Eleanor Roosevelt who once said, “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” But in a world that believes that the most important thing you can do is find a romantic relationship, it can be super hard to feel good about yourself when you're still totally and completely single. Often, single girls feel pretty inferior, and if you're one of them, there's honestly no shame in admitting how you truly feel. We all go through this sometimes and it's totally normal. There's nothing wrong with being by yourself, and it's really crucial to remember this. The coupled-up world is going to make you doubt yourself, but don't listen. Women should be comfortable being on their own and they should learn that a man doesn't define them. Even though it's tough and society doesn't make it easy for women, it is important to remember these very important things. Here are 15 ways that society is totally brutal to single people.
15 Romance Goals
Though the world is slowly waking up to the fact that there’s more than just one perfect way to live, the images reflected back at us from movies, television, advertising and even music still suggest that you're not really happy unless you’ve found love. And surprise surprise, you end up feeling pretty unhappy when you actually buy into all that. While sometimes all you need is love, it is definitely not the only thing you need and without it, you can be happy. You can be proud of your achievements and content with how you look, but sometimes all it takes is hearing one super romantic, beautiful song and that's it. Your good mood is totally gone, and suddenly you don’t give a flying fig how well you’re doing at work and how good your figure is looking these days because you’re busy wondering who’s going to hold you in the street and kiss you on the dancefloor.
14 Valentine’s Day
Valentine’s Day is definitely a traditional holiday built on unconditional love. This one day brings countless people all over the world warm and fuzzy feelings year after year, but what if you don’t have a Valentine? Nothing shatters a single girl’s self-esteem like spending the most romantic night of the year all alone. And who is to say that your Valentine has to be someone you are romantically involved with? Why can't single girls spend Valentine's day together, embracing themselves and loving themselves? Unfortunately, V-Day is becoming more and more about whose boyfriend got them the biggest and most expensive bunch of red roses, and couples really don't need a designated day to guilt them into giving each other gifts. But besides all that stuff, it just plain sucks when you're single. There’s plenty to celebrate about your life, but like the lyrics, seeing everybody else walking down the street with giant white teddy bears and new diamonds shining on their necks can make you forget that.
13 Social Media
Social media may have been designed with positive intentions, but these platforms definitely have their downsides, too. While singletons of the past could retreat to several places and not always be bombarded with reminders of how brilliant life in a relationship is, single girls today just don't have that kind of luxury. The fact that Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter have merged so seamlessly into our lives means that we can carefully upload posts, photos and messages to craft what looks like the perfect life. This skyrockets your ego for a minute, but unfortunately, brings up the comparison trap, and when you're single, you've got daily and even hourly reminders about life in a relationship. It’s not so much that being alone is depressing, but social media makes you doubt your entire life and choices. Social Media is filled with sad but hilarious memes reminding everyone how lonely and what life is like being single. There to remind you that you're just a joke.
12 Work Discrimination
Unfortunately, sometimes being single can really suck at the office. Studies have shown that there are a number of both subtle and blatantly obvious ways that singles are discriminated against in a work environment, including the benefits that large companies often offer for children and spouses with no equivalent for the single worker, as well as the preference to promote and allocate raises to employees who are married as they’re deemed to simply need the extra money more than their single counterparts. Have you ever filled out those sheets for work benefits? Nothing reminds you how single you than checking off the boxes indicating that you have no one special in your life. Just when you thought that the bad jokes and sympathetic looks when you don’t bring a date to the Christmas party were enough! Alarmingly, some evidence suggests that single people are often paid less, regardless of title, skill, duties and experience.
11 Online Dating Stigma
Just as being by yourself isn’t as bad as the world wants you to think, being in a relationship can equally offer you an abundance of wonderful experiences. But just when you head online to try to find some dates and hopefully an eventual relationship, you have to deal with all kind of super unfair and even totally wrong stereotypes. It’s an annoying reality that if your tied-down friends see the Tinder app on your phone, you’re likely in for a series of advisory comments or concerned looks. It’s a generalization of course, but there are definitely folks out there who believe that you're totally desperate if you pursue love online. You know, the people who are now being honest about their willingness to settle by casting their fishing line into the lonely pool of unwanted, undesirable, yucky fish. So if you're scared off by this stigma and haven't ventured online yet, who could blame you?
10 Those Dreaded Weddings
Most single people agree that the absolute worst thing in the world is attending events where quite literally everybody else over the age of fifteen and under the age of ninety-four is half of a couple. Weddings, in particular, seem to be the worst of the worst, because if you can’t scramble a plus one together, there’s a good chance you’re headed for the isolated corner table... stuck between chatty teenagers and the photographer. When it’s time to catch the bouquet, the wedding passion is turned up 100% as your girlfriends scream at you to hurry up and catch it amidst the little girls in kitten heels. Just when you think it can’t possibly get worse, "Single Ladies" comes on and they actually drag you to the center of their huddle on the dancefloor and tell you to flip your hand proudly as they watch you like some kind of animal in a zoo. It’s great.
9 When All Your Friends Are Coupled Up
When you're the only one in your friend group without a sig other, you can definitely feel like the odd person out, and it can be seriously challenging sometimes. It, of course, depends on your friends, but it's not uncommon for people you thought were your forever BFFs to abandon you for their boyfriends. You can’t blame them for prioritizing their men some of the time, but being forgotten about for the sake of a guy can really sting. This just adds salt to the wound when you’re already feeling self-conscious simply because, for whatever reason, your situation is different to the norm. Having all your girls on a different page to you also makes it difficult to confide in them about certain things, and tragically, nights out to browse through your city’s bachelors become more and more out of the question!
You complain about being abandoned and you complain about being invited, too! It’s great if your friends make the effort to ask you to come somewhere with them and their partner, and this is usually better than being completely forgotten about. But a lot of the time, you end up feeling awkward, like you accepted the pity invite they secretly didn’t want you to accept. It can feel like you’re imposing on their time together, like you’re a needy friend who can’t stand to be alone, like the only way you can enjoy the pleasures of life is by scrounging off of others. Granted, these could just be your paranoid perceptions and the situation could be totally fine, but isn’t how you feel what matters? Plus, witnessing their PDAs firsthand may trick you into thinking you want a relationship.
7 Friend Pressure
Being set up on limitless blind dates, having to choke down unsolicited dating advice, and constantly being told that your soulmate is out there and everything will be fine. Ah, the joys of being a single woman today! While most of this stuff comes from beautiful friends with golden intentions, the problem is that your friends actually make you feel worse. This is no doubt hard for many people to comprehend, but not everybody is looking to be set up, or advised, or even to find that one soul mate. These actions reinforce for you that the state you’re in now isn’t good enough, and you’ve got all the help you could want to work towards fixing that. This is all super handy if you actually are looking for a relationship, but if not, it makes you question yourself. It might even pressure you into, heaven forbid, settling with someone you feel no emotional connection with.
6 Family Pressure
Nothing like family pressure to get married to force shivers down the spines of single people all over the world. For most people, family is like friends... only more honest, more direct and more involved (as in, way more involved!). In other words, more brutal. Your parents can tell you they just don't get why a catch like you is still alone, your uncles and aunts try to set you up with the first person they think you’ll hit it off with (note: these people are never remotely suitable), and even your grandparents lose sleep over the fact that you’re twenty-five and not married. Yikes! Again, they're genuine and really do care about you, but it's super annoying, too. It's no wonder you can't even with all the questions about your love life and comments about what might be wrong with you.
5 The World Is Designed For Couples
Society is definitely meant for couples to live in and totally dominate. From restaurant items meant to be enjoyed by two people, to cheap hotel and vacation packages for couples to the steep prices of one-bedroom apartments to the over-the-top traditions of celebrating every milestone in a couple’s journey together as if it’s the most important thing in the world. As Carrie Bradshaw rightly put it, “If you are single, after graduation, there isn't one occasion where people celebrate you.” Surviving this world as a single person is tough, not only when you find yourself physically paying for the fact that it’s just you, but also as you persist through the reminders coming at you from every corner that you don’t fit in. In actual fact, there is nothing wrong with you, and you should celebrate that.
4 The Judgement
Just because the world is designed for couples doesn’t mean you single chicks should miss out on the good stuff. You don’t see nearly as many people eating alone at restaurants as you see couples feasting together, and you probably can’t remember the last time you saw someone by themselves at the movies, a concert or on vacation. Single people are often hesitant to tackle those things alone because there’s a feeling of hovering judgment when you embark as a solo on activities commonly enjoyed by couples. There is no shame in that! Embrace the time you have to yourself and enjoy all the things you love in life. While that’s not to say that everybody is judging you, it’s definitely hard to feel normal against all the couples doing the same things together. The sad result is singletons often choosing to miss out rather than be judged.
3 The Money It Costs
Sorry single girls, but studies have shown that life just costs you more than it does your married counterparts. Studies have concluded that unmarried women in the United States could end up paying as much as one million dollars more than married women during their lifetimes, taking into consideration taxes and the cost of healthcare. Even insurance can end up costing more as a single person, with both private companies and government institutions instilling policies that subtly discriminate against the unmarried. There’s also the simple fact that being alone means you have no second income to combine with yours and thus afford things you can’t by yourself. Not to mention the multitude of gifts you’ll find yourself forking out for friends’ engagements, weddings and baby showers while having to expect nothing in return unless you yourself were to follow that path. Kind of unfair, right?
2 The Single Stereotype
There's one main attitude in society: nobody wants to be single. You can see this everywhere from dating shows that portray marriage at first sight as preferable to going it alone to people always asking you why you don't have a boyfriend. People definitely tend to believe that you couldn't possibly be single by choice. What if you have a goal you want to go after first? Or you're not ready to devote your life to someone else? Nope, people just don't get that. People tend to think that you're not desirable or lovable, and that's just super unfair. The biggest problem? This makes you question yourself when you have no reason to feel bad, and it's honestly just ridiculous. Don't let what people think or say, and even how they look at you when the find out you're single get to you. Yur time will come, and so what if it doesn't you chose to live that way and that's all that matters!
1 Princess Prep
The assumptions about being single aren’t just annoying, they have such a strong effect on you because they are so entrenched in your psyche that you automatically believe they're totally true. After all, we did spend our earliest years seeing Cinderella, Snow White and Princess Jasmine suffering in some way until their princes saved them, and just a few years later we were pressured into bringing any date at all to prom. Is it any wonder that we take it to heart when people assume there’s something gravely wrong because we haven’t got a significant other? The single stereotype has been fed to us since we were young enough to dream of our own princes and it probably isn’t going anywhere for a while. All we can do is have the confidence to hold our ground, the intelligence to know our worth and support each other when the world gets a bit brutal.