It was good to see some documentary proof of something I’ve been saying for years: how expensive it is to be single.
Figures released by Hargreaves Lansdown show that single people pay on average £850 a month more than people who are half of a couple. All this time I’ve been beating myself up for being so bad with money because my work colleagues, who earn broadly the same as me, manage so much better and it turns out they have (effectively) 10k a year more than me.
Political rhetoric blathers on about how the various politicians will help ‘hard working families’, and as usual single people are invisible. We pay the rent/mortgage and all the household bills out of just one income but we don’t even get a mention.
I’m not single as a temporary measure – a brief state in between serial monogamy. I am single because this is how I chose to live my life. However this seems to be a step too far for many people, who make helpful suggestions such as ‘oh you’ll meet someone one day’, as if that’s my life ambition.
I invested/wasted a lot of time in the pursuit of ‘meeting somebody’, going on dates with people I didn’t like because everyone told me my problem was I was too ‘picky’ and forcing a dead relationship because everyone told me I didn’t want to end up ‘forty and single’.
Coupledom is entrenched in societal norms. Society is organised to make single people somehow feel as if we have failed at life, with single supplements on holidays and 2 for 1 offers on everything. Even when we have chosen our life we are still encouraged to view it as some kind of failure.
I’ve reached a point in my life now where I feel I’ve earned the right to live by myself; I want to enjoy a calmer life with my own bit of space and my own things around me. I no longer want to share any part of my living quarters with another human. I rather feel that I paid my dues; I spent many years in bad flat shares, arguing over who left the dishes in the sink and who’s turn it is to buy toilet paper. I also spent too many years in a bad relationship, cooking and cleaning up from a dinner I didn’t need or want with the TV blasting out non-stop in the background.
Maybe it’s time to get away from promoting the nuclear family as the only way to live. Now that around 30% of households in the UK contain just one person, maybe it’s time the politicians stop talking about families and start talking about households, or even just people.