I’ve just finished reading ‘How to Be Single‘ by Liz Tuccillo. Perhaps the most spoiler-free review I could give about the book is this:
The book basically sets itself around 5 women in their 30’s who have either recently gone through a rough break-up or divorce and who are trying to get back into the ‘dating’ scene, each with their own insecurities.
While I do find the book funny and it gets quite good towards the end. The book also has its faults. It made the idea of being single the WORST possible thing that could ever happen to a woman. Now the reason why I’ve picked the book to read in the first place is because as a single woman, I thought that I could get some answers on ‘how to be single’. But far from being empowered, the book made me sad, and even slightly depressed, on my single status.
Which got me thinking: Is society intolerable to being single?
Perhaps it is in our human biology to want to seek out a mate to ‘reproduce’ with. In a more romantic term, we want to find our soulmate and start a family, and hence what if it is in our biology to equate achievement with being in a relationship? Those who are single are always asked questions such as ‘why are you single’. We are also bombarded with television and social media protraying relationships like a nirvana of human interaction.
But one crucial thing that single people don’t realise is this: We think that being in a relationship will make us happy, but that’s not the case. Someone close to me once told me that those who are single always will want to be in a relationship, and those who are in a relationship will always want to be single. It is a sad case of wanting what you can’t have.
But the truth here is this. Society is not intolerable to being single, it is intolerable to being lonely
Ah yes, loneliness is what we really are afraid of. But the thing is this, one can also be in a relationship and be lonely. Loneliness is being at your most intimate with someone and also feeling like you are, indefinitely, alone. I’m sure we can all agree that for those who have felt it, there is nothing scarier.
So how do we fight loneliness?
To me, the cure for loneliness is two things: Gratitude and Bravery.
Gratitude is necessary because sometimes loneliness is all in our heads. We think that no one understands us because we don’t give them a chance to. We don’t see and appreciate the people or events around us which are actually helping us. Hence, with gratitude, we look around and see that whatever we are seeking is right in front of us all along.
Bravery is also important because when we are lonely, it take a brave person to acknowledge that. It also takes even more bravery to get out of your comfort zone in order to find more people, more hobbies, more challenges, in order to combat loneliness. I believe that proactive behaviour always has the ability to change your circumstances.
So in the end, do I regret reading ‘How to be Single’?
No. Because it has thought me one crucial lesson upon reading the stories of all the single women and their struggles.
In my loneliness and fear, I am not alone.