While I’m sure plenty o’ folks on here are married or in a relationship, for those of you (like myself) who are not, I wish you a happy National Unmarried and Single Americans Week. That’s right, we have our own holiday week. Take that, Talk Like A Pirate Day! (Which, by the way, is tomorrow and you can get free doughnuts should you participate in it. Now, if only Free Doughnut Week was a thing…) Anyway, I’m alone and so are a lot of other people and it’s somewhat important to celebrate that. Nationally.
National Unmarried and Single Americans Week is meant to celebrate the lives and rights of people who consider themselves unmarried, whether it’s by being single, divorced, widowed, having a partner or a variety of other reasons. There’s a lot of pressure to be in a relationship when you’re in your late teens and early twenties, but it only increases as your get older. Quite a few people I know from high school were married by the time college came and considerably more than that were married in college, and I often feel like I may be behind (keep in mind, I’m from a very suburban area; it seems that younger marriage is less common in cities, so if this sounds odd to you, that could potentially be why). But apparently I am not alone in, well, being alone:
A few statistics on us singles via Unmarried America’s official website:
- 99.6 million: How many unmarried people over 18 there are in the US
- 44.9: The percentage of women older than 18 who are unmarried in America
- 61: The percentage of unmarried people who were never married at all
So basically, none of us who are alone are alone whatsoever: there’s literally almost 100 million of us, guys.
I am admittedly a “relationship person” and have spent a grand total of 18 months in the past 8 years as a single person — 6 months of which has been in this past year — so this whole “single thing.” At first, it was difficult to rely on myself so much (I’m also admittedly very co-dependent when in a relationship). For so many years, I had attributed a lot of my self-worth based on who wanted to be with me at the time, how much we were willing to do for one another, how much time so-and-so wanted to spend with me, etcetera.
If you’re like me and are afraid of being alone, don’t be: it can be an incredibly positive change. It’s turned me into a much more independent person. Not only am I less anxious about going to movies or restaurants alone, I also have learned to sleep on my own and enjoy a particular quiet that comes at night when the only person in your presence is yourself. I’ve written more in the past half a year than I have in I-don’t-know-how-long. I went out with friends more often and had unforgettable nights that I might have missed out on had I stayed in with my significant other. I drove to Vegas with my best friends, arrived at 2 am, went out to some cabana and wound up on the top floor of the Cosmopolitan; I know some people have ridiculous nights like that regardless of relationship status, but I rarely did. Being single has brought out my adventurous side, the one that’s okay with some occasional discomfort and the uncertainty of the future.
If you’ve found a loving romantic relationship, good for you; that is wonderful and this is, by no means, meant to say that relationships suck and boyfriends suck and yadda yadda Match dot com yadda. But if you currently don’t have a partner, don’t feel obligated to follow every Cosmopolitan tip on how your lipstick color will somehow use magic rays to beam a committed relationship into your life (or any variation of that; I don’t read Cosmo).
So if you’re feeling alone because you’re not in a relationship, remember that you’re alongside 99.6 million other folks who also aren’t partnered up. Whether you’re single and looking or devoted to your unmarried status, be sure to remember that you (A) still get your own holiday week and (B) are making the best choice for you, so don’t give in to pressure from anybody to “hurry it up” (if at all).
In conclusion, I will be taking myself out for a lovely dinner this week to a good restaurant nearby with some insanely tasty desserts. I don’t want to meet anybody, I don’t want to give my number away; I just want to remember that I’ll always be my own best date.
Lovelies, how do you feel about singledom and/or relationships? If you’re single, will you be celebrating this odd holiday week?