I’ve been single for eight years — and I’m totally ok with it

Portrait of Tammy Strobel

I’ve been single for eight years — and I’m totally ok with it.

Cheryl Chan


Here’s a perspective you don’t get to hear often when it comes to love: there’s nothing wrong with you if you’ve been single for an extended period of time.

I should know, because I’m 30 this year and I’ve been single for the past eight years of my life. And of those eight, four have breezed past without me going on as much as a single date. No casual coffees, no after-work drinks; but hey, no dating anxiety, either.

Before you gasp and recoil in horror, I’m—spoiler alert— perfectly fine! Sure, there are pros and cons to my particular situation. I do miss having a consistent sex life; that really dwindles when you don’t proactively date. I also miss the emotional intimacy and a reliable partner to just do mundane stuff with like going to the movies or trying out a new restaurant together. Call me selfish, but the same time, I really relish being able to figure out my own life… without having to consider anyone else.

Of course, there are days when I’m inundated with thoughts of inadequacy and question whether I’m worthy of being loved, but just like any other thoughts brought on by insecurity—they pass. I can’t change the fact that everyone around me is coupled up, but I can change my reaction towards it.

It’s not that I’m allergic to commitment. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. I love connecting with people. So much so, that I’m unwilling to put in that sort of time and energy on lackluster relationships. I’m selective even when it comes to letting friends into my life, so why should I be any less choosy when it comes to a romantic partner?

At the end of the day, being single feels like my default mode. It’s what’s familiar to me. I’m not single due to a lack of opportunity, but by choice. It’s not that I don’t want a partner ever, but at this point, I’m not actively seeking one. 

The funny thing is, I feel more “me” when I’m single. Maybe it’s because I felt the pressure to perform and be an idealised version of myself in past relationships. Perhaps I didn’t have the confidence then to truly be myself, either. But I know better now.

If you happen to be a long-term singleton like me, either by choice or not, I just want to say it’s OK.

You don’t need to prove your empowerment by posting articles on social media extolling the positives of singledom, nor do you need to actively swipe or feel compelled to go out and do things because “wellllll, you never know who you could meet.”

Being single isn’t something you need to wear as a badge of honour or a scarlet letter. To me, my marital status (or lack thereof) isn’t something I tie super intensively to my identity as a person. It’s just one part of me, much like my career, friendships, family, interests or personality.

Until then, unless I meet someone awesome for whom I’m willing to make changes in my life, I’m just going to do me and continue to sleep in the middle of the bed.

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