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.
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 single
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 Choices
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.
What do you think? Do you feel there is an expectation to be part of a couple?
Anyone else also happy being single?