Being single does spark joy

Being single does spark joy
Posted on 03/25/2019 . 6:00am
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being single sparks joy

February 14. For some people, it’s a commercialized day with flowers, chocolates, and teddy bears that get sold faster than concert tickets.  For others , it’s the time they can profess their love for their significant other. For the rest , it can be a sad realization that they are single. In other words, it’s Single Awareness Day (SAD).

For those who find themselves indifferent or sad about Valentine’s Day, I’m here to tell you that it’s okay to be single. There are many people that don’t have a significant other, and love it. Don’t believe me? I interviewed 14 single people and ask them the following questions:

  • Why are you single?
  • Best part of being single?
  • Any advice for fellow single people?

As you read their answers, there are some common themes.  When it comes to why they are single, both men and women say they would like to work on themselves for various reasons either due to past relationships or wanting to be a better person on their own terms.  Some other reasons are they are particular about who to date. The “I chose to be single” mentality is not an excuse or a deflection; but it is a real mentality that people have and should not be dismissed. Furthermore, one interviewee even said “people have asked me on dates and I’ve asked people on dates but remaining single allows me to be more focused toward God, my loved ones, and people who need me more.” Their reasons are not selfish; it’s important to their own growth.

The best responses came from the next question: What is the best part of being single? Some interviewees’ responses were playful like “saving money I guess” to “How much sleep I get stressing about nobody.” That one is my personal favorite. No stress, no mess. Some drove the message of how “me time” is the best time to learn about yourself, to do things for yourself without having to include someone in your plans, and to be “able to really stop and smell the flowers yaknow?” Another person pointed out that sometimes you get so caught up about the other person’s happiness, “you forget to take care of yourself…” You gotta love yourself before you can love another person.

Finally, I asked all of my interviewees if they had any advice to their fellow single people.  There were so many important revelations and thoughts. Some were empowering like “….just because you are single, you shouldn’t settle for less than what you know you deserve”  “Others gave me life lessons like “Pray. And don’t be afraid to befriend yourself.” My personal favorite is to “know that there’s a huge difference between being alone and being lonely.”. There is no one to judge you and how you feel. Whether you’re focusing on your relationship with God, with family and friends, with yourself or having many platonic and romantic relationships, do what you feel in your heart.

I am not going to lie to you; being single is hard. There are some days that you wish you had that special someone. There are times where you may even blame yourself or others for your singleness. You may even feel sad or discouraged. These are normal emotions when you are single. But then you realize you are not the only single person out there.  It’s empowering, it’s fun, and it’s the opportune time to know yourself. So if Marie Kondo asks you, yes..being single sparks joy!

Take a full look of each of the interviews below:

 

Being single sparks joy

Anon, Vallejo, 27

Why are you single?: I am single because I was in a 5 year toxic relationship where he was very dependent and I just really wanted to take time for myself to heal and be happy without needing a partner to rely on my happiness.

Best part:I guess one thing I don’t miss about being in a relationship is having to feel obligated to include them in every aspect of your life. It’s nice being able to just do whatever you want and just looking out for yourself. Sometimes when you’re in a committed relationship with someone who is very dependent, you forget to take care of yourself so it’s nice to just once think about myself

Advice: One advice is to never feel like you have to stay and work things out in a relationship solely because there’s so much history. Sometimes it’s hard to leave a long term relationship because it’s comfortable but you can’t live every day of your life fighting for a change in the relationship.

Anon, Fairfield, 25

Why are you single?: Honestly, because I choose to be. It’s been over five years since I last dated someone and people have asked me on dates and I’ve asked people on dates but remaining single allows me to be more focused towards God, my loved ones, and people who need me more.

Best part: How much sleep I get stressing about nobody. I only have to worry about my schedule and nobody else’s. There’s no one I need to constantly impress or entertain just me. And there’s no one to be disappointed by or to disappoint. It also has to do with the fact that I’m an introvert and am completely content with the amount of social activity I’ve got going on currently.

Advice: Pray. And don’t be afraid to befriend yourself. A lot of the time people are terrified of the silence or the absence of someone but what’s all that for if it only masks you? No other person should ever be the solution to anyone else’s life except Jesus. Just sayin. I’m also a big advocate for self-care so not only cater to your emotions but do the things you love, hang out with the people who fill your cup, treat yourself, and just work hard to set free the best version of you there is because in all history there will only be one you. Transitions are cringey and being single is not easy. However seeing this as an opportunity rather than a sucky time, seeing this as a time of growth rather than a time of envy, and just knowing how important your story is ALSO will set you up for success in singleness.

 

Joi, Vallejo, 26

IG: @mzjoijoi

Why are you single?: I became single when I got my heart broken and ever since then i decided it was time to give myself the love i invested into other people. Getting my heart broken really taught me what i know i deserve and don’t deserve, and that the best love all starts within yourself.

Best part: I think the best part about being single is that you are constantly learning about yourself, what you like, and what you don’t like, and then you use all those factors to just become the best version of yourself. You’re on your time doing what you want, and you are focusing on becoming the person you aspire to be.

Advice: Being single doesn’t mean you are lonely, and just because you are single, you shouldn’t settle for less than what you know you deserve. If you have to question it, have doubts about it, if you don’t trust it, if it makes your energy feel off in any way, then don’t go with it.

If you are looking to be with someone, don’t force it and don’t rush anything. People get caught up in jumping into the relationship first without getting to know the person, and when they are in that relationship, they enter that relationship with all these expectations about what a relationship “should be” and if those expectations aren’t fulfilled, arguments occur and can possibly fail because the people in the relationship are too focused on the relationship “standards” instead of actually getting to know one another.

If you’re not looking to be with anyone, then great! More power to you because you have all the time in the world to find and give yourself that self love your heart deserves!

 

don't be afraid to befriend yourself

 

Anon, Vallejo, 27

Why are you single?: I’m not in a rush nor am I looking to date. Everyone is online dating nowadays. I prefer to meet someone the old school way in person like through mutual friends or in a cool way.

Best part: As selfish as it may sound, not having to check in. You learn to  love your own company, do things by yourself, learn new things, there’s no other weight you have to carry

Advice: Just have fun. Put your happiness FIRST for everything whether it be job, relationship, family, and friends. Learn to be by yourself. Learn to be independent. Learn to love you. At the end of the day, you’re the only one that has you to make you happy.

 

Lady Jig, Los Angeles, 34

Why are you single? I haven’t found anyone worth being with yet. I was in a 12 year relationship with my last boyfriend. We were engaged and living with each other. Now, I’ve been single for almost two years. I just want to enjoy my single life and focus on my writing career and other creative endeavors. Ultimately, I want to be married, and have kids. However, I’m also not in rush to get in a committed relationship.

The best part: I get a lot of me time for sure. I do whatever I want without having to consider a significant other. It’s also fun meeting singles and just hanging out.

Advice: Enjoy and have fun. It’s the best time to figure yourself out whether it’s pursuing a career, sorting out your mental state or addressing any baggage. Also, don’t rush in getting into relationship. Take the time to meet new people, build new friendships or connect or rebuild old ones.

 

Anon, 26, Fremont

Why are you single? The right guy for me hasn’t come along I guess. I’m focused on building a future for myself currently, but open to building that future with the right person.

The best part: Saving a lot of money or spending it on myself because I know I’d be the type to spoil my man if I had one!

Advice: Don’t ever think that you need to change yourself to be loved by somebody.

 

Ashlyn, 26, Vallejo

Why are you single? I was in grad school in So Cal for a couple years and just moved back home to the Bay Area. Although I met some amazing people there, I knew I would be back so I didn’t really pursue a relationship there. When I moved back home, my work became my priority and I been focused on that at the moment.

The best part: Putting myself first. I’m currently in Dubai and will be going to India right after for my own self care trip! Being a workaholic, you often times forget to take care of yourself and traveling for me is the best form of self care.

Advice: As an Asian, I can understand the pressure our society puts on us for being single. It’s not a bad thing to be single and it’s not a bad thing to be in a relationship either. Do what feels right!

 

being single can spark joy

Josh, 28, San Diego

Why are you single? Not actively looking for a relationship but open to the idea of being in one.

The best part: Best part is the money saved if I’m going to be honest.

Advice: Actively seek a relationship when you’re ready, there’s really no rush and there are tons of people out there. Take your time.

 

Ryan, 26, San Francisco

IG: @ryansalvadope_

Why are you single? I’ve always been in a relationship, so after my last one, I hardcore worked on myself. I’ve acquainted myself with some girls here and there, but it didn’t really get anywhere so I kept doing me.

The best part: There isn’t anything specifically awesome about being single. I think that I’ve come to appreciate the people I have in life, and the time that I have left in life. I’m able to really stop and smell the flowers yaknow?

Advice: Honestly, love yourself. I’m a strong believer in the saying, if you don’t love yourself, you can’t love someone else. At times we forget about ourselves and our happiness just because of someone else. You are your own happiness, and you are the only one who can create that happiness. Life is too short to be worrying about what others think about you. When it comes to love, it always wins. Meaning, no matter what you look like, someone is bound to love you! So live your life, live out your hopes and dreams.

People will come and go, and who knows, someone might just wanna stay for the long run. If relationships don’t work out, cry, then shrug it off and thug it out. There are 7 billion people in this world and you’ve only met how many people? Lol don’t rush things, just trust the process.

…also, stop looking at everything so negatively, and look at things from different angles and try to see the good in things. Zoom out of the situation so you can see the bigger picture. You got left? Well, at least you felt what a good love was. They cheated? Well, at least you found out and can find someone better. Fell out of love? Well, at least you felt it. Everything happens for a reason, you just gotta work with what you got and build off that.

Anon, Vallejo, 33

Why are you single? I’ve always been very particular about who I want as a partner. I could never bring myself to invest in more than one person at once so dating has been weird for me. And when things didn’t work out with somebody I took a while to recover. I don’t think I’ve been wrong in that method, as anyone should approach it in the way they see fit. When I really think about it, God has been preparing me for the one I do marry, so that’s the real reason I’m not there yet. That doesn’t mean I don’t try but it gives me peace that the previous attempts were simply not meant for me to “succeed”.

The best part: Self-discovery. I don’t mean to imply that it can’t be done with someone else in the picture. But you get to focus a little better.

Advice: Pray. For everything and everyone. Pray for your needs and self-development. It’s good to pray for a future spouse but don’t get lost in hypotheticals. Hope for the best future that you seek, but prepare and develop yourself without worrying about the outcome, and take joy your current life. These things can be difficult but keep pressing forward in face of it all.

Prayer will help center you and spur you to right action. It’s important to bring your life to God that He may bless what you do, and to learn to love well. Spouse or not, the ultimate goal is Heaven, so use this life well.

Don’t try to control everything. You’ll just stress yourself out and/or set yourself up for disaster. It’s almost a paradox, that you should make yourself ready but also don’t force things. Sometimes we’re not ready to meet someone until we let go of trying to meet someone. (more on the last slide)

I am not going to lie to you; being single is hard. There are some days that you wish you had that special someone. There are times where you may even blame yourself or others for your singleness. You may even feel sad or discouraged. These are normal emotions when you are single. But then you realize you are not the only single person out there.  It’s empowering, it’s fun, and it’s the opportune time to know yourself. So if Marie Kondo asks you, yes..being single sparks joy!

single sparks joy

Sarah Macaraeg

Sarah Macaraeg

Sarah Mac is a UC Berkeley graduate with a BA in media Studies. She is a social media personality. She has her own Youtube channel (Macshortee28) where she likes to talk about music.

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