By ROSIE WATERLAND
This year marks a very special occasion in my life. My two-year anniversary.
I’m very happily settled in a committed and nurturing relationship with someone who likes the same TV shows as me and laughs at all my jokes.
It’s the kind of relationship I always dreamed was out there but was never sure I would actually find. I think it’s true love.
Soon, I will have officially been single for two years – and to be honest, I’m pretty damn chuffed with myself.
I’ve been in long-term relationships without a break since I was 16. I’m now almost 27 and am finally starting to understand the awesome side of being single.
I feel like it’s a secret that I was never privy to: when you finally get over the loneliness and hyperbolic despair that comes after a break-up, you realise that total autonomy in what you do every single day is AMAZING. And I look forward to the incredible relationship I have with myself blossoming more and more as time goes by.
Just like there are some crappy parts to being in a relationship (the doona is there to be shared. SHARED!), there are definitely some downsides to the perfect partnership I currently find myself in.
Society just doesn’t make it easy for a single gal. Or guy. For singles in general, really, things tend to be a little unfair. And the further I get into my amazing new relationship with this incredibly talented and beautiful young lady (Thanks Rosie! You’re welcome, Rosie! I love you. Aw thanks, I love you too), the more I realise that the world is totally skewed against single people.
1. It costs more. A lot more:
A recent article in The Atlantic Monthly calculated that a single woman (in the US), over the course of her lifetime, could end up paying an extra $1,002,096 than her coupled-up counterparts. ONE. MILLION. DOLLARS. Granted, that’s only if you stay single for life (which, although I’m loving myself sick right now, I don’t really plan to do), and it’s based on a US model. But while there are no similar Australian statistics currently floating around, the numbers could certainly be considered comparable, particularly when it comes to insurance and housing. Speaking of which…
2. Finding somewhere to live is a nightmare.
You’re an independent, intelligent and brilliant woman, who just wants to find a room of her own! Is it too much to ask to find an affordable place to live (to rent or buy) that’s just for one person? Apparently it is. The high pricing of studio or one-bedroom apartments makes it almost impossible for singles to find somewhere without a partner. And even without the high price, we’ve got another big problem: single rental bias. An article in online journal Science of Relationships highlighted one infuriating experiment:
In one set of experiments that sampled both college undergraduates and real life rental agents, participants were shown fictitious property rental applications and were asked to choose which applicant they would be most inclined to accept. Participants consistently indicated that they would prefer renting to married couples over single people and willingly divulged that marital status was the deciding factor in their decision.
It should be noted that the singles and married couples were presented as having the same total income – so money wasn’t a factor in the decision. Just SINGLES BIAS.
Sure, you could get a flatmate (most have to), but where’s the fun in being in a thoroughly enjoyable relationship with yourself when you can’t walk around naked whenever you feel like it? Not fair.
3. Nobody is required to listen about your crappy day.
Unless you pay for daily therapy (and that’s another thing: the Medicare levy threshold for couples is higher! HIGHER!), you can’t really expect anyone to listen to you complain about every crappy thing that happens to you every single day. You just can’t. As a single person, there are a few people you can call – friends, family, the aforementioned flatmate (although they may still be annoyed at you for insisting you can walk around naked), but there really isn’t any one person who is obligated to listen to all your (completely justified, obviously) concerns.
4. Social outings with any other couple are a nightmare (particularly weddings).
There’s nothing worse than sitting opposite a smug, loved-up, PDA-prone couple when the seat next to you is bare. I imagine it’s like being backstage at a fashion show in your undies and suddenly realising you’re the only one whose thighs touch in the middle – you know it’s ridiculous to feel bad because you’re normally happy with who you are, but it’s really hard to remember that when a different ideal is being forcibly shoved in your face.
It also doesn’t help that these outings are usually the time at which the ridiculously happy couples decide to interrogate the sad and lonely singles to find out why they insist on remaining sad and lonely singles. It’s impossible to convince these people that you are, in fact, pretty happy dating the one person you love more than anyone: yourself. (Also that one-night stands can be exceedingly enjoyable.)
I’ll only briefly mention weddings because it’s too depressing: In my experience, being single at a wedding results in only one of two seating arrangements: at the kids table, or, as Adam Sandler eloquently stated in 90’s cinematic gem The Wedding Singer, “with the mutants from table 9.” Enough said.
5. Food. The food situation is unfair. So unfair.
Whenever I go to a restaurant, the thing I really want to eat is always ‘for two to share’.
Ordering pizza is always better value for customers or families. C’mon! We put a man on the moon for goodness sake! I just want to be able to order a one-person-sized pizza and have it delivered to my home for less than $85. Get to work, science.
Recipes and grocery shopping are not designed for singles. I know, I know – you can just ‘take a recipe and divide it by four,’ but that never really goes according to plan, ingredients don’t come in single size and your freezer can only hold so many leftovers before it starts to get a bit packed (and sad). I just want recipes that have been designed with one person in mind, and single-person groceries that don’t come in a Lean Cuisine box.
Also deserving of a mention here: Wine. A whole bottle of wine is technically not designed for one. Technically.
So they’re the main five. I could go on (and on and on and on), but because I’m a sad and lonely singleton and I have nobody to talk to, as per Point #3, I want to be careful about whining to anyone that isn’t obligated to listen to me.
… I wonder what my mum’s doing?
Do you think the world is skewed against single people?