We endured the cold harshness of Valentine's day but now the mocking warmth of Wedding Season is upon us. And although we require no sympathy, people rarely ask what it is like to be single with the same eagerness they ask about relationships and marriage.
It is because they are either single, so pretty much know what it's like or they're in a relationship but think that being single is just like being with someone but without actually being with someone. Well, that's what I assume they assume because people rarely ask.
And this is not written from the view-point of being single as a choice, transitional period or whilst dating. No siree, because that part is often great: fun, freeing; a chance to rediscover yourself, no ties, no attachments, just you and the excited anticipation of the next love affair waiting around the corner. No, this is for the long-term singles for whom being single is a way of life. For those that have been single for a length of time that lends a year an 's'. A length of time that stops people asking 'why are you single?' because they do not believe (not even for a second) that it is not something about you that is the reason you are single.
So what is being single like?
It is a time when you assume that having a boyfriend would improve life. An assumption that every non-single person you know is probably doing something better than you. A time when you are envious of all the things you assume you would be doing if you had a boyfriend: picnics, cinema trips, holidays, hand holding - even arguing seems like a romantic thing to do.
It is a time in which the wedding dress you imagined yourself wearing in your twenties has morphed into a trouser suit because you envisage that by the time you get married, if ever, that's what will be more age-appropriate.
When you waste the best years of your life with nobody able to appreciate you; nobody telling you how amazing you are, how beautiful you look or how fat you aren't. On the one hand it's good because you have to be your own self-booster but on the other there is nobody saying, "my girlfriend is so great, self-confident, independent and generally amazing and beautiful and not fat." Because by the time you have found them, you may be back to being the dependent, insecure person you were all those years ago.
It is always having to do everything for yourself: catching spiders, driving yourself to places, going to shops, getting something from the fridge and passing yourself the remote. Then calling a friend to come round and pass you the remote just so you don't have to do it for yourself and on the way to open the front door, realising that you've in fact walked past said remote and could have passed it to yourself without the hassle of now having to entertain a friend - a female friend at that - for minutes on end.
Not having someone to appreciate how witty you are on a general day-to-day basis. It is a crime against humour for nobody to have heard all those funny things you think. I mean, your head knows how funny you are but it would be nice to have a conversation out loud with someone who is actually physically there appreciating it.
Conversation. Free conversation, without risk of brain tumours, with two people, in the same room, at the same time - that would also be quite nice; as would a male perspective on things from time to time.
Having to look at Facebook for 'something to do' and wanting to be one of those braggy people in a relationship doing relationshippy things like watching telly or taking photos together and making dinner for each other. Who use Facebook solely to remind others a few times a day that they're in a relationship in a really 'subtle' way (obviously).
When your friends' social circle increases because they are making friends with their partner's friends' girlfriends and your social circle decreases because your friends are out with their partner's friends' girlfriends.
Not having someone to blame. Do you realise how upsetting it is to break something/run out of something/forget something and know categorically that it was your fault?
A time when the suggestion of a ''girls night in'' is met with an internal thought of 'you mean that place where no men are going to be?'
That a good number of people you have known for a good number of years would 'not be able to imagine you with a boyfriend.'
When beer goggles improve the standard of man you'd usually go for these days.
Never having a birthday with an expectation of a present.
Wanting to be able to say 'my boyfriend' - that!
When you don't want to go out because it's only couples.
When you are not invited out because it's only couples.
When you don't want to go out because you don't want to return to an empty house.
When you don't want to stay in because you don't want to be in an empty house.
When your favourite films are your previous romantic encounters replayed in your head .
Always imagining that being in a relationship far outweighs being single!
Steadfastly refusing to accept anything less than what you have spent all this time waiting for.
Don't even get me started on sex.
But, in being single's defence, it sure beats being in the wrong, unhappy relationship hands down!
Disclaimer: All of the opinions expressed on the subject of being single are my own and do not represent the views of 'All the Single Ladies' unless explicitly stated (although they would probably agree with some of it).