The New Single: You Are Whole All By Yourself
It’s Valentine’s Day. The TV is bursting with adverts and everywhere you go, you’re being encouraged to buy chocolates, perfume and say it with love. But, if you don’t have a partner, Valentine’s Day can be more than just an irritation, it can bring on feelings of loneliness.
“We need to keep this commercialised day in perspective,” advises Robyn Farrell, managing director of 1st for Women Insurance Brokers.
The New Single
In bygone eras, it was thought that all women needed to be married by the age of 25 and if you weren’t, well then, you were considered to be left on the shelf. Women were conditioned to believe that without a man, their prospects were minimal as was their future happiness. How times have changed!
“Today, women realise that marriage and having children and even being in a relationship is a choice—it is not dictated by society, but rather by each woman as an individual,” explains Farrell.
Statistics show that in South Africa, 73% of women between the ages of 18 and 44 are in fact single and 68% of children are born to single moms. What’s more, at least 14% of women in this country believe marriage to be outdated.
Women have cottoned onto the fact that they are happier alone than in a toxic relationship and that they do not need to be committed to someone to feel fulfilled or “complete” or half of a whole. You are whole all by yourself!
Valentine’s Day is a good day to remind yourself that you live by your own rules and are empowered in your own life. If when Valentine’s Day rolls around, you would like to be in a relationship, then use the day as a catalyst to formulate a plan of action to reach your goal. For instance, make a list of potential places to meet someone and let friends know that you’re on the lookout and open for blind dates.
Many people end meeting their love match through friends, or friends of friends or even on the Internet. Stats show that 50% of women subscribe to online dating which has a 50/50 gender split. Find out what's happening in the singles scene, go out and have a great time, discover some new people to talk to and share cocktails without any expectations. “And do always remember,” says Farrell, “there’s no shame in being single.”
Get Some Perspective
If you still feel a bit sniffly come Valentine’s Day – perhaps you’ve just broken up with someone—remind yourself that many couples find the day pointless and don’t celebrate it at all.
Farrell adds, “Couples messaging is very strong but just because someone is in a relationship, it does automatically mean that they are happy just because they’re paired off.”
After all, divorce statistics show that 50% of all marriages will end. Many single people are extremely content but it’s just not fashionable to cover the happiness of singledom.
“Rather than feeling down on Valentine's Day, celebrate your strengths and achievements as a person who has space for love should it come along but who does not need such a relationship to create self-worth and happiness,” says Farrell.
Another way to deal with the day is to treat yourself. Why not book yourself into a spa? Or indulge in a box of chocolates? If you’ve got the blues, take on some exercise to get those endorphins rushing. Make it a day to pamper and celebrate you.
Single or unattached, we can all fall into a habit of not acknowledging the people who matter in our life. “Use Valentine's Day as a reminder to spend the rest of the year letting people know how much they mean to you,” advises Farrell.
Sometimes, the most difficult thing about Valentine’s Day is the sheer preponderance of love messaging suggesting that you need to hurry or you'll risk missing the boat. Many romances spark throughout people's lives, at any age. In the meantime, love the life you're living and don't live for love. Farrell affirms, “Don't rush before you're absolutely ready to commit; enjoy this single time now or for as long as you intend it to last.”