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:
- 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!