Is my single life the high life?

Every relationship status comes with pros and cons that aren't always represented in a book-perfect movie or television scenario. The status of being single, in particular, is represented in between the polars of Bridget Jones pouring more vodka and the notorious fun of the girls/lads night out. The latter in particular fuels the idea that being single allows the best opportunity for freedom and fun. In a series written for Label, Charlotte Jiggins explores whether this image fits in with her single life, and whether or not her own experience matches the expectation to spend her twenties wild and free.


 

I'm Charlotte, I am 21 years old, and I’ve been single my whole life. Quite literally no boyfriend ever. I don’t even know how to change my relationship status on Facebook, and I am doing an internship in social media. In movies and on television, it’s made out that the single life is the high life. No one ever seems to point out the s**t parts. Having read and seen countless versions of the single life that never seemed to represent my own, I think it’s about time someone wrote in all honesty about what it’s really like to be single, and that’s exactly what I’m going to do over the next few weeks.

It has taken me a good three or four years of mistakes, a lot of crying, drunken texts, and people constantly disappointing me to get to a point where I feel great, happy and in control. So, I’ll save you all of that drama and instead, use my crazy choices to share with you the lessons I’ve learned so far.

First lesson: try new things.

Okay, first things first: don’t judge. I slept with someone who is 44 years old. There’s not as much spice to the story as you might expect - we worked together at a pub and made out after work on NYE. Nothing fully happened then, but on a trip to Amsterdam with quite literally a bit of Dutch courage I found myself texting him saying, ‘hey, NYE was fun, let’s do it again some time.’ A week later I found myself driving round to his after work and we hooked up.

The sex was great- after all, he was more experienced than anyone else I’ve slept with and practice makes perfect. But, the main point to get across is that age really is just a number. I wish I could say that at the time I felt all empowered and great, but actually, I was thinking, ‘holy s**t, Charlotte, what are you doing’. I told a few friends with very mixed reactions (publishing this to the world makes me still a little nervous). A lot of even my closest friends were very judgemental and made me feel crap, said it was ‘gross’ or even that it was a ‘slut thing to do’ (what does that even mean?!). But to be honest, before I hooked up with this guy I was actually someone who would judge something like this as well so it’s okay, I do get it.

Now, looking back, I have no regrets. Actually, I wish I had stood up for myself a lot more against people judging what I did with my body and the choices I made. It felt so liberating to be bold, fearless and try something new.

So, if you’re single make sure you try something new. I learned that this is the time in your life when you can do whatever you want, or, also importantly, whatever you don’t want, so make the most of it and don’t judge others for the choices they make. Also please don’t go raiding old people’s homes but if the opportunity arises don’t be afraid to do it. You won’t regret it, I promise.