Think back to high school English class for a moment: Do you remember any of the Jane Austen novels you inevitably had to read? It doesn't really matter which one pops to your mind, because they all end in the same way. The heroine, no matter how spunky or independent she was, ended up married, engaged, or clearly about to be engaged. And who could forget the first line of Pride And Prejudice? "It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife." All of this marriage talk, despite the fact that Austen herself never married.
The message is clear: At the time that Jane Austen lived, the only thing a single person could think about was when they'd get married. And times haven't changed that much. The rhetoric around being single is still overwhelmingly depressing. If you're single on Valentine's Day, we call it Singles Awareness Day (literally, SAD). Sure, there are rare shouts of single pride, but the main thing we hear about being single is that people shouldn't want to be. Now, enter Tinder. The dating app known for helping people find relationships (or hookups) wants to change our feelings about singledom. In a new ad campaign, Tinder is declaring that "single is a terrible thing to waste."
Instead of feeling badly about being single, Tinder wants us to recognize the opportunities that come with being unattached, such as the ability to party all night, go to a greasy diner at 2 a.m., or sit at home in your PJs re-watching season one of Riverdale for the 10th time. No matter how exciting or mundane, the point is that being single allows you to do whatever you want. And, honestly, a whole bunch of millennials actually prefer it that way. As part of their new campaign, Tinder surveyed more than 1,000 single people between the ages of 18 and 25. About 72% said that they've purposefully chosen to be single for a while, and 81% said that being single has some major benefits (such as making new friends, being more focused at work, and having time for their wellness journeys).
More than half of the millennials surveyed also think that both they and their fellow singles are more fun thanks to their lack of a significant other, because they're more open to trying new things. About 39% said they worry that partnering up will make them boring, but millennials also worry about losing their independence (especially the millennial women who responded, for about 25% of whom being single feels empowering).
And being single should be empowering. We see the possibilities in Tinder's ads, which showcase moments like a bunch of people hanging out at a diner late at night. "Single never has to go home early," the ad reads. But really, single never has to do anything, because a single person is responsible only for themselves. It's great to be in a relationship, too, of course. But there's a certain sense of freedom you lose when you're partnered up. So let's stop worrying about being single, and start celebrating.