Amplifying the power in HER voice because today’s woman is #BeyondCapable

Amplifying the power in HER voice because today’s woman is #BeyondCapable
Featured

The Multiple Merits of the Single Life

The perks of being single can come into focus even on a day meant to highlight those who aren’t.

This happened for Amanda Rivero, a single woman in her early 30s. On Valentine’s Day last year, she was trying to have a peaceful evening alone but her phone kept vibrating because of a group chat she shared with her friends. Two of them had partners and both were poised to have romantic dinners outside their homes. One, however, just ended up regretting the amount of money he spent that night while the other got into a fight with her partner over mishaps that ruined their date. Details of their woe had Rivero’s phone shaking until she turned off her alerts and went on with her evening. She made pasta, enjoyed a film and had what was apparently a relaxing, stress-free time on her own.

“It was ironic,” she said, “These nights usually remind people how nice it is to have someone but I was having a great time by myself while some couples in my life were stressed out.” Could it have been a coincidence? Yes, she said. But even coincidences don’t happen without a premise and the premise here is that she is single and they are not.

In life, people tend to be bombarded by stimuli that sell the advantages of being partnered. This can start at early age for many. After all, the typical family unit people are born into is founded on the pairing of two individuals: a mother and a father. And the narratives that favor the paired tend to continue from this point onward.

Bella DePaulo, an author who frequently writes about the experiences of being single, is well aware of this reality. In her Ted Talk back in 2017, she said that as children, people normally get confronted by stories about the joys of being partnered (more specifically, married.) And, “as grown-ups,” she added “we keep hearing them in all the novels and movies and TV shows that build up to a wedding.”

But everything in life has cons to go with their pros. Relationships, as advantageous as they may seem, can also come with downsides that depend on who experience them. Having partner to share costs, for example, can end up being more costly than having none. Quality time with a significant other can come at the cost of time that would’ve been spent doing other beneficial activities. And, in some cases, people who aren’t alone can be with someone who can make them feel alone.

Since being single is the opposite of being partnered, it is only natural for this status to also have pros that go with its cons. A certain portion of society agrees. For example, in a survey conducted by Pew Research Center in 2022, roughly 6-in-10 American singles say that they are not interested in being partnered at the moment. They chose this for a variety of reasons and as some singles will say, they can be more significant than the mere capacity to spare someone from the inconveniences of a bad Valentine’s date.

THE PLEASURE OF HAVING LESS PRESSURE

There are people who get into relationships to address their stressors in life. For example, there are those who date and eventually marry for financial security; some meanwhile, do it to stem the fear of growing old alone.

According to some people, however, having a partner can lead to other sources of stress. This is because being in a relationship means accommodating someone else. Concessions have to be made to ease friction and enable a harmonious set-up. Certain accommodations, however, can cause one to feel a level of pressure that would not have existed in the single life. And to some, such pressures simple aren’t worth the trouble.

Rivero was a case study for this. Before returning to singlehood, she was in a relationship with a man who excelled at a lot of things. He was what many would call a catch but his family didn’t view her the same way.

“I’d like to think that I was doing fine in life but his family has different standards,” she said. “I’ve never been to a family dinner of theirs where no one came up to me giving unsolicited advice on how I can get out of a job which I liked to earn more or which school I should try to get into to further my studies and upgrade my position.”

Rivero said that she loved her ex-boyfriend but when he too started pressuring her to accelerate her “self-improvement,” that’s when their relationship started to fall apart.

“I get that he’s very ambitious and I’m all for progress but I got tired of being made to feel inadequate day in and day out,” she shared. “I wasn’t at peace with the relationship and I felt like that’s not how it should be.”

Derrick Yang, a single man in his 30s felt the same way. When he was in a relationship, he was with someone who he thought he was going to marry. So, he felt compelled to be more prepared for that eventuality by pushing himself hard at work. “I’m Chinese,” he said. “I came from a family where people showed love by being a good providers.” But in his attempt to be just that, he found himself overworked, sick on a hospital bed. Eventually, his relationship with his ex-girlfriend ended due to other issues. And he felt like he did “all that” for no good reason.

“It’s sad but at least I feel less pressured now,” he said. “I don’t blame her for that though. I guess I just wasn’t ready to be in that type of a situation and overdid things. That’s something I have to work on.”

And now he has the time and space to do so.

SELF-LOVE IS VALID LOVE

In Marriage.com, an online resource dedicated to providing advice for the partnered, writer Rachel Pace said that a romantic relationship must be nurtured with quality time in order for it to be a source of the many positive things people seek it for (like a sense of security, companionship and, of course, happiness.)

“Quality time can be considered the cornerstone of a healthy and fulfilling relationship,” she wrote. “It’s more than just being physically present; it involves giving your undivided attention to your partner, engaging in meaningful activities, and encouraging a deep emotional connection.” For some people, this means surrendering time allotted for the other things they enjoy. It also meant taking one’s focus away from other things. Those who are single tend to not have that problem.

Kendrick Go knows this. When his relationship ended years ago, what became more obvious for him was time and how much of it he actually had in a day. Evenings that used to go by quickly thanks to long, engaging conversations ended up crawling through hours of silence; weekend afternoons that are normally packed with bonding activities suddenly felt vacant and—in his words—“wasteful” in their vacantness. He soon found the need to fill those gaps with active hobbies (like sword-fighting lessons) and more work. Years later, he has come to view himself as someone more successful and a lot healthier than the person that he was when he was partnered. He fell in love with himself, so he said. And should he go into another relationship, he felt as though he’d go into it more confident.

“I’m not saying that relationships are inherently bad for people who want to grow,” he clarified. “There are people out there who bring out the best in each other. But that’s also something you can do for yourself. And when you’re not in a relationship, you have a lot of time to do that.”

For Time Magazine, DePaulo wrote “An Ode to the Single Life.” There, she said that single people tend to have freedom and “we use it to make the most of our resources and opportunities, however vast or meager they may be.”

“We get to decide the shape and contours of our lives, from our daily routines to life-altering transformations,” she continued. “We get to pursue our interests and passions, without trying to refashion or resize them in ways that suit a romantic partner.”

Rivero saw this unfold last Valentine’s day. “I’m not really into that,” she said. “I feel like it’s just some capitalist ploy to get people to spend money because no one is stopping you from being romantic any other day.”

But what if she had a partner and he asked her out on a date? “I’d say no but if he insists, I’d compromise,” she said. “I mean, it’s just one night.”

But on that evening, when the decision was hers and hers alone, she didn’t have to.

Related Post

Featured
Featured
Featured

Don't miss a thing!
Sign up for our newsletter.