Being Single: Perks, Stigma, and Freedom

You have probably heard or read about the stories of Lizzy Bennet and Elinor Dashwood from the author, Jane Austen. Both girls are described in their respective books as beautiful, clever, and to a degree, cynical about love and men. Yet, near the end of the books, they found someone worthy and equal enough to be their husband. Both books have become iconic romance novels that have pushed its author into prominence. Interestingly, there is the curious irony of Austen herself, despite being a renowned romance novelist, never marrying at all. In a letter written to her niece, she stated that “…anything is to be preferred or endured rather than marrying without affection”. A piece of true and steadfast advice against relationships founded on pressure and social norms. It may not seem much to some, but simple encouragement from circles of friends and family can leave one infatuated with the idea of hastily finding love, or marrying at the wrong time. Just because everyone else likes the idea does not mean you have to as well. Love and marriage are both decisions that can either be cherished or regretted. Alternately, you can just say no to it altogether.

Because of the views of the current generation, the stigma of staying single has diminished in favor of individualism and self-improvement. For some, they have chosen to focus on the advancement of their careers. For others, it is to defy a relationship-based lifestyle that they deem unfulfilling. Women of today have found importance in fulfilling their aspirations while they are still young and able. There is more to the choice of being single than just avoiding heartaches and regret. It is the concept of committing to one’s ideals, which is empowering in itself.

But this preference might get tested when faced with parental pressure. In some cultures, women are encouraged to find a husband before they pass their 30s at the behest of their nagging parents. The trend of individualism counters the wishes of the conservative generation. The life goals they strived for is different from their children, and the shame of being old and single clashes with the shame of giving up aspirations for the sake of starting a family.

Of course just because you can go through life solo does not mean you should stave off from the idea of ever having a partner. A relationship does not immediately mean commitment and kids. Some folks want those things, others are not as eager. Sometimes a special someone means having an intimate best friend you can depend on when the going gets tough, or a no-strings-attached affair that’s purely for fulfilling temporary desires and companionship.

In the end, the choice between finding love and staying single is an option that can either be steady or arbitrary. Staying uncommitted is an attractive prospect when it comes to concerns like financial security and achieving ambitions. It can mean pursuing every life goal you ever have without an immediate family holding you back, or it could just mean being skeptical when it comes to relationships in general. For whatever choice you set your mind to, just remember to stay true to yourself and never let anyone invalidate your way of life.

 

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