Takeaway ideas and quotes from the School of Life's video on the Importance of Being Single
This video from the School of Life is short and sweet and had some valuable insights about being single which I wanted to note down. As a happily single bachelor myself I could have done with hearing such ideas several years ago when I was still under the illusion that being single is a bad thing.
I guess that pressure from friends and family is the most commonly talked about complaint from single people feeling pressure from society, but advertisers, social events, hotels, and holiday destinations like to get involved too. Any opportunity to exclude, patronise, or over charge a single person and they’ll take it.
Singledom is framed as an involuntary, depressing and always hopefully temporary state
To be a genuinely content single person enjoying all the many freedoms that a life flying solo has to offer is a massive threat to the belief systems of many couples. They have swallowed the lies society has imposed upon them and accepted the belief that an unsatisfying relationship is better than being on their own. And yet here you are perfectly happy causing them to question their beliefs and face the fact that they might have made a mistake.
The notion that someone might want or need to be on their own, perhaps for a long while, terrifies a world shaped by legions of silently miserable couples who need confirmation that they have not chosen the wrong path
Although I’ve accepted this statement for the majority of my adult life, there have been times where I’ve questioned it and started a relationship with the wrong person. And sure enough, it is very lonely and I’m way better off alone.
being in an unsatisfactory relationship is clearly worse, that is, even more lonely, than being alone
So often when I tell people I’m single I’m given a sympathetic look as though I’ve just told them that my pet hamster died. Then they pull a thoughtful face as if scrolling through a phone book in their mind trying to find a suitable single friend for me as though my life depended on it. Sometimes they they say “I’ve got a friend you should meet” and the look on their face when I immediately say “thanks but no thanks” is really something quite special.
Our solitude is willed rather than imposed
I’m no stranger to feeling lonely while being single but I know for sure that the times when I’ve felt the most lonely is when I’m with the wrong person or people. Being alone is way better than being with the wrong company.
the wrong kind of company is a great deal lonelier for us than being by ourselves
This must be the first assumption made about single people: they’ve been rejected. Obviously there’s something horribly wrong with them which prevents them from being in a relationship like all the regular people in the world do. Obviously they’re simple not good enough for anybody. But in reality there’s plenty of great reasons to choose to be single.
Being alone is not proof that we have been rejected by the world; it’s a sign that we’ve taken a good look at the available options and have — with wisdom — done some rejecting ourselves
If you are single but are open to meeting someone then you might be waiting for the right person to come along, and this might take some time. Maybe years? Happily single people are able to wait for as long as it takes for the right partner to show up.
we need to appreciate how long it will take to find someone, given how choosy we are
Once you’ve fully accepted the joys of a single life and fully rejected the bullshit society attempts you to impose on you, you are unlikely to settle for just anybody as a partner. Instead you require someone who you have a deep connection with. Such people are rare, but presumable worth the wait.
we will only look for someone who can deeply contribute to our life, not someone who can do the laundry with us or keep us company on Sunday evenings