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  • Dora Nudelman

Overcoming the Stigma of Being Single

I can't tell you how many times I've been told that I should find a nice guy to settle down with, how many times I've received pity stares when I said I was single, and how many times people have tried to set me up with no criteria other than he wears pants and might be available. Now, while I completely appreciate the sentiment, and I understand that all of this is well-meaning, I do find it interesting how our society breeds the notion that being single is some sort of handicap. Well, I am here to tell you that it most certainly is not; far from, in fact.

I am genuinely happy for everyone who wanted to be, and is in, a loving relationship. I am thrilled for everyone who is content in a partnership. And maybe one day when the pieces all fit together, I will want that for myself too. But I am not putting my life on hold until then.

It's funny to me that single by choice is not an option people typically consider. People just assume that you're single either because you haven't found your "better half" (that's a whole other topic to explore) or that there's something wrong with you, not that you may actually not be looking or have specific qualities in a mate that you are waiting to find. But regardless, whether you're single or coupled, want a relationship or not, it has to start with the relationship you have with yourself. No one can fix you and no one can complete you. You are already whole, even if you don't realize it yet. So rather than buying into social stigmas and taboos, start concentrating on your own self-worth and self-acceptance and you will manifest exactly what is right for you.

Granted, I have never really been one to focus on marriage and kids, but that's just my personality. Yet still, I cannot help but notice how many people are more fixated on being with anyone than on being happy with themselves. But being single does not diminish or undermine your worth in any way! Yet being desperate kind of does.‎ That's because no one makes self-empowered decisions from a place of desperation. But when you are happy with yourself, that's when you will make choices that are in the best interest of your soul. So, if you want to be in a relationship, great, then make that your priority. But if not, then let that be okay too. Just don't lose yourself along the deserve better.

The thing is, choosing to be in a relationship means actually choosing to be in one, not making it a default decision based on other people's standards and timelines. You do not need to get married in order to be valued. You do not need to procreate in order to bring meaning into the world. That doesn't mean these things are not valuable to life as we know it. It just means understanding your personal motives and not allowing yourself to be pressured into making rash decisions that ultimately do not serve your higher purpose and joy. You are entitled to wait until the time is right. You are allowed to have your own standards by which you determine compatibility with another person. So please do not allow yourself to question your instincts just because some people do not understand you or agree with your views. And please do not compromise your values in order to fit in with certain social expectations. Instead, have the courage to stand in your truth and make decisions based on what your heart desires versus what society mandates. That way you will never regret your choices, no matter how they turn out.

I remember when Carrie Bradshaw threw herself a shower for being single and I remember thinking, "Wow, she is my hero!" But it's not that she was taking a jab at coupled people. Rather, she was simply honoring the fact that being single takes just as much resolve, compromise, and commitment as it does being in a relationship (perhaps in different ways, but similar nonetheless) and deserves every bit of celebration as any other stage or milestone in life.

Consequently, I dream of a world where everyone is granted the freedom to be themselves, love who they want, and be able to be single (or coupled) without judgment. I dream of a world where the status quo is no longer projected or imposed onto the masses. I dream of a world where people's preferences and differences are respected versus criticized if they don't fit in. And I dream of a world where we can all feel free to express our truth without having to hide it, justify it, or apologize for it. Everyone should have the right to get coupled if they want to or stay single, if that suits their fancy. Who are any of us, really, to determine what is right for anyone else? After all, what makes one person happy may not have the same effect for another. So let's learn to keep our opinions to ourselves when they come out of judgment and, instead, listen to what people actually want versus what we want for them.

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