Celebrating being single is all about the importance of being your own person, being strong and independent, and living your own life, right?
Wrong! Singles Day, which is today, has nothing to do with self-esteem and confidence – it’s all about shopping.
It started in China, supposedly to help “single people show their pride in being single . . . to celebrate, rather than lament being partnerless”, says nationaltoday.com.
But it’s quickly become what is essentially a clever bit of marketing to encourage singles to shop ‘til they drop – and it’s highly effective.
In China, 1.9bn products were ordered and delivered last year, making it the world's biggest 24-hour online shopping event, according to BBC.
Alibaba, which runs the country’s buying frenzy each year, had record sales of $38.4 billion in 2019, Reuters reported.
Read more | Your guide to being single happily ever after
Back home in South Africa, we are a little more circumspect. We splurge more on Black Friday than this relatively unknown national day. There are, after all, so many opportunities to spend our hard-earned cash.
So, if you are a bit hard up this year, as so many of us are, here are five reminders why it really is okay to be single – and they won’t cost you a cent.
Take time to learn about yourself and others. Apart from anything else, this will help you make better choices about partners in the future. But it’s also an opportunity to learn to enjoy your own company.
Do something you want to do. Find a passion and pursue it. You don’t need someone else to do this for you or with you. You have the freedom to do your thing, whatever it is, when you’re single. Study, travel, take up a hobby, learn to be financially independent.
Do things in your own time. Rushing into a relationship is never a good idea. Take the pressure off yourself, relax and enjoy.
Don’t lower your standards. Being in a toxic relationship is far worse than being on your own. It’s also a great opportunity to widen your social circle and find people you really want to be with.
Make self-care a priority. Relationships, even good ones, can be hard work and take up a lot of your mental space. It’s not just about making compromises in a relationship– you also spend mental energy on worry about your partner.
Happy Singles Day!