Burn the Rulebook

– Why is it there are so many unmarried women in their thirties these days, Bridget?
– Well, I don’t suppose it helps that underneath our clothes our entire bodies are covered in scales

-Bridget Jones’ Diary (Basically, the bible)

If you are reading this as a singleton, then you will understand that sometimes it seems that everybody around you seems to be happy with somebody. Your friendship group seems to only contain couples, leaving you as the only ‘Bridget’ there, the customers in your shop come in, hand-in-hand looking perfectly in love and you receive wedding/birthday party/school reunion invitations and suddenly find yourself without a date, leaving you to attend alone, propping up the bar and explaining to people that you are there alone and that it isn’t an abnormal thing to be doing, regardless of how unconvincing it is as you can’t hide it from your face anymore that you have just become the singleton that people pat on the shoulder, tilt their head and say “oh, well there’s someone out there for everyone”, before walking away with that sympathetic smile on their face.

According to a recent study at some university in the world, in 2014, the chances of a singleton meeting a significant other and that relationship remaining functional is now 1 in 250,000. That’s a 0.0000034% chance of someone like me finding someone to make it work with.

Talk about kicking you when you’re down. It’s probably not an accurate study and in my fantasy world, was created by a group of married people in a room made from solid gold with hallmark greeting card wallpaper.

Regardless of whether it’s accurate or not, it still made me think about a few things, mainly why my future is now dependant on a statistic. There is no right and wrong for the average singleton. Ok, so you did a study. Does that mean that it is 100% correct? NO.

Recently, I’ve discovered that everybody has their 2 minutes worth of preaching advice to give. I’m talking about the usual stuff: “plenty of fish in the sea”, “learn to enjoy doing things by yourself again”, “My friend was just like you, and then she met a guy on www.iwilltakeanyonethatcomesmywaybecauseifidonttheniwillbealoneforever.com”. Whilst it is good that we, as spinsters, are able to receive advice from others, it is also nice to not be reminded at every opportunity that we are single and clearly undesirable. How do you know if I am undesirable or not? I could be fighting off a few potential suitors and not wanting them. Just because I am alone, does not mean that I am lonely.

The thing that narks me the most is this whole idea of ‘TIME’. Ok, I get the theory behind it: Time is a healer, it gives you the time that you need to relax and recuperate. That, I can get on board with. What I cannot understand are the rules that seem to be set in place for people after a breakup. Let me tell you now that there is NO time frame on how long you should wait to get with somebody else after a breakup, nor is there a correct way to meet them. Most of the time, when thinking about a potential new partner, we get ourselves worked up because we believe that it has been too quick of a jump after the ex, or that there has to be certain steps before getting to ‘the big R’ (relationship). It is just irrelevant. As long as the other partner actually feels the same way, who’s to say that it won’t work out just as well as if you’d have waited an extra 4 months and 7 dates just because it’s what you hard that you need to do.

Whilst we are single, that certainly does not mean that we are alone. I am surrounded by many, many good friends. I meet new people through my line of work every week. Whilst I still adore my friends that I have had for years, I have also made a hell of a lot of new friends since being back in the UK this year. That is something I don’t think I could have done had I have still been in my relationship. I have no ties to keep me in at night, thus enabling me to network a lot more.

What I say to you today is to “burn the rulebook”. You do not need to rely on what you think you should be doing because somebody told you. If you’re happy being single, then stay single. If you meet someone that makes you swoon and go weak at the knees and they are just as eager as you, then go for it. You are your own rulebook. Screw what anyone else says. Remember, advice is only advice. It is not gospel, just like my blog. I’m not telling you what to do. You’ve got every right to snort and un-subscribe to me. That’s the beauty of the whole thing. You are in control!

Would you rather live your life and say at the end of it: “I wish I would have done that”? Or, would you rather be able to say “I can’t believe I did that!”

Click here for the next instalment.

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