The 8 Common Types of Singles 

At 26, it can seem like everyone else but you is happily matched up with their forever persons. This is the age when you start seeing your friends posting their engagement photos, wedding photos, and even baby photos all over social media. This is the age when everyone else is too busy spending quality time with their other halves or planning their bridal showers to meet up for drinks anymore. Your friends are, as the term goes, “settling down”, having found their new comfort zone fit for two.

And then there’s you. Hanging out in your PJs on a Friday night, watching Gilmore Girl reruns on Netflix. Nothing wrong with that, of course. Some of us like our solitude. But then there are those who stare despondently into space and wonder if there’s something wrong with them because they don’t have someone else to share a mango smoothie with at some kitschy cafe or take cheesy vacation shots with.

With everyone all coupled up around you, it’s easy to fall into the “woe is single me” trap. Particularly on Singles Day, a day designed to target lonely singles who must be pining for an other half, you may start thinking that you need to be attached to find self-actualisation and eternal happiness. Shopping sites and brands urge you to “pamper yourselves” and declare that retail therapy is just as good — if not better — than a partner.

Commercial though this day may be, the notion of investing in yourself might hold some water after all. I’m not saying you should shop your loneliness away; instead, you can take the time to focus on what makes you happy, whether it’s being single or attached, and regardless of which of the following types of single you are:

  1. The Happy Single

You’re so emotionally independent you don’t see the need to be attached. In fact, you’re happy to stay single because of all the benefits it brings: freedom, me-time, and the fact that you can gaze at Ryan Reynold/Emma Watson’s picture without having to worry about your other half getting jealous. You feel fulfilled enough with your friends and family, and busy enough with all the goals you’re striving to achieve. “It’ll happen when it happens,” is your favourite refrain whenever someone asks why you’re still single.

2. The Single On the Rebound

Fresh out of a breakup, you are on a mission to find the next person to fill the sudden gap in your life. It’s time to go all out, you declare, and your usual inhibitions are replaced by the need for a new distraction. You’re not sure how to function now that you are single again, and you’re receptive to any sort of prospects.

3. The “Single but Dating” Single

Sure, you’re single in every sense of the word, but you’ve got more game than an athlete. Your social life is packed to the brim — you strap on your heels for weekday evenings and weekends dates with all the people you’re chatting with on dating apps. You’re not too concerned with settling down and you’re not putting all your eggs in one basket. Why would you, since you’re still busy playing the field? On the flip side, you might just be commitment-phobic.

4. The “Hopeless Romantic” Single

You sigh wistfully when you hear your friend’s engagement story. You’re a sucker for romantic comedies, and you wish to experience true love in its purest form. You crave the comfortable routine that comes with being with someone who is completely in tune with you. More than anything, you look for a soul connection (doesn’t hurt if he’s easy on the eyes too) with someone who gets you, who isn’t too much effort to be with.

(But really, that easy, seasoned interaction your friend has with her boyfriend is probably a result of many arguments that made them stronger as a couple. You might have given up halfway because it’s not the fairy-tale romance you expected.)

5. The Single with the Sky-High Standards

You’re the bomb, so naturally it would take someone really special to hold your attention and win your affection. You have a whole list of criteria he needs to check before you will even consider him. Otherwise, you can’t be bothered. You would rather be single than waste all that time and effort on a guy who is wrong for you. People always say you’re too picky, but you disagree — it just means you know what you want and are cool with waiting for the right one to come along.

6. The “I’m Swearing Off Relationships” Single

You’re used to being alone — it’s just easier that way. You’ve either been burned pretty badly before, or you just have other commitments in life that make you uninterested in dating again, much less relationships. Even if some guy comes knocking, you’re shutting the door on him, if only to spare yourself the potential hurt. Instead, you throw yourself into work and sign up for a million classes and volunteer at as many events as humanly possible, just so you won’t miss being attached.

7. The “Bros-With-Everyone” Single Girl

You’re single not because you’re undesirable or you have a secret superhero alter-ego and don’t want to be in a relationship for fear of putting the people you love in danger. You’re not a hermit and you have plenty of friends. In fact, you have a million male friends you’re chummy with. The problem is, you’re friends with all of them and romantically involved with none. Guys see you as the girl who’s cool to hang out with, but not, for some reason, someone they want to date.

8. The Single On the Prowl

What’s better than Mr. Right to you? Mr. Right Now. You’re tired of spending another night in with a bag of Oreos and eating your emotions, so you’ll do just about anything to find your other half. You’re on a million dating apps, you get your friends to introduce their single friends to you, and you go on date after date, hoping to finally be able to change your relationship status on Facebook.

Whichever type of single you are, Singles Day isn’t a cause for panic over your relationship status. Grab a glass of wine and chill out. You’ll find someone someday who is entirely right for you. Meanwhile, there’s always retail therapy!

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How Wanting Makes Us Want More

You know how sometimes you feel like you have a million and one things you want to do, so many things you want to learn and experience and do and write about, but you just don’t have the time or freedom or capacity to? Is it just a millenial thing? Does this only plague twenty-somethings from First World countries?

Right now, there seems to be so much else I can and should be doing, things I should be pursuing that, for some reason or other, I’m not. And as a result, I’m stuck where I am.

This post isn’t supposed to be all doom and gloom though. It’s not a bad problem to have – who’s complaining about having too much inspiration for stories, right? I should be happy the ideas are flowing copiously, and I can experience enough to know what I want to pursue / devote myself to.

But wanting makes us impatient and desperate and miserable. Wanting makes us want even more. It makes us realise how much we should be doing but aren’t. How much we could have but don’t because we’re not doing what we should be doing. All the opportunities and experiences we’re missing out on because of what we don’t have.

Wanting makes us even greedier, hungrier. Not for money, but for the life we have always dreamed for ourselves.

Right now, I’m writing this as I:

  • work on the first draft of Before I Remember You (YA magical realism),
  • story-board – and essentially rewrite – Blood Promise (yep, I’m going back to this YA fantasy manuscript I wrote three years ago, purely because I still see the – ahem – promise in it and believe I can get it published … okay, the very kind and positive feedback from literary agents helped too)
  • write a short story for Before I Remember You (sort of a prequel that serves as groundwork for me when I write the novel)
  • plan out Land of Sand and Song (YA fantasy), and
  • send out query letters to agents for No Room in Neverland (YA contemporary)

That’s not including my day job and other pursuits like reading, practicising my musical instrument, blogging, attending writers conferences, spending quality time with friends and family, etc.

(Who has time for a boyfriend? My single ladies and I were talking about this the other day – how everyone seems to think we’re inadequate in some way because we’re still single in our mid-twenties. Maybe there are other things worthy of our time and energy that we CAN control and actively pursue, other things that make us equally happy, if not more so, because right now we’re still just finding and building ourselves into the people we want to become. My philosophy has always been: if it happens, it happens. Not shutting the door on this, just leaving it open while I focus on the work I need to do in order to achieve my dreams. Okay, single girl rant over.)

If only humans didn’t need seven to nine hours of sleep daily. Think of how much more we could all do if only we had the full 24 hours!

A day away from the day job is hardly enough, but it’s all I can afford now if I don’t want the work to pile up.

A writer friend of mine shared an essay by Steven Pressfield recently, about how writers typically have a shadow career, which is basically a substitute for your true calling, your actual job. A shadow career is the “B” story in your life that feeds into the “A” story, which is to a writer is writing.

I guess what I’m trying to say after all this rambling is that wanting has made me more focused but also tired, purpose-driven but also ravenous. No one said this would be easy, and I don’t expect it to be easy. Anything worth having should be too easily attained, after all. But what if all this wanting only sets you up for endless disappointment?

Do you think it’s better not to want and expect so much in life so we can spare ourselves the torment of not having, or do you think we should hold on to our dreams and emerge battered but stronger after the entire experience? How do you know when you need to let something go? I’ve always believed that if you want something badly enough, you should do everything you can to acquire it. But what if what you want was never meant for you and your stubbornness is what’s keeping your happiness (and sanity) at bay?

Wow, okay that turned mopey. I’m not whining, I promise. I appreciate the struggle … sometimes. I just want to know if I’m alone in worrying about all this and hear your take on this, dear readers!

Special thanks to readers and lurkers who have left encouraging comments – be it via social media or this blog or a private email – as I forge my way through this writing journey! Your words have gotten me through the darkest moments of self-doubt, uncertainty, and defeat. I am immensely grateful to each and every one of you who took the time and effort to reach out with a kind message of support and love.

XO

A Single Girl’s Guide to Being Happy this Valentine’s Day

It’s Valentine’s Day this weekend. Which means a weekend of enduring the sight of couples wearing cheesy coordinated outfits and men presenting stuffed teddy bears to girls, as well as the barrage of commemorative photos on social media. #truelove4eva

Funny how it’s been years since this occasion was first given so much commercial value, and people still buy into the whole fanfare.

Maybe I’m just a cynic, or I don’t understand what it’s like to be in love. But while I’m sure there’s much to appreciate about being in a committed relationship with someone, there’s also a lot to be thankful for as a twenty-something singleton.

As I navigate the dating minefield, I’ve also been collecting dating and relationship advice from well-meaning friends of mine (who have witnessed me at the height of an infatuation and suffered through my tales of unrequited interest, on my part and on the chaser’s).

Here are some that struck a chord in me, along with other lessons I’ve learned on my own:

 

1. Know Thy Worth

If you make someone your everything and he only treats you as his something, it’s going to end in tears. You expect too much. You want more. You start getting resentful. It’s only going to wear you out in the end. And you deserve more than that.

So remember what you are worth. If the guy isn’t putting in any effort at all, then he isn’t worthy of you.


2. Focus on Being You

Nobody likes a wallflower with the personality of a sock. Be happy in your own company. If you don’t even enjoy being with yourself, then you can’t expect someone else to. So fill up your life with the things that make you happy. Have goals. Strive to achieve them. Start creating a version of yourself that you will be proud of. When you’re so busy being you, you won’t need validation from anyone else but yourself. And that itself is a powerful thing.

 

3. Take Your Time

While my Facebook feed is choked with pictures of friends and acquaintances flaunting their engagement rings, anniversary photos and even (gasp) babies, there are also many who are single.

Sometimes, it can feel like this:

But I don’t see the point in going into a premature relationship and then half-assing it. “Trying out” with someone I’m not 100% into would eventually just wear out an INFJ like me. Like my friend Liz said, timing is important. If two people are at different stages of their lives where they are seeking different things, then it’s likely that they will run parallel to each other and never meet, even if they do like each other. Tragic, but true.

So I guess time takes time. Better a happy singledom than an unhappy relationship.

 

4. Be Open … But Have Some Standards

I’ve been told that my expectations are too high – a statement that I really don’t agree with, by the way – and that you could have someone who ticks all the right boxes in your checklist (if you have one) but it still wouldn’t feel right … as Glamour’s experiment below proved.

Girl Meets Her Perfect Match

That doesn’t mean you settle for anyone who shows the slightest bit of interest in you. Rather, it’s taking the time to know more people so that you understand what you’re really looking for so that you don’t end up rushing into a relationship.

 

5. Don’t Sweat It

A rejection isn’t the end of the world. A non-reply – or a curt, half-hearted one – may dent your dignity, but what doesn’t kill you does make you stronger. Sometimes, you can do everything right and things would still not work out the way you hope it would. What are you going to do, mope and cry?

Once you start placing less importance on one thing, you’re freeing yourself up to many other things. You’re giving yourself the space to pursue other things and saving yourself a whole lot of angst in doing so.

Besides, no one said you only had to go after one thing in life. And frankly, you have better stuff to worry about than why he blue-ticked you on WhatsApp.

 

6. But Don’t Ever Give Up on Love

This one came from my dad. Despite all the horror stories we’ve heard about relationships gone wrong and people being screwed over by love, he still believes there’s someone out there for me. And according to him, the worst thing you can do for yourself that would diminish your chances of ever falling in love is to become disillusioned by the notion of love.

So even if consecutive lacklustre dates and humiliating rejections may convince you that you’re better off alone after all, I guess the key is to have faith that someday someone will appreciate you for being you, and vice versa. In the meantime, stay awesome and get comfortable with solitude.

 

What other dating advice have you received that you think is worth imparting? Share them in the Comments section below! I’m all ears.

This article first appeared on ZALORA Community.

 

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