Is Being Single Really Overrated?

by Britni Danielle

Over the past few years now (yes, years) we’ve heard about “the single black woman problem.” You know, the fact that nearly every educated, ambitious, well-heeled black woman is (supposedly) hopelessly single. Despite the media’s attention to whether or not a man has put a ring on it, many of us know the truth. Black women, like all women, span the relationship spectrum from married and boo’ed up, to happily single or taking a much-needed mancation, either way, we’re everywhere—in spite of what some may think (or print).

But a recent post by Damon Young of the blog Very Smart Brothas, got me to thinking about whether or not relationships—or the lack there of—are actually overrated.

In his post, “Why Being A Single Man Is Kind of Overrated” Young shines a light on something we rarely see: an upwardly mobile, educated black man not reveling in his singleness. While I know they’re out there, many men (especially quality black men) feel absolutely no pressure to settle down because the odds are in their favor. They know that whenever they wanted they could comfortably slide into a relationship, but like Prince Akeem, they want to sow their royal oats and enjoy being able to hop from one woman to the next. But Young flips the script and shares why he thinks being single (although he’s happily so), is kind of over-hyped.

He writes:

Anyway, if I could sum up my seven months of singledom in one word, it would most likely be “interesting.” I’ve met some “interesting” people, done some “interesting” things, made some “interesting” decisions, and, most importantly, thought some “interesting” thoughts. The most “interesting” of these “interesting” thoughts? Being a single man is kind of overrated.

Now, as I stated on the day where I wrote about orgasms, “overrated” doesn’t mean “bad.” In fact, as the careers of Tupac and Derrick Rose continue to prove, something can be very, very good — even great — and still be overrated. I’ve enjoyed being single, and will likely continue to enjoy it. But, while it seems like many assume that being a single man (a single Black man, at that) is nothing but an utopic stream of easy popsicles, cold pancakes, and syrupy p*ssy, there are a few downsides.

Young, affectionately known as ‘The Champ,’ goes on to list the downsides of being single as experiencing bouts of extreme loneliness; having to use condoms because you don’t have a monogamous partner; having to get back into the dating game; being limited to superficial romantic interactions; and having the time to notice some very unflattering things about yourself.

Reading the post and the subsequent comments made me wonder if being single is overrated or if people don’t realize that flying solo is just different than being in a relationship.

Too often we set up these either/or dichotomies in our minds about things. If you’re single people assume you’re lonely, but if you’re in a relationship they assume you’re floating on a cloud of love. While this may be the case for some, you can also feel lonely within an unfulfilling relationship, and surrounded by love and support if you’re single. Like many things in life, it just depends.

Both relationship statuses—single or coupled up—have its pros and cons. While you may always have someone to share your biggest triumphs with if you’re in a relationship, you will also have to consider another person’s feelings before your own. Conversely, being single affords you the freedom to do as you please, but sometimes you’ll have to go at it solo—even if that isn’t exactly what you want.

There are trade-offs to being single or being in a relationship, but is one really better than the other? 

Speak on it! 

  • iQgraphics

    Yes, being a SINGLE MAN is overrated.
    But not being a single woman.

    All of the catering and concessions that have to be made on the part of the woman sometimes leaves her at a deficit. When she’s well ready to meet those demands and has a mate willing to give her the space to be herself, she will commit. Otherwise, what’s the rush.

    Men, on the other hand… needy needy greedy.

  • http://afrikanmami.blogspot.com African Mami

    There are rabbit buzzers-made for women
    They have their hands-men

    Figure out what I’m saying, live in bliss!

  • Pseudonym

    The name of the blog post is “Why Being A Single Man Is Kind Of Overrated,” not “Why Being Single Is Kind of Overrated” as it is written above. And that extra word makes a world of a difference.

  • I`am not MAD

    Yee,It`s summer time ,middle spring, and everyone is coming out of his or her COCOON
    So everyone that`s HOT(read horny)Has to validate those feeling .
    “U” can be horny and happy,have a Working friendship,”U” just,be willing, have to do the work.Or be horny and in SingleDom
    and do the clubs and hope that “U” get LUCKY. wo-man UP.

  • http://www.clutchmagonline.com Britni Danielle

    Noted. Left out the word unintentionally. Thanks :)

  • Quez

    you can be lonely, sexless or burned by a STD in a relationship, marriage or single. Going thru my legal separation right now and i can do bad, by my got’ damn self. I do realize that i “wish” things could have been better and i “worked” as hard as i can but dealing with the wrong person can make any great relationship status horrible.

  • CHE

    Ding ding ding @IQgraphics and Pseudonym

    One of my great grandmothers was widowed early. She was very good looking with her own business but she went decades without being with another man because after her husband died she did not want to get involved with another man, EVER! and she didnt and she was quite fine on her own. She felt they were more trouble than they were worth. Not all women feel the same but yes alot of times being in a relationship for a woman can be more cons than pros and I think that is why so many more women are going it alone so much longer, especially Black women.

  • iQgraphics

    does not seem unintentional. especially with the corresponding image…
    hmmmmm

  • Bosslady

    Lol, I thought it was just me being pedantic but I noticed that too (read the article yesterday), and it does make a huge difference… However I’m sure it will still lead to an interesting conversations.

  • http://stephanietalktome.blogspot.com Stephanie

    Being single is a great experience. You become more aware of yourself. If you are an adventurous person you can travel at your heart’s desire. There’s a great benefit to being single.

    However, being single for a few years? Ummmm, after a while you need someone to laugh with.

  • WildCard

    I must say that I have been single and dating for over a year now and I have never had so much peace, fun, and freedom EVER. Key word: PEACE. Now of course this is not to say that being attached automatically means no peace, but for me and from my past that’s exactly what it means. I did the young, dumb, head-over-heels thing for the wrong guy too many times and realized that I needed to take a step back and realize what I was doing to keep putting myself in these types of situations. This time of self-reflection and coming into my own has been AWESOME. I’ve gotten closer with the Lord and I feel that this single time has been anything but overrated for me. It’s more than I could have ever asked for and it is better preparing me for the one who God has created for me as I am coming into the one that God has created me to be :)

  • Pseudonym

    Overall, I think it’s all both over and underrated whether it’s being single, dating, marriage. They’re overrated because many people judge them all by unrealistic expectations and underrated because so busy complaining about the shortfalls, not emphasizing the great things that every stage relationship status brings. Each one has the same amount of advantages, disadvantages, successes, and disappointments, they’re just attributed to different experiences.

    The ultimate goal should be to find happiness in whatever your relationship status may be. Though I recognize that- like many things- it’s soooooooo much easier said than done!

  • Rastaman

    I have been single more of my life than I have been in relationships and the one conclusion I can reach is that “It was the best of time and it was the worst of times” Applicable both to being single and being in a relationship.
    The most unappealing quality I encounter is that of being unhappy with you, nothing deflects other people like personal unhappiness. Some people attempt to mask it by always being busy or always being around others but those things are generally illusionary. If you are unable to stand your own company, you are not lonely you got some unresolved issues to attend to.

    So yes singleness is probably as overrated as being in a relationship especially if those who revel in those statuses are genuinely unhappy and use it to mask their discontent.

  • Dreaming

    I can’t say really because I have experienced only one side, and that is the single side. What I can say, is that I ignore those who make a big deal out of a woman being 25 or older and not yet having children, being married, or being in a serious relationship.

  • Dreaming

    Oh, and let me just say – I HATE the terms, ‘put a ring on it’ and ‘wifey material’.

  • iQgraphics

    wifey material

    **VOMIT**

  • Dreaming

    There are male sex toys, too.

  • Fa

    I’m currently in year 2 of a serious relationship, I love my man and I love that we have each others back. However, being single can be just as over-rated as being in a relationship IF you do each of them wrong. If you’re single you should date, travel and enjoy your bloody life! If you’re in a relationship you should grow, communicate and do all the other stuff I’m still learning. I firmly believe it’s all about the approach and intention. People just need to stop obsessing and start living.

  • I`am Not Mad

    Sorry about your Suffering…Just don`t take it out on the next person that says Hello.

  • Isis

    Yes its overrated And boring

  • Sonya

    Quite frankly, the fascination/phenomenon/the recent craze with “Being Single” is overrated. As a black, single woman, it’s darn near exhausting. Every where I turn there is an article, blog post, happy hour conversation about it. Bottom line: We (singles) don’t have to be single, it’s a choice (which is another topic altogether, but…). All in all, whether it’s overrated or not, let’s just “Be content in whatever state we are in and LIVE LIFE…”

  • I`am Not Mad

    Just do mi a Favor. Don`t get in the WAY “if” your friend (Best or not) says i could love him
    and be his Wife. Blessings your way…

  • I`am Not Mad

    HALLELUJAH…..

  • Auntikrist

    For me, being single being single is a blessing and I am truly happy for the first time in my life, because I quit thinking that there was something wrong with being by myself. I have found incredible peace and joy in my single life (nearly 15 years now) and bless my circle of loving friends for understanding me well enough to not bother to “match” me up with somebody!

  • Dreaming

    What are you talking about, I am Not Mad? None of the male acquaintances/friends I have/have had were guys who I wanted to date. If another woman wants to marry them, well, that is fine by me.

  • I`am Not Mad

    This is the “Another Topic Altogether”.

  • http:www.chicnoirhouse.blogspot.com Chic Noir

    +1

  • Ms. Information

    @ AM….Your’e so crazy…rabbit buzzers don’t rub backs and kiss..lol

  • Cia

    I am happily married but I enjoyed my single days and I definitely don’t think that it is overrated. I loved having the time in my 20s to really get to know myself, to become more solid and grow friendships. I think like most things we do not fully enjoy the time or see how nice it was until we are past the time.

  • StacyAustralia

    I’ve been single most of my adult life (I’ll be 29my in August). I enjoy being single. I’ve dated wonderful guys but just didn’t spark with them. I do admit there are times when I am lonely and want a hug, kiss, monogamous sex but I get over it. Honestly, I don’t think I would even know how to be in a relationship. I just love me. I guess one day I will be ready to be with someone serious someone who give me butterflies but until then I enjoy my freedom. I do whatever, whenever.

  • binks

    +1000

  • pink

    Being single is definitely over-rated for Men and Women. Everyone is not lucky enough for it to happen; but I think men, and women were created to complement (visa vi….complete) each other. It may sound old fashion…but our different genders were created for a reason. And no it’s not just for us to pro-create

  • Dreaming

    “I don’t think I would even know how to be in a relationship. “ – I Feel the same way. I am very self reliant and prefer to do things on my own.

  • pink

    Stephanie it’s nice to have someone to “laugh” and “talk” with. On the financial side….two (2) can do better than one. As for travel I definitely think single-hood is voer-rated. married people can take solo trrips every once in a while. But it’s usually more fun when you travel with a significant other. I definitely think singlehood is over-rated.

  • thinkpink

    @ iqgraphics I think you hit the nail on the head. It is hard work for a woman to be in a relationship. Even in equal partnerships the woman often ends up sacrificing more of herself and it probably explains why i got over my last relationship so quickly. Right now I am love love loving the single life. I’ve lost 60 pounds, just got a promotion at work and I feel like I have the space to create the life I want without worrying about the effect it will have on a significant other. I date. It’s fun and I have no doubt that I will one day be an awesome wife to an awesome man. In the meantime…I’m taking full advantage of my single status and living life to the fullest. I think either side is satisfying if you’re an optimist who sees the glass as half full.

  • pink

    iQ: I hear yeah on women catering, and concessions. But generally speaking women are usually more needy than men. Give a man a cold beer, a comfortable chair, and a remote, and he’s good to go.

  • pink

    thinkpink: Good for you! Sound like you have a balanced life.

  • Leo the Yardie Chick

    Overrated? Hardly. When you’ve observed what half a century of matrimonial misery can do to a person, being single isn’t overrated.

  • http://@clnmike Tonton Michel

    Jean De La Bruyere : A bachelor’s life is a fine breakfast, a flat lunch, and a miserable dinner.

  • Yeahright2011

    Marriage is cool but single was so peaceful. Nothing like coming home to solitude instead of hearing “Ma! Ma! MA! Bay! bay! BAY!”. I had a name once.

  • http://afrikanmami.blogspot.com African Mami

    @ Ms Info,

    Get a friend with benefits.

  • Alexandra

    Yup. I don’t think that one is better than the other; it’s up to the person to make what they want of their situation. I was single for over 2 years and never complained.
    I have someone now (dating) and I’m fine. If there’s anything I need to work on, its my selfishness and fears. I know I’m not ready for another serious relationship, and that’s also fine by me.

  • Yeahright2011

    Procreating is the only reason we’re here. Thats what a species does. Genders don’t complement, just breed. You’re Welcome.

  • Appletree

    I’m over being single, but at the same time I love being free

  • Socially Maladjusted

    ha ha . .

    ironically

    I’d say that single is the best way for a man to enjoy female company, espcecially if you’re a man who loves female company

    just like Babyfarda is the best way to enjoy children

    just like having your own business or hustle is the best way to earn a living.

    Doing what you need/want to do -

    YOUR WAY.

    the end.

  • overseas_honeybee

    Guess you have the make the most of your situation. I enjoy coming home to a quiet and clean house and all the freedom that comes with being single but there are times I do yearn for a warm body in my bed and romantic strolls in the park. I hope to one day jump the broom but if that never happens I don’t want to look back at my life and dwell on all the things I could of done or missed out on because I was waiting around for “the one.” I’ll make the best of what I have and keep it moving.

  • pink

    Yeahright: I beg to differ with your assessment. I think men, and women do complement each other. Notice I said COMPLEMENT not compliment (there is a difference)

  • pink

    overseas: Good for you. I hope you get a chance to experience marriage. It can be taxing; but overall the benefits are great.

  • Tami

    I don’t think being single is better than being married or vice versa. I’m in a relationship right now…The things I miss about being single is coming home to a quiet apartment & just reading for hours since I read the way most folks watch TV. I don’t usually cook but because I have a partner now, I go out of my way to do nice things for him. When you are single it is all about YOU. You can do anything you want, go any place you please. Being in a relationship, you have to consider the other person. There is a trade-off. If I was younger, single would fit my life better, because I would want to do more exploring of the world. But at my age, near fifty, I am trying to get remarried & live out the rest of my years, hopefully, happily with someone.

  • http://www.TheSpinsterliciousLife.com Spinsterlicious

    I think being single is underrated. Having a partner to share one’s day or life with is nice, but it’s marriage and kids that are overrated, in my opinion. There’s no one lifestyle that suits everybody, and being single suits me just fine. I like having a boyfriend; I like it when he goes home. There’s a lot that’s really good about being single, free, and unencumbered…but you have to know yourself and know how to be comfortable in your own skin. Oftentimes people blame their woes on being single, when really there are other things in their life that need fixing.

    Eleanore Wells, Author, The Spinsterlicious Life: 20 Life Lessons for Living Happily Single and Childfree (www.amazon.com/The-Spinsterlicious-Life-Lessons-Child-free/dp/1469968525/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1331781179&sr=8-1)

  • Gell0h0h

    Indeed!

  • Quez

    Thank you! i am in the 3rd ring, lol. I will try to not take it out on the next person. I have set my limit for what i can handle and what i can’t.

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