I read the tales of Bridget Jones in my early twenties and was agog with horror at the character’s poor single state. When I went to the cinema to watch the film, it opened with Bridget crying into a bottle of wine before bursting into singing All by myself and all around me in the cinema, people were laughing uproariously at Bridget’s unfortunate fate. I could only feel sad for her and a gnawing anxiety that this fate would befall me. The thought of being alone in my thirties absolutely terrified me. I hoped fervently that I would be married with children by the time I ended my twenties and I genuinely believed that being single in adulthood was one of the worst things that could happen to a woman.
Fast forward to today; I am 34 years old and single. Am I bemoaning my single status? Do I spend my evenings crying into a bottle of wine, wondering if ‘he’ is out there? Absolutely not! In fact, I am proud of my single status and enjoy all the benefits it brings. I’m not ruling out having a relationship at some point in the future, but for the first time in my life, I am fulfilled and happy with or without a man.
I take childish enjoyment in still being a ‘Miss’. I like my name, and cannot imagine changing it for anyone. Being a ‘Miss’ makes me feel younger and more vibrant, and I enjoy its clear indication of my independence. I love the fact that I am in charge and didn’t have to consult anyone when I was looking for a new home, I could choose exactly what I wanted and I could decorate exactly as I liked, without recourse to what my man thinks. My money is my own, so I can spend it without having to feel guilt, or hiding certain purchases from my partner. Everyone I know who is in a relationship feels they have to consult with their partner on big purchases, whether or not they have earned the money themselves.
I’m not lonely because of my single status, rather, I actually enjoy my own company. I am very sociable and enjoy being part of a group, but I can also spend many happy hours by myself without once resorting to singing tragic karaoke. Unlike Bridget, I get great fulfilment from my career as a writer and perhaps that is where she and her ilk went wrong; if they had jobs they enjoyed, they might not have been so focused on solving the ‘problem’ of being single.
There is an element of excitement to being single. If you are married and planning to stay that way, you won’t be intending to have a relationship with anyone else for the rest of your life. Being single means that the spine tingling moment in which you meet someone great for the first time is always just around the corner. It means that you can look forward to teenage-like excitement on your first date and that you have a future that isn’t mapped out with the same companion; your future isn’t even written yet! If you’re single, people in relationships probably envy your freedom. So if they ever do give you any pitying looks, just smile sweetly and remember you can choose any life or path you want and that being single is actually pretty great!