I Know I Won’t Be Single Forever (And Neither Will You)

“If we hate the same people and you get your suit cleaned, it's a match.” - Barbara Streisand as Fanny Brice, Funny Lady, 1975
A year is both the fastest and the slowest measurement of time, I’ll never really understand that, but I feel it. As of today, this series is one year old, and for the last 12 months I’ve been lucky enough to talk about single life the way I want. I don’t have to talk about it as if it’s a problem, or something I have to end. I just get to tell the truth. I’m very lucky to do this and even luckier that people read it, identify with it, and DM me to tell me so. The irony is not lost on me that the one thing I’ve felt more than anything over the last year is less alone. 
As a result of writing about being a single woman in her mid-30s for an entire year, one hears things. One gets questions. The question I expect the least, but get the most often centre around an incorrect impression that I didn’t realise I was giving off. I get asked if I think I’m going to be alone forever. I get where the question comes from, a lot of my thoughts about this topic require a reframing of societal programming in our own minds, and old programming suggests that if I talk about being single in a positive light, that must mean I never want a relationship. If I’ve done anything in the last year, I hope I’ve at least made the point that society has had its shit twisted for quite long enough. 

I don’t think that by discussing single life in an honest and hopefully discussion-shifting way, I’m signing myself up for a life of romantic solitude.

No, I do not think I’m going to be alone forever. Beyond thinking it, I know it for sure. I know I’m going to partner with someone and have a wonderful relationship as a result. And there’s a very easy way that I know that’s true: I want it. 
I don’t think that by discussing single life in an honest and hopefully discussion-shifting way, I’m signing myself up for a life of romantic solitude. I think it’s possible to genuinely love single life and at the same time look forward to being in a relationship. Those ideas aren’t backwards magnets, they go together just fine. The idea that loving your single life will somehow give off the wrong kind of happiness vibes and tell the universe that you don’t want a partner is garbage superstition, and I’m not having it. Be as happy as you want to be by yourself. That doesn’t stop you from wanting and deserving love. 
I know I’m going to be in a relationship one day because I’ve put a lot of work into who I am outside of one. In the last several years, I’ve taken a really hard look at why I even want a relationship in the first place, and I’ve only recently come up with answers that I like. Honestly, I used to want a relationship so that the shame of being single could end. I’d fit in with everyone else who’s married, my family could stop worrying about me, and no one would look at me with sad eyes anymore. When I stopped giving a shit about how I’m perceived as because I'm single, I finally had a chance to look at how I perceive being single. And you know what... I dig it. 
I like an entire bed to myself. I love traveling alone. I'm obsessed with making literally all of the decisions all of the time and never needing anyone else’s buy-in on anything, ever at all. There is so much sweet, sweet freedom in single life that I ignored for so long, because the joy of being single was hiding behind the shame of it. My happiness isn’t hiding from me anymore. I also think that this happiness, confidence, and love for who I already am makes me pretty darn attractive in the dating space. No? Just a thought. 
Dating and connecting with other human beings is a discussion that’s become too narrow. One of my favourite ways that I’ve broken free of old thought patterns in the last year deals with opportunity. I used to think that if I wasn’t using dating apps, something I hated, I’d never find a relationship, something I wanted. But when I deleted them all, I started looking for variety in all the ways people meet. I found it — lots of it. There’s a lot more life happening out there than what we’re swiping through. I urge anyone reading this to understand that there’s no correlation between the amount of dating you deal with, and meeting a partner. We’re not storing up partnership points in a bank somewhere, cashing them in when we’ve finally suffered enough disappointing, if not horrific, experiences to suddenly make us worthy. We are worthy right now, and there are more ways to connect with people than your phone has storage space for, I promise. 

I am not choosing to be single, I am choosing to be happy while I’m single. There’s a difference.

I hope I’ve also managed to convey that if you want to put zero effort into finding a partner, you’re still worthy of one, too. Being single is actually not a part time job. It’s simply a completely valid way of life with wonderful and difficult aspects to it — kind of like every other version of life, too. The way we are doesn’t have to be treated like a problem. Great relationships can still start without the pursuit of them. I’ve been tired before, and if you are too, I want you to know that you can have what you want without exhausting yourself, and I’m sorry if it’s taken longer to have it than you expected. It’s taken longer for me, too, so I decided to start loving everything I already have, and trusting that if all of this happiness found me, why wouldn’t a relationship, too? If we want partnership, we will have it, and while I can’t tell you how or when, and I won’t insult you with “dating advice,” I can tell you that living life from a place of looking forward to the future, rather than dreading its uncertainty, has entirely changed my life for the better. For the record, I used to think that changing my life for the better was marriage’s job. 
I am not choosing to be single, I am choosing to be happy while I’m single. There’s a difference.
If given the choice I would take partnership over being alone. But only the right partnership. I didn’t always know that, and I’m endlessly grateful that I do now. It’s a secret no one talks about, because we’re still living in a world that idolises relationships and shames singleness. The wrong relationships are worse than being single. Much worse actually, because being single, if you’re open to reframing it in your mind, is pretty fucking great. 
Thank you for spending this year with me. Email me at shanisilver@gmail.com if there’s ever a topic you’d like me to discuss in this series. I’m excited to keep the conversation going, to continue to reframe the way single women think about their lives, and to talk about the things that matter to us. When I began this series, someone asked me if I thought that I'd now meet someone, because you know... irony. I had no idea then, and I have no idea now — the whole point is that for the first time in my life, that’s a good thing. I don’t know where things go from here, but I do know I’m looking forward to finding out. 

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