I sat in my high-rise apartment staring at the sunset and the city below me, drinking Pepsi and eating a microwave dinner. Normally, I would follow my own advice of doing an activity to meet people, distract myself from my singleness, and hopefully even have some fun.

But tonight, I was tired and wanted to be alone – physically tired from a long day at work. And mentally tired from the emptiness of lacking someone to share my life with. And I felt some sadness for not feeling loved.

Sometimes, people in long-term relationships forget what it’s like to be single. They badger us with otherwise well-meaning advice, micro-analyze the things we said on a first date, and wonder out loud how we can still be single in a city of millions.

They tell us how we should be happy being single. But let’s face it, almost no one who is single for extended periods of time is truly happy, because they are missing a connectedness that is part of human evolution.

They tell us that having friends will fill the void. But they don’t. They can be too busy to hang out or too flakey, and they can come and go. And more importantly, they don’t share the same long-term hopes and dreams of a life together.

They tell us that “to be loved, you must first love yourself.” Obviously, it helps to have a positive self-image, but there are still so many people who don’t truly love themselves yet are in stable, long-term relationships. So I thought “why am I still single”? I’ve got a degree. I’ve got a job. I have interests. I’m nice. And my friends tell me I’m a catch – supposedly anyway. But dating is random, sometimes unfair, and not entirely rational.

I wanted to stop thinking about this. I wanted to have a night to myself where I stopped focusing on my singleness. So I inserted a Netflix DVD, sat back, and took another swig of Pepsi. And for the first time, I felt at peace. I finally understood that sometimes it’s ok to be single for a while.


External Link: “See The Ratio Of Single Men to Women Where You Live”

If you are wondering whether moving to another city will help you with dating, check out this extremely detailed, interactive graph:


Using detailed Census data from 2011-2013, TIME calculated the ratio of unmarried men to unmarried women for every region of the country for a variety of age groups … the map can also be filtered by college degree status.

External Link: “Why Lonely People Stay Lonely”


This article is a fascinating overview of Prof. Megan Knowles‘ paper, “Choking under social pressure: social monitoring among the lonely” (emphasis added):

One long-held theory has been that people become socially isolated because of their poor social skills … this is a fundamental misunderstanding … Lonely people do understand social skills, and often outperform the non-lonely when asked to demonstrate that understanding. It’s just that when they’re in situations when they need those skills the most, they choke.

I’ll be writing a future blog post on how to overcome this social anxiety.