Is single the new black?

Being single has a stigma attached to it, which, admittedly, in the past, I have helped to create further. There is a common misconception that because you are single, you are bound by contract to hiding under the covers, sipping a £2 bottle of wine out the bottle. Sure enough, this is true to form in certain stages of the single life. There are always going to be times where the thought of not putting clothes on and eating Marmite out of the jar with your finger is certainly more appealing than getting dressed and forcing yourself to socialise. I speak from experience with this, and I’m not ashamed in the slightest. Marmite is good, saving time washing cutlery is good and wine is more than good.

A recent study has shown that in 2015, the percentage of people that fall under the ‘single spell’ in the United Kingdom has risen from 15.7 million people to 23.6 million fabulous, independent single people since 2009.  I nearly fell of the chair when I read this. It turns out that I’m not the only spinster in a world where I can’t even go to a supermarket for my usual fix of something sugar-based without seeing a couple sniggering at each other near the ice-cream (really, is nothing sacred!? Probably going to be smothering it on each other in a thrift of passion. I hope their nipples fall off) seriously though, where are these 23.6 million (minus my ex-boyfriends) that are single? Are they hiding? Anyway…..

I have a group of friends, who up until recently were all single. Now I’m the only single one, and that’s OK, because listening to their issues, makes me glad that the latest one left me. Sat around the table, in a small cafe in the centre of Cambridge, the 6 of us grazed on sandwiches and sipped lattes and were having a great catch up, and then it started:

“He didn’t reply to my text”

“Well that’s nothing. My man didn’t even buy me a card for our anniversary”

“No no, that’s mild. I have to take the mother-in-law out shopping and take her to lunch and I know that she hates me because she always wanted him and his ex-girlfriend to stay together and I’ll never be good enough for him”

“My boyfriend called me clingy last week because I made a photo frame of our time together since he first asked me out, 5 months ago”

“Ha! No, I have the worst one. Last night, when I got home from work, my boyfriend left me a note telling me that he’d gone to the pub for his ex-girlfriend’s birthday party. Does that mean that he likes her still? Oh I don’t know why I’m saying it. It’s not true, is it? Anyway, what about you, Kalvin?”

“Well, apart from flirting with guys on Tinder and trying to meet new people around the country, I’m planning a trip to china next year for a month. Money permitting, I may extend the trip and travel around south-east Asia for a few months. I don’t really have much in the line of commitments, unless you count my phone contract as one.”

*****silence*****

We got the bill and parted ways.

On the train journey home, I kept milling over our lunchtime conversation. Since when did being in a relationship mean that a group of Cambridge graduates could sit around a table and worry over someone not texting them back? One of them is a surgeon for Christ sakes. She saves people’s lives on a daily basis and as soon as she hangs up her scrubs of an evening, the rest of the night is spent worrying over when her boyfriend is going to run off with the next door neighbour, because she read in a magazine that men are more likely to leave women that have good looking friends! I was suddenly thankful that the only thing that I had to worry about was which Cambridge Satchel out of my 5 I was going to wear the following day. Instantly, all of my relationship woes had vanished, providing a sigh of relief to my previously shattered self.

More and more people are swapping a committed life with a significant other in favour of doing something else and simply ‘getting on with it’. Long gone are the days where society depicts that you should be in a relationship and that you should be looking for that frog, who 9 times out of 10, doesn’t turn into a prince when you snog them outside Cineworld and just grows more warts instead. More people are beginning to understand that there is a big world out there and that in today’s world, you are never too old to do anything.

There is nothing wrong with being in a relationship. I hope to be in one myself one day, if I can manage to hold a man down for longer than a few months (haha…hahahaha….haha….ha….ha…..*sigh*), but instead of waiting around for it to happen, wasting much valued time and energy on something that doesn’t even exist yet, with a guy that doesn’t even know who I am, I have come to the conclusion that being single really has become the new ‘it’ thing.

Less time moping and more time ‘doing’, because one day, you may just regret the time you spent crying because you’re single. Just something to think over.

Click here for the next instalment.

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