If you’re single and ready to mingle, but after many months of searching are finding yourself scratching your head as to why you haven’t found ‘the one’, then take note from our millennials.
Don’t worry about it.
Turns out our young adulthoods are questioning the paradigm that most of us older folk have grown up with; that being single is something we have to fix, and if we are not locked in arms with a partner, then we should at least be on the hunt for one.
Not taking the social constructed pathway of finishing your schooling and then pairing off immediately is seen as an attractive option by our millennials.
In fact, spending some time as a ‘single’ is seen as quite beneficial.
Tinder recently released the results of a survey of 1,036 young single adults and their experience of being single. Participants were asked whether they thought living single was good for them, whether they ever made a conscious choice to live single for a period of time, why they were currently single, and how being single made them feel, among many other questions.
The survey was quite affirming of a “single, not sorry” attitude.
The majority of the young adults believed that being single benefitted them in a positive way, specifically in other ‘non-romantic’ parts of their life, like their career and friendships. A large number (72%) also reported making a conscious decision to be single for a period of time so that they can focus on other things in their life, including prioritising themselves and their own needs.
When asked about how being single made them feel, more of the young adults mentioned ‘independent’ than anything else.
As a psychologist, I welcome this rhetoric, and this is something that us older cohorts can learn from. You don’t need to be in a couple to feel ‘complete’, you can actually ‘complete’ yourself first all on your lonesome.
Who would have thought it?
The fact that young people are thinking about adding value to themselves, rather than trying to add value to their life through other people is psychologically healthy. Trying to become the best you can be yourself as well as nourish your own needs you have in life apart from finding love, allows you to find yourself first. Remaining single if you choose and doing this is going to lead you on pathway to fulfilment.
Other times you may get into a relationship, and because you know yourself well first, you are probably likely to have a better relationship. But even that may not necessarily remain that way forever. Statistically, to death do us part doesn’t always happen. So it makes sense that we know how to be okay alone first.
Our millienials are on to something.
Time and time again I see people desperately unhappy, thinking its’ because they are alone or haven’t found their romantic match yet. People put so much effort in finding someone that ticks all the boxes. Yearning for not only happiness but security, safety and comfort with others, that they neglect to try and create it for themselves first.
But what I often urge in those who are unhappily single, is to aim for happily single first. Start working on becoming the things that you’re looking for in other people.
It sounds clichéd, but a by-product of you being the best version of yourself is actually finding someone that matches that eventually. Funny that.
But even if the relationship doesn’t work, what you were always looking for in others doesn’t walk out the door with the other person. You still own it. It was their first.
So if you are single, take a leaf out of Jerry Maguire’s hat, and start saying “you complete me.”
But just make sure you are looking in the mirror when you say it.