Why We Need To Stop Single Shaming

Why We Need To Stop Single Shaming

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We’ve all encountered that moment. It happens during family functions, at parties or bars, and basically in any social environment. Things are going smoothly until we’re asked that dreaded question that forces us into defense mode: “So why are you single?”

Some people will bluntly ask. Others might be more subtle, offering only an awkward smile and change of subject. Regardless of how it’s handled, it is single shaming, my friends. You might be wondering what on earth single-shaming is. Ask any single person who has been forced into defending their status and they can probably tell you.

Single shaming is unintentional most of the time. It's that look of concern or pity you get when you reveal the fact that you are navigating this life without a romantic partner. It's the nagging questions about why you're single, when you last had a relationship, and if you ever get lonely. I even classify forced matchmaking to be a form of single shaming. In this day and age, I don't need you to push me into a cringe-worthy date, friend. There's an app for that and it rhymes with hinder.

In a society where social media is now used as a standard diary, people take pride in broadcasting their happy, lovey-dovey relationships. From the ever popular #MCM (man-crush Monday) posts to starry-eyed date night pictures, people use every opportunity to showcase their romantic endeavors with “bae” (hate myself for using that word). And why shouldn’t they? To be honest, I have a deep appreciation for couples that display a healthy, loving relationship that I would like to have one day. These posts are not bad, but they do often remind us of how much value people place on that relationship label when in reality, how much depth do a lot of those relationships actually have?

I am 21 years old. I will finish college in four years and plan to pursue a career that makes me happy and sufficiently supports my financial needs. I like to party but I also enjoy nights in with Netflix and my warm bed. In my eyes, I am a normal, driven, outgoing college student and compared to lots of the hooligans I’ve met, I like to think I have my life together on most days. So why when someone finds out that I’m single am I immediately looked at with sympathy and confusion? Who decided that with the single status label comes additional tags? Why does the fact that I’m single have to mean that I’m too much for a guy to handle or too socially inept to hold a conversation? Whether people realize it or not, they immediately make assumptions about a person when they find out they have no significant other.

Single shaming will probably be something that stays around for awhile. People have unintentionally thrown romantic relationships into the list of components that are supposed to make up a normal, well-rounded person. However, this fact shouldn’t phase those of you single individuals out there. Wear that label and wear it with dignity. No, I’m not suggesting that you hook up with a slew of people at the bar because you aren’t tied down, but take pride in the fact that you won’t settle for mediocre love just to feel like you’re not alone. If you’re in a relationship, good for you! Just make sure it’s not compromising your goals and desires as an individual. Let’s all be on the same team here. Single or taken, we all want to find happiness in this twisted crazy life.

Cover Image Credit: justsingles.com

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I'm The Girl Without A 'Friend Group'

And here's why I'm OK with it

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Little things remind me all the time.

For example, I'll be sitting in the lounge with the people on my floor, just talking about how everyone's days went. Someone will turn to someone else and ask something along the lines of, "When are we going to so-and-so's place tonight?" Sometimes it'll even be, "Are you ready to go to so-and-so's place now? Okay, we'll see you later, Taylor!"

It's little things like that, little things that remind me I don't have a "friend group." And it's been like that forever. I don't have the same people to keep me company 24 hours of the day, the same people to do absolutely everything with, and the same people to cling to like glue. I don't have a whole cast of characters to entertain me and care for me and support me. Sometimes, especially when it feels obvious to me, not having a "friend group" makes me feel like a waste of space. If I don't have more friends than I can count, what's the point in trying to make friends at all?

I can tell you that there is a point. As a matter of fact, just because I don't have a close-knit clique doesn't mean I don't have any friends. The friends I have come from all different walks of life, some are from my town back home and some are from across the country. I've known some of my friends for years, and others I've only known for a few months. It doesn't really matter where they come from, though. What matters is that the friends I have all entertain me, care for me, and support me. Just because I'm not in that "friend group" with all of them together doesn't mean that we can't be friends to each other.

Still, I hate avoiding sticking myself in a box, and I'm not afraid to seek out friendships. I've noticed that a lot of the people I see who consider themselves to be in a "friend group" don't really venture outside the pack very often. I've never had a pack to venture outside of, so I don't mind reaching out to new people whenever.

I'm not going to lie, when I hear people talking about all the fun they're going to have with their "friend group" over the weekend, part of me wishes I could be included in something like that. I do sometimes want to have the personality type that allows me to mesh perfectly into a clique. I couldn't tell you what it is about me, but there is some part of me that just happens to function better one-on-one with people.

I hated it all my life up until very recently, and that's because I've finally learned that not having a "friend group" is never going to be the same as not having friends.

SEE ALSO: To The Girls Who Float Between Friend Groups

Cover Image Credit: wordpress.com

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Leave Your Ex Alone

They don't want to bother with you, so stop bothering them.

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It's okay to be friends with your ex-boyfriend/girlfriend, but you can never be friends immediately after the break-up or else the friendship will fail. To be someone's friend you must be able to support them and love them. Relationships almost never end on good terms, so how can you be truly supportive to the person that broke you? You can't.

You both need time to heal and love yourselves again without the emotional support that you both have been leaning on for so long."You can't fix yourself while holding on to the person that broke you." -r.h.sin. Remember that.

Also, please for the sake of all your friends, followers, and your self-dignity, keep your relationship off social media. I'm not saying don't post want you to want to post, but when your profile has turned into a hate blog for your ex, I think it's time quit. Not only does constantly posting negative things about your ex make you look bad, but it also makes the healing process go even slower and possibly ruin the chances of friendship again.

And if you truly believe that sending a text that is close to the length of 400 words to your ex explaining once again that you are completely over them will make them change their minds then go off, but know it most likely won't work. Then didn't care the first time, they won't care the seventh time.

So basically, be respectful and be kind to your ex. No matter how messed upshot they did was and no matter how badly that hurt you, realize that treating them terrible back solves nothing and only reflects badly on you. You can't change how people treat you, but you can choose how to react.

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