Table for One Please!


There are always days in a single person’s life, where we are confronted with the uncomfortable question: am I happy or just numbed to what true happiness really is? I am fairly comfortable in my life being single; I make my own decisions, I make my own uninhibited plans for the future and life goes pretty much as I want it to, most of the time … but then that irrevocable and undeniable thing known as self-doubt creeps in.

I should point out from the word go that it is more often than not ushered in by others. For instance, a friend talking about somebody who is single and inadvertently letting slip words that imply pity towards single people, or someone, (even someone single themselves sometimes) stating: “You’re not really happy when you’re single” or something along those lines. The thing is, no matter how angry these statements make you, or how quickly you spring up to deny them, the seeds of doubt are sown into your mind the moment you hear them

You may feel comfortable and happy in your everyday existence, but comments like these will inevitably make you feel as though, given your relationship status (or I should maybe say, lack of it), you cannot achieve anything of value in your life. The worst part in all of this is that this blow is more often than not delivered by those you hold dearest, thus making you feel more alone than ever.

Sure, being in a relationship is all peachy and it makes you feel special. Having that someone special to share your experiences, someone who accepts you for all that you are, that all sounds all too lovely; but does that mean that anything other than that should be considered dull or meaningless?

I have been single for the most part of my life and from my very basic and short-lived experiences, I do agree that having someone even marginally special in your life does give you a sense of worth; somebody else has deigned to make the effort to get to know you, and in spite of all the flaws you perceive you have, they decided to stay. But I fail to see how that is all there should be to life and happiness.

Perhaps, many might be confused with what I am about to say, but I feel I need to express some of my most basic beliefs. I am indeed single and I can safely say that I am happy in spite of this. Sure, there are moments where I feel somewhat depressed, but my woes are not necessarily related to my relationship status.

One of the most challenging things about being single is perhaps facing problems on one’s own. There is nobody there offering to fight your battles for you, or to hold your hand throughout, so you have to find a way to make your own situation better without waiting for someone else’s approval or backing.

Ultimately, however, many tend to forget the sense of unparalleled delight and satisfaction that can be gleaned from such self-sufficiency. But perhaps it’s this same aloneness which so many people fear; the prospect of having nobody to share your experiences with, which is indeed all very well. However, I feel it is essential to point out: being alone does not necessarily mean being lonely. If you start making a real effort to enjoy your own company and to listen to yourself and your needs, then you might be in for a surprise: you are in fact, a great and capable human being, and you don’t need anyone else to convince you or to rescue you.

Perhaps we should stop treating single life solely as an opportunity to meet someone new or to get laid as often as we can. Perhaps, we should realise it is an opportunity to get to know ourselves better and to become more responsible, independent and ultimately functional adults. If people continue in their race from one relationship to the next, then they will run the risk of feeling as if they are stuck in a rut; one of desperation and subsequent rejection (because nothing is more of a turn-off than the former). Perhaps we should stop depending on others for our happiness and start looking within to find it.

I might seem misguided in my beliefs to some, but this much needs to be said. So far it has worked for me and be it an illusion or not, I can’t say I want for anything in my life, no matter what others may think.