The City & the Northern Girl #13

All the single ladies…

Image: zoetnet.
Image: zoetnet.

Is it just me or does it feel as though everyone is settling down recently? Especially as you scroll down your Facebook timeline to see yet another newborn baby, yet another loved-up couple has getting engaged and yet another two of your high school friends have suddenly realised they were meant to be and shacked up together. And I’m just here like “Hi university, take another nine grand off me, whilst I live in an overpriced flat, eat pasta, gain a fifty grand degree that has no guarantee of a job at the end of it and remain single as my course continues to have an approximate ratio of 4:1 girls to boys”.

Reality check needed please.

I’ll be honest, having been single for approximately five months, I have been perfectly happy with the fact that my double bed remains half occupied and that shaving my legs hasn’t been required for the whole of winter (I’m not one to say no to an extra layer of warmth, saves on gas bills). But for the past couple of weeks, as more and more of my girl friends have started to bag dates and loosen the shackles of their original plans for a cat-lady future, it feels as though I am part of the minority.

One of my friends recently made the flying comment of “We just need to sort Becky out now”, meaning as the only one of my social group with practically zero on the boy-horizon at the moment, I needed to be ‘sorted’ or ‘fixed’. At first I thought nothing of it as it wasn’t the first time a comment of this kind has been made but maybe it’s the pre-Valentines depression that often hits us singletons, or the ‘I’m no longer a teenager realisation’ I’m currently facing but it’s continued to niggle at me all week.

The words “to sort out” imply that I’m somehow broken and in need of being “fixed”, yes? And now I come to mention it, it seems that all the terminology we normally associate with being single is predominately negative: “let’s fix you up”, “we need to sort you out a man”, “cat-lady”, “spinster”, “single Pringle”… the list goes on (although the last one is actually one of my favourites, how contradictory – a Pringle comes in a tube of thirty at least). Since when did being single become such a taboo, a thing to make you feel bad about yourself, as though there is something wrong with you?

I am nearly 20 for goodness sake, about to embark on the life-altering, scary-as-hell journey that are my twenty-something years. No disrespect to any of the settled down couples with a few kids in tow that I mentioned earlier, but settled?! At twenty?! I personally barely feel ‘adult’ enough to go and buy a lottery ticket, let alone raise a child.

Being carefree, single and twenty-something all go hand in hand. Long nights partying, kissing and drinking with no worry about your 9am lecture the next day. Being able to eat as much junk food as you like without worrying about that food baby when you get naked. Dirty kebabs that reveal you have a stomach of an ox the next morning. Refusing to shave any part of your body until it is absolutely necessary because you look like King Kong. Being able to do exactly what you want to do without having to answer to anyone else (bar the odd deadline or two you can’t escape). And let’s not forget the clincher: star fishing the hell out of your double bed without anyone hogging the covers.

It shouldn’t matter whether you are single, taken, engaged or even married. Gone are the days of an expectancy to be married by the ripe young age of 21. Being single is proving to be pretty fabulous, and after years of on and off boyfriends this bit of ‘me time’ is well needed. Maybe there is some truth in the whole ‘you need to love yourself before you love someone else’ cliché. Plus I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t the first on the dance floor at the sound of Queen B’s “All the single ladies…”.

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