough life experience and education to interest anyone with my writing.

I know. My grandparents are…challenging. They thought my American ex-boyfriend was a spy and would avoid him at any cost, and now they are confident I’m an idiot for breaking up with him and dedicating myself to my work instead of finding another man.

I’m making my own money by doing the work I’m passionate about and having my own place in the center of one of the most beautiful cities in the world. I don’t have anyone in charge of my decisions. So, what is it exactly that I’m missing in life by not being in or seeking a relationship?

I can invite friends over if I’m lonely, go out if I’m bored. I can work all night if I feel particularly productive, or find a date if I want some attention. Doesn’t sound so bad, when you think about it.

Relationships can be beautiful—when you’re ready for one.

I have nothing against being in a relationship. Conversely, I love the concept of sharing your life with someone you deeply care about, waking up next to someone you love, and going to bed holding the person you crave. But it’s not often that you can find someone that special, who will be worth sacrificing your solitude and a fair share of space.

I know when the time comes and the universe is ready, the right person will be just around the corner. Until then, why should I force it unnaturally and specifically look for someone I don’t even need?

If I ever meet a man who’s as handsome and intelligent as Simon Baker, I don’t mind getting into a relationship and perhaps even starting a family at some point. In the meantime, why should I rush into any relationship just because my relatives and society don’t want to see me single?

Our culture is feeding the idea of codependency.

People are trying to shame you for being single as if it’s not a stage of your life you can enjoy but rather hunger games of some sort where you have to hunt a man down or go hide in the mud. And if, God forbid, you’re alone, there must be something wrong with you.

Why is it socially acceptable to be in a relationship, but so shameful to be single?

Managing my own publication, being published in online magazines I adore, both living and working in America in my early 20s, and fluently speaking another language have apparently made my life miserable compared to my cousin who simply chose to get married and have a baby when he’d barely turned 20.

In the eyes of my step-grandmother, he is clearly winning this life: working in a store while getting an average college education trying to provide for his young family. While I have failed in my life and should finally give up and find myself a new man.

It doesn’t mean that his life is worse than mine just because he doesn’t care about his career and life achievements as much as I do. As well, it doesn’t make my life any less valuable just because I don’t see having a family as a big accomplishment that would bring enough satisfaction for me.

Life is multifaceted.

There are a million ways to live a life. But it doesn’t mean that any of those ways are right or wrong. It just means that everyone has to find the right way for themselves that would make them happy.

It’s the biggest outdated misconception of all to think that marriage automatically makes your life happy and complete.

Most of the time, being in a relationship with yourself might actually be healthier and more satisfying than being in an unhappy marriage with someone you don’t even love anymore.

Self-partnership can benefit you more than a toxic relationship.

Feeling lost and unhappy after getting out of a long-term relationship made me want to work on my own life and build a relationship with myself before trying to work on things with another person.

I learned to live by myself and entertain and make myself happy, despite people and their actions around me.

I know what I like and how I want to live my life. I’ve learned the importance of cherishing my own space. Those things are definitely not making me less happy about my single life.

There are times I feel lonely and desperate for the touch or the presence of a loved one. But it’s a natural feeling we all might have—whether we’re single or in a relationship.

It doesn’t make the quality of my life any worse or me any less happy.

If you can’t embrace that feeling and find the strength in your solitude instead of running away to another relationship for the sake of being with someone, you will never be able to truly be happy at all.

In 2020, being single should be the last thing we judge or even pity. Instead, let’s just save each other’s time and energy and try to be in charge of our own happiness.

You never know when you will find someone who’ll turn your life upside down and will make you fall in love as if you were 16 again.

But in the meantime, don’t settle for sh*t.

Even if it would make your grandmother happy.

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author: Julia Pyatnitskaya

Image: Author's own

Editor: Kelsey Michal