8 Myths About Being Single That Are Entirely False
How these beliefs are making your single life harder than it needs to be
About three years ago, I purposely took a year off dating. I came out of two crappy back-to-back relationships, and I knew I needed to change the parts of my love life that made me unhappy.
It wasn’t an easy decision. After ten years of back-to-back relationships, my identity felt enmeshed with whoever I was dating. And, to be frank, being alone terrified me. People around me talked so badly about being single.
But that year off dating was THE BEST decision I made for myself. And my experience made me realize that people drastically undervalue their time being single. And the reason isn’t something they’re doing. It’s these myths that our society spreads.
Let’s talk about what those myths are, why they’re untrue, and finally stop spreading them. Because no one deserves to be miserable while single; if anything, you should be celebrating.
Myth #1: Your life will magically be happier when you’re in a relationship.
The problem with this myth is it’s based on the belief that happiness comes from outside yourself. Sure, a person can give you momentary happiness. But if you aren’t happy on your own — with your life, friends, career, who you are — another person won’t change that.
That’s because a relationship can’t change how you feel about yourself. The people who believe that end up being sorely disappointed with another person. Instead of buying into this notion, spend your time being single, creating your happiness.
A 2016 study found that pursuing this kind of growth will make you significantly happier, relationship or not. So why put it off any longer?
Myth #2: Being single is a problem that needs to be fixed ASAP.
My singledom felt let a scarlet letter on my chest. Not that anyone ever made me feel bad about it; I created that fabricated judgment inside my head. So, naturally, I never stayed single for too long. I saw relationships as a solution to, well, just about anything.
But this caused me to make a lot of bad dating decisions. When you rush into anything, it most likely won’t turn out well. Call me crazy, but I’d venture to guess that’s why many people are unhappy in their marriages. They thought marriage was a milestone to rush to.
Take your time. Don’t let anyone make you think that being single is a problem that needs to be fixed. Being single is a beautiful stage in life because it means you get to meet all kinds of people and learn who is right for you.
Myth #3: There’s something wrong with you for being single.
Let’s stop with those whole “damaged goods” or “change yourself, so people like you” crap. There’s nothing wrong with you for being single. The fact you haven’t found a partner yet doesn’t mean you’re less valuable than other people.
It simply means that you haven’t found a good match for you. That’s it. Case closed. Like I already said, you can’t rush this process. The person you’ll be with will come at their own time. There’s no use in feeling bad about yourself while you’re dating in the meantime.
And while you’re at it, remember that rejection is all part of the process. Just because someone you liked decided to stop dating you doesn’t mean you did something wrong. It just means that wasn’t the person for you.
Myth #4: When you stop looking, the right one will come.
I’ve written many articles in my career, and I hope there was never a time when I wrote this advice. It’s such a disheartening thing to say to someone who is genuinely trying to find a great partner.
A relationship comes when it comes. Whether you’re looking or not. I know that, for me, I started dating my boyfriend the moment I decided to date with intention. He was a friend I knew for a few years, and I made a move to ask him out on a date.
If anything, being intentional about your dating life will have better outcomes than sitting in your apartment bingeing Schitt’s Creek (which is phenomenal, btw). People who wing it tend to ignore red flags or invite unhealthy people into their lives.
Myth #5: You can’t be single, happy, and looking for a relationship.
Ah yes, the new-age myth that somehow loving being single and looking for a relationship are mutually exclusive. I cannot agree less. And I say this, having gone through a year of being single on purpose.
When I did choose to date again, and things were going well with my boyfriend, I had a momentary freakout. I knew we’d soon be officially dating, and I was scared not to be single because of how much I built a life I finally enjoyed living.
You can enjoy your singledom while also looking for the right person to spend your life with. You don’t have to miserable and unhappy. You can love this time and also date.
Myth #6: If you’re single, it’s because your standards are too high.
While I’m all for adjusting standards, they’re still essential for dating. Anyone who tells you to lower your standards without even understanding what you’re looking for is someone whose advice you don’t want to take.
Sure, don’t have superficial pet peeves disguised as standards. I have plenty of friends who wouldn’t date a guy with bad style or a woman who doesn’t have a high-paying job. All of that isn’t important to find a great life partner.
But do have boundaries based on your values, morals, or life goals that you refuse to have crossed. If someone is telling you otherwise, then it's their standards that need to change, not yours.
Myth #7: Your time is ticking.
Yes, time is always passing. That’s how our world works.
But by no means does that mean you should hurry it up when finding a relationship. In fact, research shows that people who marry at an older age have a lower divorce rate than those who marry young.
Even as a woman, there are ways to ensure you can start a family later (if that’s even what you want), and the same goes for men. When it comes to a life decision as big as deciding when to marry and have kids, you shouldn’t rush.
If there was ever a moment in your life to take your time, dating is one of them. You want to find someone who makes a great partner, not someone who makes, “eh.. they’re safe,” partner.
Myth #8: You’ll regret this time you wasted.
You’ll only regret your time being single if you make it miserable. But if you fill it with forming deep friendships, traveling to places you’ve always wanted, becoming clear on your boundaries, and pursuing your life’s goals, then no, you won’t regret this time.
Taking time off of dating to enjoy my single life was one of the best decisions I made. To this day, I carry with me those realizations I made about myself and my sense of purpose. I have stronger boundaries. I take care of my needs better.
So this myth is simply untrue. You’ll feel like you wasted this time if you didn’t use it in the right way.
I’m sure that the people who initially spread these myths about being single meant well, but it’s time to call them out for what they are: lies that are doing more harm than good for people.
Being single in no way means you’re weak, unlovable, wasting your time, or unhappy. It means that you’re waiting to find a relationship that you know you deserve. What could be miserable about that?