Navigating the Complexities of Being Chronically Single

Ella White

Updated Thursday, June 13, 2024 at 5:54 AM CDT

Navigating the Complexities of Being Chronically Single

The Emotional Toll of Loneliness

People who haven’t had luck in dating are often advised to be happy single first, but this advice may not be suitable for those who are chronically unable to get a relationship. Being physically and emotionally alone can have a significant toll on even well-adjusted individuals. The human need for connection is deeply ingrained, and not having needs for sex, intimacy, and romance met can be severely debilitating, even with good friends around.

Being alone on Valentine’s Day and seeing others on romantic dates can be especially painful and evoke feelings of envy. The societal pressure to couple up can exacerbate feelings of inadequacy and loneliness. The "singles tax" is a real phenomenon, making it easier to survive economically with a working partner, adding another layer of stress for those who are single.

The Myth of Having It All Together

Many people who don’t have their lives fully together still manage to find relationships, though they may not always be stable. This counters the common advice to be happy single first because desperation can repel potential partners. The reality is that finding a relationship isn’t something that can be fully controlled; it often happens outside of one's immediate control.

Befriending members of the sex you want to attract, to whom you are explicitly unattracted, may help in understanding how the opposite sex thinks. This can provide valuable insights and potentially improve dating success. However, being single shouldn’t be viewed as a waiting room before real life as a coupled person starts. Desiring partnership is normal, but it shouldn’t be the sole source of meaning, happiness, and plans.

Finding Joy in the Present

It’s important to find joy in the present rather than waiting for a relationship to start enjoying life. Relationships can end, so it’s wise to enjoy whatever life you have now and embrace it. Some people treat finding a relationship as a way to save themselves from loneliness, boredom, and sadness, which is unrealistic. Chronically single individuals can benefit from focusing on bettering themselves and their lives rather than solely seeking a relationship.

Being single forever is preferable to settling for just anyone to avoid loneliness. Online dating can be filled with scammers, making it difficult for some to find a genuine relationship. Disabilities can make it challenging to meet potential partners, leading to prolonged periods of being single. The dating market has become toxic due to social media and dating apps, creating a more divided and isolated society.

Balancing Happiness and Desire

It’s possible to be happy alone while still being unhappy about not finding a relationship; these feelings are not mutually exclusive. Embracing this duality can help chronically single individuals navigate their emotions more effectively. Finding a balance between seeking a partner and enjoying single life can lead to a more fulfilling existence.

Ultimately, while the journey to finding a relationship can be fraught with challenges, it’s crucial to remember that life’s value doesn’t solely hinge on being coupled. Embracing singlehood while remaining open to love can pave the way for a healthier, more balanced life.

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