Like last time, there's a bit of a caveat at the start - this is in no way a conclusive study, just the random thoughts of a random group of my random friends! Some of the things only apply to those who don't have children, or to those who live alone - and obviously not all single people fall into those categories.
That said, it's a pretty interesting list. I agree with some (although not all) of the things on the list, and I'd love to know what you think too.
So here goes...
- Becoming selfish and set in your ways
- Becoming too independent (as opposed to interdependent, which is a positive thing)
- Coming home to an empty house
- Feeling lonely
- Not necessarily being as devoted to God as I could be - spending as much time wrestling with being single as my married friends spend with their families!
- No one to care for you if you're ill
- No one with whom to share dreams and decision making
- Eating and drinking alone
- Lack of physical contact and hugs
- No one with whom to have a laugh
- No one to point out and help you to work on your bad habits
- Struggling with practical jobs
- Other people viewing you in a certain way (feeling a 'social failure')
- No one to make you take time off
- Not feeling loved and cherished by anyone
- Cost of living is more
- Having to do all the chores
- Worrying about the future and facing old age alone
- No one with whom to celebrate significant life events (who makes you a birthday cake?!)
- Difficulty arranging holidays
- Not having the viewpoint of someone of the other sex
- For men - society may be wary of them especially around children
- For women - safety issues in the house
- People assume you have lots of free time
- An integrity issue - trying to be the same in public and in private
- Worries about the future - planning for retirement
- Going to places on your own
- Seeing others get married
- Not having children (if that's the case for you)
Some things can feel negative one day and positive another, depending on all sorts of other factors. Some things can be a negative and a positive at almost exactly the same time.
My favourite example of this is from 2012 when I had tickets to the Paralympics in London. On the Thursday, I went together with my lovely friend Nikki. On the Friday, she had to work, but as we'd only seen team sports I decided I'd like to see some athletics so bought myself a ticket and headed off.
The brilliant thing about it was that I could please myself! I made the decision to go, booked the ticket, travelled to the park, and had a great day out. I ate what I wanted to and came and went as I pleased, without having to worry about anyone else. The difficult thing about it was that I had to spend the day all by myself, with no one to share in the experience with me.
I'm really glad that I decided to go. I had a fantastic day and saw some brilliant sport (including one of my heroes, Hannah Cockroft, winning gold!). As an added bonus I even bumped into some friends and got to spend some time with them. I went for it, and I'm glad.
The really funny PS to all that is that sometimes we're ok with our singleness, but others aren't. When I arrived at the stadium, I asked one of the gamesmakers to take my photo. He was utterly horrified that I was there on my own, and insisted on being in the photo with me! I'll post the photo below - he was lovely, but it still makes me chuckle how concerned he was that I was there on my own!