Being single is on the rise in in our society, but we are having a hard time dealing with it. About a week ago, I ventured to Chapters to grab a biography on Diana Vreeland and came across a whole table of books branded as “tainted love.” It stopped me in my tracks. Some books in this category included: Super sad true love story; It’s called a breakup because it’s broken; The little book of heartbreak; and Live alone and like it.
The good news is you’re not alone in this if you are single. Books are being published in this category because there’s a demand for it. There are two sides of the coin when it comes to being single. First, there is the idea that being single is fun and exciting. Being single frees up time for you to explore anything you want. The other side is that it can be lonely and if you hold the perspective that there are no good men or women out there, a sense of hopelessness floods over you. So which one is it? Both.
Each side belongs to the same coin. Dating or finding someone great can be difficult and after you’ve surpassed your quota of bad dates or rejection, you begin to accept reality. These books reflect an important point that maybe we’re not all that well equipped when it comes to being OK with the negative feelings associated with being single. After all, at one point or another we want to believe our friends when they say “don’t worry, the right one will come along.”
There are now more people who are single or choosing to marry later. Society and the way we operate in relationships have changed. We are now spending more time communicating through social media and text. Women are also now beginning to make competitive wages in comparison to men. This all leads us to question the purpose of marriage when we can have our cake and eat it too. When we buy into the belief that we can always do better it’s difficult to live in the moment and stay in a relationship.
When we are single we often build on other things in our life outside of romantic relationships. We focus on our career, family and friendships. We slowly learn how to be happy without a relationship and soon the light within us for love begins to dim. Being too independent can sometimes lead us to lose motivation in pursuing romantic relationships.
There are no guarantees when it comes to love or that all of us will find it in this lifetime. Maybe we’ve met the one we’re supposed to be with but somehow it all passed us by. But take solace in the fact that you tried your best. Perhaps it’s important to be kind to yourself and not judge your self worth by the results but rather your effort in opening your heart.
The good thing is that life will continue to surprise you if you open new doors and experiences. No one ever said that finding love was going to be easy. Vulnerability can lead us to great heartache or great joy and taking a chance is the first step towards falling in love.
Amy Yew is a researcher and therapist. Tell us what you think and submit any questions you have to firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also tweet your thoughts on Twitter @AmyYew.