Single is ok valentines

Being single is ok – thoughts from someone unlucky in love

In honour of Valentines Day, I’ve gone for a post on love and relationships today. I’ve really enjoyed reading other’s posts, but I’ve realised they fall into a small number of categories:

  • Valentine’s presents and tips on frugal and heartfelt gifts
  • Sharing heartwarming personal relationship stories (I love to hear these)
  • Hints and suggestions for managing money in a relationship

I know it’s Valentine’s Day, but even so this seems a little one sided? Where are all the alternative single posts? About how you can be single and fulfilled. And working towards FI as a singleton? I see a gap that urgently needs filled.

I’ve had lots of well meaning comments saying how great my like looks, and how I’ve got everything all worked out. Bless them, although I’m doing well financially and career wise; have great friends my love life is less spectacular. I like to call myself unlucky in love, or more positively happy being single.


Valentines Gifts woman

Let’s be honest lots of us are brought up with the idea that we should follow a certain path, and this path differs for each gender. Men are told to focus on breadwinning, and women on the home. Hence even educated women are told to focus on finding a husband early in life.

While this life works for some people, it’s not the ideal model for all. We are losing the professional skills and talents of one half of the population, and the caregiving skills of the other. Why? Just because that’s the way we’ve always done it.

And I don’t even want to go into the Bachelor vs Spinster argument here. Suffice to say I’m pro reclaiming the Spinster word as an attractive feminist proposition. It’s 2018, both genders can earn their own money, own their own property and vote.

Why I am singleValentines I love you

I’ve been single for a few years now, and the men I’d date now differ a lot from the men I have dated previously. My personal development over the last few years has been rapid. Self reflection has allowed me to truly understand myself and why I am so independent.

Despite being an avid feminist, I’m not anti-men. However I am anti-old-fashioned-men. I am not a princess who needs saving or protecting. I like men who are quietly confident and self assured. Men who are curious and interested in exploring the world. A man equally comfortable at the opera or out camping. What doesn’t matter to me is appearances or superficial items. Come as you are is my moto.

And most importantly, I want a man who can put up me, the real me and all my eccentricities. I am fiercely independent and strong minded, which I understand scares a lot of men off. Social conventions are that men are strong providers, and woman attractive caregivers. And this doesn’t work for me personally.

Being critical, what I’m looking for is really niche and away from the social norm. So therefore and it will take me time to stumble across this person. I would make a lot of compromises, but I do have learnt from a few mistakes in the past. I don’t date men from work. No. Have done this before, and it always ends awkwardly. And I don’t date men who are big spenders. That’s not me, and it’s such a different value set and way of life it screams incompatibility.

Conscious choice to be single

So what I’ve outlined above is that yes, I’m happy being single and enjoying life. Whilst I would love to find someone special, I’m not in a rush and my life is in no way less complete as I am single. I know it’s dated, and flawed in so many ways. But some of the reasons why I loved Sex and the City are they attempted to show successful women that were single. The characters all had great jobs and earned decent money, which was groundbreaking. Yes they were also all real flawed human beings, but that made it more enjoyable for me. And it passed the Bechdel test many times over.

In 2018 women can support ourselves financially. I’m liking the fact that similar to the accepted bachelor stereotype, it’s becoming more and acceptable for women to be single too. They say single women will become the largest voting block soon, and will have more an more influence to flex. And if we get the gender pay and power gaps sorted, we may be able to make some real changes.

There are many different ways to reach the nirvana of inner peace. Most people agree companionship is essential, however does that need to be from one relationship? I’d argue that family and friends can also provide great company and social fulfillment. Not to mention that when a relationship works it is great; but when things go wrong all benefits are immediately negated.

Society Should Embrace Different Choicesvalentine dinner

We are conditioned by the world we live in and the company we keep. People tend to fall into two camps, those who are happy being single, and those who can’t imagine anything worse than being single. Both are equally valid viewpoints, as long as you understand the other viewpoint.

In my opinion what matters is being happy in yourself. If you are happy as part of a couple – great. Happy being single -great. Happy in a non traditional relationship – great. Be yourself and be happy.

I don’t think there should be one right way for all the billions of people on the planet to live. Whilst we all share many characteristics, we are unique in our own way.

And you?

What do you think? Do you feel there is an expectation to be part of a couple?

Anyone else also happy being single?

33 comments on “Being single is ok – thoughts from someone unlucky in love

  1. No Valentine’s Day post from me. I think it’s a BS holiday anyway. I really respect people who live the life they want to live. A life true to themselves. They don’t care what other people think and certainly don’t conform to societal norms if that’s not who they are. Whether it’s living out of an RV, quitting the corporate job to open a cupcake shop, or staying single. I have mad respect for people who create their own life. Stay strong, be yourself. Your life is your own and no one can live it except for you. Best.

    1. Hi Millionaire Doc, lovely to see you here and thanks for your kind comment.

      On day 1 of my no cake lent challenge; a cupcake shop sounds delightful. Need to remain strong!

  2. It’s good being single too. You have more freedom.
    We didn’t do much for V Day this year. We’re too busy and our kid’s birthday is around this time. It’s too difficult to juggle now.
    Good luck with dating. It seems a lot more difficult these days. We’ve been a couple since 1994…
    BTW, I like your blog theme. It’s neat.

    1. Hey Joe, thanks for dropping by & commenting. Yeah, kids must be so time consuming, I’d never manage to fit them in. Wow, you’ve been together for ages….you must have lots of tips.

      Thanks, I love the theme, it took me ages… make a decision.

  3. Vday is kind of why I celebrate religious holidays like Xmas even though I’m not religious in any way.

    There’s strong expectation for people to be coupled up. I’ve been sidelined by girls and friends when they get a new man in their life. I’m fine with that, it’s not only about me, but I do notice it.

    1. Hi Lily, I agree I love it when friends find someone that makes them happy, but there can be a drop everything else culture. Some people you only see when they are single, and they disappear when coupled up. But hey, it’s their life to live as they choose.

  4. Hey Ms ZiYou!

    I agree with you when you say what matters is being happy in yourself. It doesn’t matter whether you’re single, with a partner, or an open relationship with multiple partners. At the end, happiness is within you.

    Based on what I read on your blog, you’re a very strong and independent woman. Kudos to you!! I admire that very much! And I know what you mean by it can scare off a lot of men. Well, if it scares them off then at least you know that guy isn’t your cup of tea! I’m grateful to have someone who accepts me for who I am and respects me. He doesn’t treat me like I’m a princess or a woman that depends on him.

    BTW, we didn’t do anything for Valentine’s day because we just see it as a day where businesses are just trying to scam your money lol. At the end, we think every moment that we’re together should be considered valentine’s day 🙂

    They should have a holiday where it’s self-love day 😀

    1. Hi finsavvypanda, sounds like you’ve got a great match there in your partner, kudos to you both for not buying into the hype.

      I agree Valentines Day does seem like one of those overly commercial days where the social convention dictates you *have* to spend money and buy your beloved a gift. I loved the Chinese idea of Singles day until I discovered it is an overly commercial day where social convention dictates you *have* to spend money and buy yourself a gift. From a marketing point of view it’s genius, ensuring no-one is excluded.

  5. Valentine’s day feels like a holiday created specifically to tell people to spend money and ensure that women (especially) continue to feel crap if they are single. I’m seeing someone but neither of us even acknowledged the day. It was our first opportunity to meet up and hang out this week so we had some tea together and then I came home and made myself some amazing pancakes and did some financial admin. It was a great way to spend my evening.

    PS: I just discovered your blog today and am thrilled to find a fellow female UK money blogger.

    1. Hey luxthrift. Yippeee, another female UK blogger. I’m sure there must be a few of us about. I’m hoping over to your blog now. Expect lots of random comments.

      I love the fact that the personal finance community is prepared to call out these holidays for what they are.

      That’s amusing you both ignored the day – did you have the talk and agree this in advance? Pancakes rule…I love pancakes, and did overindulge slightly given the season. If you make batter, it’s rude to waste it right?

  6. Yes, she told me how much she hates it. I don’t hate the day and have done something for it when it’s been important to my partner. I’ve just tried to keep it un-commercial – indoor picnic, homemade cards, scrapbook or other personalised presents. That sort of thing. We agreed this time that we wouldn’t acknowledge it.

    Thanks for the random comments. They are ace

  7. I think this is fantastic. As long as you are happy with your own personal development no one should “settle” for anyone else. Love the blog and good luck on the journey to FI!

    1. Hi Jason, thanks for stopping by and commenting. I agree settling for a partner rarely results in ideal outcomes.

      Thanks for the good wishes, I’m trying to tell myself I don’t need luck, it’s just maths. 🙂

  8. When I started on the path to FI in 2014, I had not long come out of a relationship. My plan was therefore working towards FI as a singleton. Somehow, (against my better judgement) I drifted back into the relationship for another couple of years before it ended for good a year ago.

    Last year, my mind was on coming to terms with my redundancy and then getting to grips with my new job. This year however, I already have my friends on my back asking me when I’ll be dating again. However, I’m happy being single right now – I don’t mind doing stuff on my own, turning up at parties on my own when all others are couples. Still, when I stop being a happy singleton, I’ll do something about it, like I have done in the past. If I met someone, I would like to share my FI plans with them and hope that they will be in a position to join me. How many dates in though, before you ask how much their net worth is or what their retirement savings are, haha?

    Sounds like I’m a bit like you, quite picky/choosy (not sure on the spelling here!). At least you’re on the right side of 40 – I’m closer to 50 than I am to 40 but look young for my age so guys in my age group look like 10 years older than me. Good excuse to go for toy boys! 😉

    1. Go for the toy boys Weenie! I fully support and encourage that approach, and may even adopt it myself.

      It’s an interesting question, when do finances come up in dating? And if they don’t come up naturally, how do you ask. The one that troubles me the most is stealth wealth and skintness can look the same, how do you differentiate?

      1. It’s not easy to differentiate. However, I find that a question about where they’ve been on holiday can be a good starter. As someone who loves to travel, I’d like to be with someone who shares the same passion. So, the person has to be quite well travelled and to have gone on holiday recently. If the answer is ‘I haven’t gone away for years because of my job/couldn’t afford it’, that rings alarm bells for me, ie no work/life balance or finances not right, or just not interested in travelling! That said, the ‘right’ answer could come from someone who blows every single penny of their salary on holidays….hmmm…not easy this dating lark haha!

        1. Hi ms zi you. Currently binge reading your blog from the start. Im not up with your savings rate but I don’t think I’m particularly a spender relative to earnings apart from travel.and experiences (love music and go to gigs and festivals . I earn close to 6 figures (and for the next 2 years thanks to retention bonuses more than this My saving rate is more like 35%

          The income thing came up with my girlfriend and I quite quickly She was renting a flat when we met and insisted on paying half of everything. Which is fine and i dont want to be a meal ticket but at the time i had two lodgers paying most of my mortgage In the end i asked her outright what she earned . It turned out i earned over 4 times what she did . At that point i just said to her i wanted her to contribute but if we’re going somewhere i was going to assume i was paying and she could just pay or not . This wasn’t a feminism thing but she was left with less than a 150 after bills and food etc so it wasn’t right to contribute half That worked really well. She’s very independent so i knew I could trust her to pay if she could . If we went to the theatre id buy tickets and dinner she’d pay for the train fare and maybe buy us a drink in a bar. Now she’s moved in she pays me ‘rent’ (her words not mine) and half the dog and food bills. She is also saving up to buy some of the house off me and I’ve said we’ll count her ‘rent’ towards this . It probably seems mercenary to some people but we are both divorced and she came to the relationship with nothing whereas my net worth is over 400k and having had parents spend thousands on messy divorces I just want it to be clear cut . All that will go out the window when we have kids!

          1. Hey, that’s a really interesting dilemma, dealing with an income differential and where is your line in the sand when everything is put into one pot. I love how independent your girlfriend is, she sounds ace. And if you can both agree how to divide things now and how you’ll divide them if you ever split in the future, I agree you’ll be in the best place financially, when both parties agree on how the finances work.

  9. Despite being an avid feminist, I’m not anti-men. However I am anti-old-fashioned-men. Q

    This line really resonated. Thanks for writing a blog from a singleton point of view

  10. I agree with your view about the holiday of Valentine’s day being completely one-sided and only painting a rosy picture of love and relationships.

    I strongly believe no relationship is better than a bad relationship.

    Relationships are tough in general. In my almost 4 years of marriage, I have realised that the more we expect out of it, the more we need to give. So, it helps to have our non-negotiables in place, just like you did 🙂

  11. Hi Ms ZiYou,

    I really enjoy your writing, you are incredibly articulate which I totally envy.
    I’m in the middle of binging your blog right now. Luckily it shouldn’t take me too long since it’s only about 2 months worth of posts.
    I personally find there’s a great deal of pressure to ‘couple up’ when you’re single, it seems to be the expectation. Friends will ask about if you’re dating, coworkers ask about who you’re bring the the company Xmas party etc.
    I’d say I am happily single, but I very much envy those who are in solid relationships. I love my friends and they are great, but I second Lily @thefrugalgene that once they are in a relationship, I very much feel sidelined.

    1. Thanks so much for your too kind comments. Not really sure I am that articulate…opinionated certainly. I find in London nobody does partners at Xmas parties etc, it’s staff only which is much more inclusive, but maybe a sign that perks are decreasing gradually.

  12. Hi interesting Blog love the pictures. I was single untill my late thirties and really loved it, i could do anything and go anywhere fantastic. I would still be single now but the party lifestyle was getting too hard to take. I am marries now with kids and its great too but being single was more fun. Now regarding Bahamas, Belize or Benidorm I have been to the three of them and had a really great time in each.

What do you think?