Single is not a dirty word

Thursday January 21 2021
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By Bradford Kamuntu

We just came out of the holiday season, where court of public opinion will have you believe that it is the worst time to be single. Contrary to what most people may believe, it may very well be the best time to be single.

Every year around the holidays, I look at my friends in relationships and I do not envy them at all. Trying to manage the pressure that comes with being a couple during the festive season, all the planning and logistics is quite exhausting and can take a toll on you.

But I am not here to discuss holidays this time round. Instead, I am here to talk about questions posed by many family members throughout the year but especially at that time. How come you are still single? When will you get married? Other aunties will be so bold as to suggest there is something wrong with you or nitpick qualities about you and/or appearance to suggest that is why you have not met someone.

Well, shockingly (especially you annoying aunties and few uncles that do not mind their business) being single and more so in our generation is not a bad thing. It is not any indication of faults in our makeup or being and if handled correctly, could very well be where we shine and break out most.

What the older generations have failed to understand is, we are no longer bound to the notion that we must be tied down to someone at all times in order to achieve some sort of happiness. While finding love is great, it is merely a bonus and not what shapes us as human beings. We are meant to compliment each other and not complete each other.

We have moved on so far from a time where being “single” means you are lonely or unhappy. In the times and new decade we are in now it could mean you are empowered and you are confident enough to navigate this world on your own, which is such a phenomenal thing. I have heard people ask (cannot remember if I was asked myself) “But isn’t it sad?” and I thought to myself my goodness what a disappointing and pathetic question. The word has been reduced to the falsest trope when single describes a large percentage of the population.

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The most negative perceptions of being single are drawn from those in relationships, nearly never from single people themselves. Even those in those draining and grossly debilitating partnerships will sit and feel sorry for someone that is happily single, which will always baffle me.

I understand that some of these perceptions come from people in happy relationships, these are usually out of touch people warped by their union that they think to themselves anyone that is single must be terribly unhappy and besides themselves. Well, I am here to tell you that you are wrong.

When you are in a relationship, it is so easy to be illogically clouded by love and lust to the point where losing it might seem like the worst possible outcome in life, to which being single would sound terrifying. But it actually is not.

Being single can provide you with clarity and thought provocation that would otherwise be unavailable if you were in a partnership. You are a more focused individual, more self-reliant and as such more able to handle disappointment.

Being single can mean many things, but one thing it is not is a dirty word and we must not treat it as such. We must stop collectively perpetuating the notion that if one is single, then they are unhappy and will never know life or love until they attach themselves to someone else.

Statistics. A 2010 Pew Research Report described the results of a national survey of single people. Asked if they wanted to get married, only 46 per cent said yes, for sure. 25 per cent said no—these are the single people who are choosing to be single. Another 29 per cent said they were not sure.

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