Singlehood is something that all of us have had to deal with. It seems an inherent human desire to be in a close company or connection with someone else. That is why we will complain when left to do all the work alone. I think this is why people in positions of trust will want to be deputised. Life is made more mystic and adventurous when there is someone close to you to share the beauty of life with. Did you know that The arrival of a companion triggered the world’s first poetry? Adam, when he saw Eve for the first time, recited:
“This one is bone from my bone,
and flesh from my flesh!
She will be called ‘woman,’
because she was taken from ‘man.’”
Thus he celebrated his graduation from singlehood. And it seems we have followed suit. Anytime someone gets into a relationship, there is a celebration. This has been significantly exacerbated by the digital migration and accessible platforms offered by social media. A few of us write poems and recite them as the big man did in Eden. We, however, follow suit in such statements as “ I’m taken,” “I have a boyfriend,” “I have a girlfriend,” etc. You will see posts with people holding hands, saying a lot of words that can be summarised in the statement, “I will never walk alone.”
Singlehood, on the other hand, is not good news. Most people consider it relegation if, for some reason, they are taken back to the league of singlehood. This could be the reason why you refused to eat the last time you were told it was over. No one celebrates a step back to singlehood, even if they have been saved from the yoke of a toxic relationship. People get mad and refuse to shower when someone walks out of their lives. We have seen and heard those who take it as far as presiding over their own funeral by committing suicide.
Ladies can be flamboyant when confronted by singlehood. They become motivational speakers. They pretend to be happier after they have been served their break-up notes. They will make statements such as, “I like the person I am becoming,” “No one is in charge of my happiness,” etc. This is nothing but, to put it simply straight, an outright denial. In most cases, it is a shortcut to confuse the loneliness that comes with being single again.
If you have been on both sides of the divide—singlehood and otherwise—you may be in a position to understand this better. Suppose you are in a stable relationship now; congratulations. It takes a lot of hard work to sustain a relationship. If you’re single, bravo, it takes a lot of discipline to be single in a world of 7.8 billion people. If you have had the privilege of being in a relationship, you can agree that love shapes us. Human beings are creations of habit. After a close relationship with someone for a while, we develop some behaviors influenced by the bond. For instance, there is no way you can just sleep without a ‘goodnight’ message from your favorite sinner, for we have all fallen short of the glory of God, even that harmless sweetheart of yours. This was a joke, though. I meant to say your favorite person, and I don’t know where this word, sinner, came from. Forgive my bad manners. We all have a bias towards our darlings. We see them as saints and woe unto those who have evidence that declares them otherwise.
Probably, the thing that makes breakups hurt so much is the silence that confronts us in the times we were used to having our fingers flying on the keyboard as we chatted. It hurts even more when we realise that our keyboards have also committed them to memory. When we type the word “I love you,” autocorrect displays their names, yet they are a relic of the past. The memories washed in the sands of time keep them glued to us in ways we can’t explain.
Again, we must understand the cardinal categories of the singles well. Apart from the singles who are so because they have lost a relationship, there are the singles who have never entered the dating scene. These are a bit safe in that they don’t have precious memories to battle. The singles of this sort are only confronted with curiosity. They really would want to get to experience what those who have said bye to singlehood are enjoying. But they are safer than those who have been forced to give up a relationship they were not ready to quit.
Whichever category of the singles you may be, our question is simple: is there something to be enjoyed in singlehood?
The greatest mistake that is made by the singles is unwarranted anxiety. Most singles are restless and disturbed. They are too lonely getting into everyone’s inboxes. They feel inferior and are tempted to harbour a thought that there is a problem with them. Some, in desperation, become poor in taste and preference to the extent that they are willing to go for anyone available. Instead of treating their singlehood as a time to get ready for the future relationship, they spend it writing another chapter of Lamentations.
It would be of great importance to realise that your singlehood is a raw material to all the singles, and it will not last forever. Use it well to become a man or a woman of substance. Don’t waste it kissing frogs or looking out for someone free. Instead, appreciate it as a privilege to make yourself worthy of a better catch. Work on yourself. Just remember that the whole world is your hunting ground. With this in mind, you cannot afford to make a reckless decision. Remember, the engaged have lost the privilege of choosing a partner again. You cannot compete them with safety.
As a single man or woman, be very busy until people think you have a gift of celibacy, but when you come out, make them all look away and appreciate that there is someone there. Find some animals to name. Don’t be consumed in the thirst of being in love; instead, let love find you a thriving single.
As a single person, you can set your circadian rhythm, dress the way you want, and set times for doing certain things. When you get into a relationship, you must compare notes before handling resources. Don’t even look for happiness in a relationship, for this will be a recipe for disaster. Learn to find joy in useful labour. Get engaged in character development.