Singles get a hard time for not being married. This is surprising since singles now outnumber those who are married. But popular culture and people like to make someone who is single feel bad for not dating and pressure them to date so that they can “fit in” and be “normal.” This needs to stop. There is nothing wrong with being single and singles need to firmly respond that they are not interested when they are pressured to date.
When someone encourages a friend to date, they never stop to consider the positive attributes of being single. The single life provides autonomy and flexibility. The dating and married life offers dependence and constraint. Staying single will allow you to better grow and develop into the person that you want to be. In contrast, when you date and get married it has been found that people become more insular and become more what their partner wants them to be. These options are both good in their own way, but the single life ultimately offers more independence and chances to grow as a person compared to being in a relationship.
Time is a valuable resource. When you are in a relationship, a lot of that time will go to the person you are dating. While you are single, that same time could be spent studying, working to move up at work, starting your own business, travel, and trying new restaurants in your city. Personal development and growth is essential to life, and the single life is the best opportunity to flourish as an individual. Ground and prepare yourself so that you can become financially free by paying off any debt that you may have and work to become the best version of yourself. Time is required to do both of those things. After you can sustain yourself, pay off any debt that you may have, and know yourself, you decide if you love being single or want to date. Regardless, you will be at a better place in life to make that decision than if you had just jumped into a relationship. The single life made you into the person that you are now. It is now your choice if you want to get set up by your friends who keep bugging you to date and get hitched or continue to live the single life.
If you are not interested in dating, then you need to respond first with a few questions and change the focus off of you to the person who is questioning your decision. A great first response that gets to the point is to ask them, “why haven’t your broken up yet” or “why aren’t you divorced yet?” This normally stuns people. If they continue, talk to them about the positive sides to being single that are rarely discussed, such as that the single life offers autonomy, flexibility, security and diversity. Describe to them why you enjoy the freedom of not being tied down to someone and the flexibility that it gives to your life. You can explain that you are secure in your singlehood, that there are different types of singles, and that singles now outnumber those who are married. At the end of your conversation, you can ask, do you think I should jump into a relationship with what you know now about singles?
There are many different types of singles. Some may want a relationship. Some may be taking a break from relationships. Some are not interested in relationships. Some have discovered that they can be their most authentic selves by being single. Some have decided to remain single to commit themselves to something larger than themselves. Regardless of why you are currently singles, you should not be pressured to enter a relationship if you want don’t want to. It is time for singles to stand up against the assumed obligation to always be in a relationship and to proclaim that they are content and satisfied being single.