You're walking into a park and find yourself surrounded by couples on their dates. You hear the voices of laughter and feel the air filled with love. You smile and adore the love around you, but then you find yourself reflecting upon your own love life. In that moment, it all clicks. You are single, and all of a sudden, you feel like something is wrong. You are alone.
It is easy to fall into the attitude that when someone is single, they are "alone," which all of a sudden means they are lonely. We've heard people refer to themselves being single and lonely plenty of times. We can even find ourselves guilty of saying it about ourselves at one point. Being single, as some may have said before and as I believe strongly myself, is not a bad thing. Yet, why is it that a lot of people struggle with being single? Because we grew up in a generation that makes being single not always easy. We grew up in a generation that single means you're lonely.
There are many cultural and societal judgmental beliefs, essentially pressures, that we associate with being single that often takes over the mind of single people. For instance, there is always some type of unspoken vibe in the room with the talk of marriage. Whenever you have family reunions, the topic of relationships and marriage seems to come up somehow, especially when you break away from the teen years and into the adult life. Society has created this image that everyone should be married one day, indirectly leading to the question of, "When are you going to find a significant other?" We created this idea that if you're not in a relationship or you're not looking to be in one yet, there is something wrong. It creates a pressure to those who are single within, manifesting the feeling of being lonely.
Truth is, there is no guideline for somebody to feel lonely. You do not have to be single to be lonely. Somebody could be in a relationship and still feel lonely. This is the reason why we find people staying in unhealthy relationships to avoid the idea of being labeled lonely. We find ourselves going on meaningless dates with incompatible people just to have somebody to talk to and to break away from being viewed as alone and sad. Anybody can feel lonely, regardless of their relationship status, but it also does not mean that if you are alone, you are lonely. However, this generation has manifested that the three words, "single", "alone" and "lonely", travel together.
It is time that you break away from the judgmental beliefs that society has created. It is normal to feel lonely or scared when you are single. It happens, and it is inevitable, but do not live your life under this fake and unreasonable idea that if you are single, you are alone and lonely. Stop chasing after someone just so that you can fulfill society's expectations. Stop trying to look for someone who you can potentially have a relationship with. Stop telling yourself that you're not looking for something, while you try to pick up on overthought hints from someone you're chasing after. Slow yourself down. Catch a break with your body and mind. Tell yourself that what you are feeling is not because you are single, but because these are the ideas that we put into our heads from society's standards. You are fighting a battle within yourself that our culture has created for you.
Learn to not be afraid of being alone. Make out the difference between being alone and lonely. You can be alone and still happy. Self-reflect upon who you are. Only you know who you truly are. You are not someone who isn't worthy of being in a relationship. Right now just is not your time, and that is okay. Love yourself, and have faith in yourself that you can control your life being single. Treat yourself, and take yourself on dates. Have fun! Hang out with the people who actually matter, not fake friendships that are supposed to make you feel less "lonely." Get used to the idea of hanging out with yourself is OK. Enjoy the time you have to yourself because there are people out there who wish they can have your freedom again, even if they do not say it out loud. Remember that not everyone in a relationship is happy. People want to show what they want others to believe of their lives. Forget these unofficial expectations and standards created in this generation, and just be honest with yourself.
And most importantly, don't settle when you do not want to. Don't let the idea of being with someone define your expectation of happiness. Don't let society set that for you. Do you and be happy. You'll realize that you being "single, alone, and lonely" altogether is a temporary belief that this world has created, and you were brave and strong enough to not only challenge but prove it wrong.
"Don't make important decisions from a place of loneliness. When you finally come to yourself, bad decisions will enhance loneliness." - B. Loammi Diaz