Social pressure and blame

Redefining the Narrative: How to Combat Societal Pressure as a Single

If you’ve been single for a while then you know that the challenge is real. Relatives and friends that are in a relationship will give you a mixture of compassionate and sad looks on their faces before asking if you are dating anyone. 

It is not always a direct questioning that makes perfectly content singles go into “I need to find someone so I don’t die alone” mode. There may be a conversation at a house party about a family trip with kids that you don’t have much to contribute to, feeling like an outsider. Or happily coupled friends sharing their honeymoon pics on social media making you reevaluate your life.

Unfortunately, it is a common perception in society and that includes singles themselves that the solo status is a problem that needs to be solved. It is also no surprise that dating is one of the most popular topics among health and money in non-fiction literature. The dating apps market is estimated to grow from $7.6 billion USD to $9.6 Billion in 2030

In this post, I would like to offer you a different point of view and share a couple of suggestions on how to deal with these situations.

Embrace and Celebrate Your Solo Journey

Singlehood is not better or worse than being in a relationship. Essentially, it’s just a different lifestyle with its own pros and cons. For example, married people invest heavily in their family connections whereas singles may be focusing on pursuing careers and getting involved with social life.

When it comes to actual happiness the research shows that while there is an increase in happiness it is and is likely to be related to initial excitement. The happiness levels return to their baseline once life falls into a routine. People are likely to enjoy being in a relationship if they were content with their lives prior. 

On top of that finding a partner does not guarantee that the relationship will survive. Between 40% to 50% of marriages in the US end up in divorce.

It seems that it is more important is work on your happiness as an individual irrespective of your relationship status. Living a healthy lifestyle, being part of a community, and overcoming challenges will yield you predictable results compared to chasing an elusive second half that will make your life complete.

Reassure Your Friends That You Are Fine

Your close ones often pester you with questions and dating advice because at the heart of it is genuine care. Our relatives and friends think that marriage is the key to happiness and it is only logical that they want that for you.

With an understanding of that mindset, it is easier to deal with offers to set you up with a hot date in a more compassionate way.  In my personal experience, matchmaking by relatives or friends is always a risky business anyway.

This is because your mum’s ideal match is probably different from yours as our preferences and values vary. As an added side effect, a negative date outcome is likely to cast a shadow on your relationship with the matchmaker.

Reassuring that you are find should put their mind at ease but it may take a couple of times. In practice this may look like this:

“Hey so when are you going to find a girlfriend/boyfriend aren’t you tired of being alone?”

To which you respond  – “I’m happy with how things are right now how about you, what’s happening in your life?

After exhausting this line of dialogue a couple of times and observing that you are not planning to pack your bags for an expedition to Antarctica out of desperation they will accept it as a norm.

Find Your Single Crowd

There is one group of people who is unlikely to question your single status. It’s the other singles. There are 31% of people flying solo in the US with half of them not planning to get in a relationship any time soon. 

You will have no issues connecting with other singles as they are more involved in building and maintaining their relationships with friends and their families compared to couples. A lot of singles have time to pursue passions and invest in personal development. Spending time with like-minded people that have a lot to share about their lives is an antidote to boredom.

It will require an effort on meeting those people but technology made it easier than to meet new people ever as you can find out in this guide

Building Your Resilience

Redirecting and avoiding conversations will not make pressure magically disappear. Ultimately you need to be content with your relationship status so pestering and pressure bounce off you like a proverbial water off the duck’s back. 

Our happiness should be unconditional but it takes time to foster that state of mind. Handling social pressure while grounded at your core becomes an easy task. In this way, you do not need to convince yourself before reassuring others.

So how do you build inner resilience? Admittedly this is a huge topic that often leads people to write books and build businesses around it but we can distil it into a few major points:

  • Investing time in well-being which includes psychological and physical health, nutrition and quality sleep
  • Building and maintaining social support circles of friends and family
  • Following your passion and being involved in the pursuit of worthy ideals
  • Engaging in challenges that require personal growth and dealing with setbacks.

In my humble opinion being single isn’t a problem that needs fixing, it’s an opportunity to find a way to unconditional happiness. And if you happen to be in a relationship down the track it will increase your chances to have a happy one. Hopefully, with these suggestions, you moved a few steps closer to that.

I have written articles dedicated to these topics on my blog feel free to check them out. Also if you enjoy reading this please subscribe to my weekly emails.

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