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.