As someone who is yet to marry or has chosen to remain single, there is usually a general stereotype that society weaves around your existence. For one, some of your married friends who used to be close to you may start to distance themselves for one reason or another.
A friend told me: “it may be that their new marital status demands that they mingle with women and men that share in such marital experience”. On the other hand, it could also be that you left your former city in search of a better life, and so you isolate yourself since you don't know anyone in your new city.
Some other times, it could be that the new normal and social factors pushed you into a solitary life or confined you to that tag with which singles are known: ‘lonely and alone’.
Where then can you turn to for support and community?
Maybe not. At least not all the time, especially if many of them seems to be busy to make out time for small talks or it happens that you don't even have a handful of them.
Maybe not. You can't possibly go to work and chat all day about that one time you thought a man was going to propose but didn't, and how shattered that left you. You would be eating into your employer's time and maybe marked as a lousy employee.
Your local church?
Maybe if you have real friends who are open-minded, this may work. But watch it, a church they say is a clinic, and you may find that not many brethren would understand life from your point of view. But then, this is also a great place to find real support.
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There's another way to go
Young people – single and many times, broken – are taking new steps towards identifying with their struggles. They achieve this by building online communities that serve as a safe space to talk, share those ugly experience(s) in a no-judgement zone and find real support. Others could be learning and growth communities for career-driven people.
If you are single, there is surely one for you, depending on your particular need. What makes these communities amazing is the vision and similarity of struggles.
So, let's say you are struggling with your business, you'll find a community of people dealing with the same thing.
In one of the communities that I belong to, we are keen on purity. Our community is a convergence of young single men and women who have had challenges with sexual addiction such as porn and masturbation, abuses and the likes.
It helps to know that everyone in the community has a scar just like you, and they are not ashamed to tell their stories with total strangers.
So, why do you as a single person need a healthy online community of people with similar stories, experiences, struggles (challenges) and hope?
Isolation fosters the feeling of being neglected, leading to depressive thinking, among other harmful thoughts. A group of people with the same struggles will give you a sense of not being alone to deal with your problem. As I've learned, social relationships can have an enormous impact on your happiness. A conversation within the community can be the antidote for a low day in your life.
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It provides you with the opportunity to grasp the depth of struggles others are experiencing. You may think your situation is awful and despicable, wait until you hear about someone else's story, and your mouth will open wide. But within such community, you’ll see more reasons to be grateful for your experiences.
It provides you with a place to be free of guilt and express your deepest struggles without fear of anyone giving a snare look and biased thinking. When we've all been down the same road, we are more empathetic towards others with the same story.
"If you are single, there is surely one for you, depending on your particular need. What makes these communities amazing is the vision and similarity of struggles."
Such platforms serve as a place to find support and practical solutions to deal with certain challenges. Since these communities are built to help you heal, learn, grow and become a better version of yourself, it would be nice to find one that suits your need.
It serves as a hub for free entertainment and leisure. Instead of mindless scrolling on social media that breeds tension and social comparison, you can find real comments and jokes in such groups that will lighten up your mood. Sometimes, the easy banter and cruise, as we call it, is out of this world that you practically don't need Instagram comedians to make you laugh.
It provides a genuine connection and network. The beauty of strategic online communities is that you find amazing people from all walks of life and diverse backgrounds, which is a great source of networking and building social relationships.
It helps you to see your singlehood in a better light, help you cope with the challenges that come with it. This is important especially if you are on a new journey and need a support network, so you don't go back to your old lifestyle.
Being single is a precious season of our lives that should be enjoyed and spent learning, growing and connecting with people who can inspire us.
It is helpful to know that you are not alone in this period of your life when you need understanding and empathy. If you have thought it was impossible to do so, maybe it's time you found an online community made for people like you with stories and struggles like yours.
Esther Okoloeze is a writer, editor and writing-life coach. She has been writing for several years now and recently published her first novel, “Red Roses, Stained Glasses” —a contemporary African romance fiction.
Esther loves to read and write stories. Her blog—under rework—filled with personal adventures and inspiring contents on diverse themes is proof of her love for the writing life.
She is the organizer of the Flourishing Writers Webinar®, a quarterly online masterclass for beginner writers in the freelance space to start and grow their career.