COVID-19 is changing the world’s entire landscape and will no doubt have long-standing ramifications for the future. Fortunately, for us, social media has given us the ability to make virtual connections without having to leave the house, and there are tons of funny memes. One was posted by a single dude I know with a picture of a guy with a bulging right bicep with the text that read something to the effect of, “Single guys, make sure you masturbate with most hands, or by the time this ends, your arms will look super weird.” Sadly, I cannot find the meme itself, and I really didn’t care to look for it.
It can be healthy to poke fun at oneself, and I’ve even done that myself. I used to moderate the Childfree and Single Facebook group, and I instituted a “no single-shaming rule (i.e., “you seem like a jerk, that’s why you’re single”). But I would occasionally share a corny joke and then say, “this is why I’m single (it doesn’t count when you’re single-shame yourself”). But I look back and think, I’m just perpetuating negative stereotypes around singlehood, and what good is that?
Internalized singlism is real. It was first mentioned on a blog called Rachel’s Musings, and it refers to how we put ourselves down for being single. I’ve done that, and I entered relationships I had no business being in as a result. For some people, it’s actually dangerous, and I believe it contributes to victims of domestic violence staying in relationships that could end up killing them.
The Facebook group, Community of Single People, is a place where singles can be free to talk about singlehood: its positives, its challenges, societal marginalization of singles. It’s also the place where I became truly comfortable in my singlehood. There are a lot of other groups in which people bemoan their single status, and I get it. It’s hard. But if we can all learn how to not see being single as a defect, we might just be better off. But it starts with us.
Stay safe, sane, and healthy, and do the five!
My name is Craig. I'm an educator, writer, and unapologetic singleton. When not reading, writing, or teaching, I enjoy hiking, running, watching movies, going to concerts, spending time with friends, and playing with my cat/son, Chester.