At first sight, the title of this article looks like a stupid question. However, it's a real question millions of people ask themselves each day.
If we think about it, the way Google works is frightening. It keeps a record of all those desires, questions, and petitions that millions of users per second write in a tiny text box. As if it were a sort of confessor, this web browser is the silent receiver of thousands of secrets, feelings, and questions. Moreover, it's become an online adviser about love, relationships, sex, loneliness, and many other topics of the human psyche.
We only need to look at Google’s browsing suggestions to understand people’s main concerns. Finding questions such as “Is being single a disability?” is very telling of modern society’s worries. The fact that many people have questioned whether being single is a problem highlights the existence of a dominant discourse supporting that idea. However, such narrative is subtle and disguises itself as normality or status quo.
The idea that we need a partner to be complete is so rooted in our minds that we have come to believe it's a fact of life. For instance, Christianity only allows sex if it’s between two married people. Also, the legal acknowledgement of a relationship is a synonym for legal benefits.
Literature, films, and art are not free from this social phenomenon. Love –especially if it’s tragic– is idealized, especially if it’s portrayed as being so passionate that it blinds the couple, to the point where it becomes the only thing that gives meaning to their lives.Romeo Montague and Juliet Capulet are the most famous couple of all times; the star-crossed lovers are doomed to be apart no matter how hard they try to be together. Both assume that life without the other is nonsense, so they decide to end their lives.
This couple has become a model to follow for many who don’t see the limits separating fiction from reality. The regular pursuit of one’s happiness and life purpose is not enough. Personal fulfillment depends on the presence of someone else. This reinforces the idea that single people have a problem and won’t be truly happy unless they find “the one.” Nonetheless, this stigma is even stronger towards women who enjoy their singlehood, since society assumes they’re single because there's something wrong with them, not because it's their own choice.
Behind this misconception lies the unreal concept of “ideal love.” Instead of seeing this emotion as the main life goal, we must see for what it is: a human feeling. Also, we should understand relationships as one of the many faces of love, since we can experience this feeling in more than one way. Finally, it's up to us to accept that happiness, no matter our relationship status, depends entirely on us, not on the presence or absence of other person.
Your life can change when you start valuing your independence and understanding that you don't need anyone else to be happy. To help you value your singleness, here are some Illustrations That Show The Delights of Singledom. If you're in a relationship that doesn't seem to go anywhere but you don't dare to end it, take a look at these Buddhist Advices That Will Help You Close Cycles.
Translated by María Isabel Carrasco Cara Chards