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Singlehood is all about perspective: do you focus on the pros or cons?

Penelope James   |   Fri, 12 May 2023

We talk often about celebrating singlehood here at The Vibe, which means we also spend a lot of time examining it from every angle ... the highs to the lows, the pros to the cons, and everything in between. Like any life experience, singlehood is a mixed bag; you can’t feel fulfilled and empowered by it if you don’t also acknowledge its challenges.

Remaining rooted in the positive without denying the negative is a habit that can take practice, especially given the “sad single person” tropes that dominate the cultural narrative. That’s why this week’s post is actually a homework assignment in disguise. Here we highlight three pros and three cons to being single. We encourage you to read the list and do a little self-assessment: do you find yourself more moved by one category than the other? While all six points are valid and worthy of emotional exploration, empowered singles will proactively focus on the positive. Give it some practice here, and then apply it to your own celebration-worthy single life.

PRO: “Dating around” is fun and it can expand your horizons

Is there a more obvious pro to singlehood than the fact that you can date freely? Even the most happily committed couples admit that they sometimes miss the freedom to flirt, connect, and find intimacy with new people. No shame there – it’s exciting to light that initial spark with someone, and it’s wonderful to expand our horizons through human connection. Plus, when you’re with a partner long enough, romance can become routine. Is it any wonder established couples tell us to enjoy the hell out of those meet-cute butterflies (and more) while we can?

And listen, we know that not every season of singlehood is rife with dates, but given there’s never been more ways for singles to connect, don’t give up if you find yourself experiencing a drought. All dating apps and experiences aren’t created equal. While we’re super proud that Couple events offer singles various fun ways to connect, shop around until you find the platform or method that works for you.

Single man enjoying life in his own apartment. He reclines on a couch, his bike in the background, as he listens to music.

PRO: Single adults control their time, space, and spending habits

For many adults, there’s a small window of time during which our personal whims take center stage … traditionally the period between leaving our parents’ care and committing to a serious partner. Regardless of when it occurs (and barring other life responsibilities), single adults experience maximum independence. When you don’t have to consider the logistical or emotional needs of a significant other, your hours and choices are your own. Want to burn the midnight oil to chase down a big promotion? Go for it! Want to devote every second of free time to your DND hobby? Who’s going to stop you? Want to blow your savings on a vacation with friends? Only you can decide! Embrace this period of self-centered sweetness, single pals. Not only is it fun, but it also teaches us how to trust ourselves and make decisions solo.

Similarly, having personal space at home is a priceless privilege. Can’t beat a comfy bubble where nobody steals the covers or leaves their dirty socks on the floor. Calling the shots in your own quarters is just ... chef’s kiss.

PRO: Single people spend more time with their friends

Though we’re featuring it third, this last pro might be the best part of being single. How great is it to hang with your pals all the dang time? It’s no secret that once you’re paired up, friends have to share your time and attention with your significant other. Sure, you’ll still be close and see each other as often as possible, but there’s something sacred about the period of life where your friends are your main love. Do your best to soak it up and savor it. Hit the town, be each other’s wingmen, plan a road trip ... all while remaining grateful for the gang of people who get you. Romance is really special, but don’t let it overshadow your other soul connections while you’re single.

CON: Singlehood can be lonely

When it comes to cons, the worst and most distressing part of singlehood is loneliness. The sad truth is that riding solo sometimes sucks. Human nature craves connection, and for most of us, emotional and physical intimacy are key components to feeling fulfilled. There will be days when the idea of flirting with strangers feels empty, and evenings when you’ll long to lie next to someone who loves you.

Hang tough. Loneliness is real and it can be devastating, so it’s not something to minimize or ignore. But whenever you feel stuck in its clutches, revisit all the wonderful aspects of the life you lead, surround yourself with friends, chase pursuits that fill your cup, and remember that your relationship status does not determine your worth. Love finds us in all kinds of ways, and it doesn’t always come in the form of a plus-one. Be sure not to miss it.

Stressed- and lonely-looking single woman, sitting on her bed alone.

CON: Single people are judged unfairly

If we had a nickel for every time a single person was judged for their relationship status, we'd be retired on a private island by now. Single people face an almost daily onslaught of questions from friends and family about why they're "alone," if they're seeing someone, when they're going to settle down, etc. It’s exhausting and insulting and stupid ... and it totally ruins holidays and family gatherings. Judgmental people in relationships, hear us out: we’re well-aware that we’re single. Did it ever occur to you that maybe we like it that way? Or that perhaps we’re ambivalent? Or maybe we’re struggling with our single status and your reminder just sinks us further into despair?

Wherever we’re at, your constant nudging and judging isn’t going to magically find us a mate. Save your breath and focus on yourself. Surely you have your own worries to work through, and we’re too busy trying to live our best damn lives to care what you think.

CON: Single adults face more financial hurdles

And finally, being single means you could face more financial hurdles. Unless you’re a high-earner, it’s much more difficult to make major purchases, invest in real estate, weather economic downturns, take big vacations, or just generally live on a single income. And that’s a bummer, especially for people who never pair up.

As writers who discuss dating for a living, solidarity and empathy is about all we’re equipped to give when it comes to money matters. Our expertise on singlehood has its limits, and "how to achieve financial security" certainly falls outside of them. What we can say is that if you’re single with dreams of buying a home or saving a nest egg or purchasing anything that's easier to afford as a duo, it might be helpful to speak with a financial advisor to get a sense of which goals are within reach and what types of strategies could get you there.

Good luck out there, singles. We hope you're able to celebrate the ride, challenges and all.


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