It's articles like these that make me look around at the people in my life and count my blessings.
For one, I am newly single. I am not panicking about this and thankfully, neither is anyone I know. After being in a relationship for five years, it's inevitable that you and the significant other will come to share a lot of your friends.
Through my ex, I have met some of the best people ever, and I no longer consider them to be "his" friends so to speak. They are my friends too. I'm glad I got to keep them in the divorce. These friends have been great and nothing short of supportive of this whole thing. No one is pushing me to make any decisions, or justify decisions, and I appreciate that.
Ditto my family. I do not come from parents that are pressuring me for anything ever. They've never once asked me when I'm going to get married, when I am going to have kids, etc. Before I was with my ex, I was single for five years. I was never asked the reasons why, I was never pressured to meet anyone.
The only person that gets in my head on the subject of single and/or relationship is me.
Sure, I have spent time wondering why I was still single over the years. I will admit to periods of total paranoia that I would never, ever find love again. I've weighed the pros and cons of crazy cat lady-dom (pros: none. cons: more than one cat). I've weighed the pros and cons of myself, wondering sometimes if I was the only one who could see the good in me, and if that was the case, maybe there really wasn't anything to see?
Your own mind will do you in every time.
But, and this is where a lot of people fail to be honest, I lived in my own head in my relationship too. I always wondered if I was doing the right things, if I was doing enough, did I really think my relationship would last forever? Would I go from girlfriend to wife? Would I ever be asked.
But in the five years of single living and the five years of being in a relationship, the biggest lesson I've learned, and the hardest thing to remember, is that sometimes, you just have to go with the flow and embrace your situations. It can be really hard to be single sometimes, because it really can weigh on your self esteem. But it can also be very difficult to be in a relationship and sometimes, your self esteem can be tested even more when you're in one.
In both situations there are peaks and valleys. And depending on who you hang around with, you could face a lot of questions either way.
I think, like most things in life, how you handle this is based entirely on your confidence in yourself. You have to be good with where you are in your life. Sure it's natural to have doubts either way, but you have to have faith in the choices you make.
You can't muddle passively through life, single or taken. You have to have your own expectations of yourself. If you're wondering why you're single but you never leave the house, have no social life and spend all your time alone... guess what? You're going to have an awfully hard time trying to convince me you don't understand your predicament. And if you're in a relationship, you should know what you want out of it and you should get it. Don't settle.
But most importantly - fuck what other people have to say. You have to live your life for you. Having said that, however, you can't take people's genuine concern for you as an excuse to be defensive. I think if you're sitting around your house, moping about in sweats all the time, your friends have a right to be concerned and maybe ask you what you're doing to put yourself out there. But if you're good with doing just that, tell them so. Back up your choices.
Life is really to short to worry too much about what people think. It's also too short to spend all your time worrying about other people's problems. So let your single friends do their thing, and let your taken friends do their thing. Focus on your own shit. Life is much easier that way.