Relationship Jealousy When You're Single

Aoife McGeough discusses feeling jealous of other people’s relationships, when you’re single. 

“You’ll never guess what my boyfriend/girlfriend/significant other said yesterday, it was sooooo funny…”.  

Queue the eye-roll. If, like me, you have been single for quite a while, the seemingly never-ending stream of #couplegoals selfies on Instagram, cute anecdotes, surprise getaways and general lovey-doveyness of the couples around you can get to be a bit too much.  

While I am all for building people up and want to support my friends and family as they fall in love, I can’t help but feel the grasp of the green-eyed monster on my back; when am I going to have that?  

 As the nights get longer and Netflix are gearing up for cuddle season with their buffet of cheesy Christmas romcoms, those who have been happily single all year are suddenly faced with the harsh reality of the festive season. Those who fall victim to its grasp begin the search for a cuffing partner to share the winter months, and the rest are left with the existential dread of standing alone on New Year’s Eve without a kiss to reign in the new decade.  

Now doesn’t that sound fun! Cute couples seem to be coming out of the woodwork, and it is perfectly normal to feel a little jealous. However, it is important to identify the root of this envy; if you are just out of a relationship of course you are going to feel upset at the sight of a happy couple! If you are back in the swing of college and work, it could be pure boredom and just wanting something fresh and exciting to get you out of a rut.  

Singledom can make even the most social and extroverted of us feel lonely, and being surrounded by people gushing about how happy and in love they are can be upsetting. If you feel this way when hearing friends talk about their relationships, talk to them! Explain what you’re going through and that while you are happy that they are happy, ask them to be mindful of your situation.  

It is so important to communicate and be open about your feelings, or else bitterness and resentment could begin to peek through. It also might be a good idea to reach out to people who can relate to what you’re going through. Joining a networking group or going out for coffee with your other single friends can help you remember how friendship, especially female friendships, can be far more fulfilling than the quest for a relationship!  

While you may not be able to help feeling a pang of sadness when hearing your friends talking about their partner, take this time as a single woman to learn to enjoy your own company! In a recent interview with Vogue, Emma Watson has discouraged society’s expectations for women to constantly seek happiness through a relationship. “I never believed the whole ‘I’m happy single’ spiel.... It took me a long time, but I’m very happy [being single]. I call it being self-partnered.” Bella dePaulo, a psychologist at the University of California Santa Barbara, is an advocate for singledom and in a TEDx talk she deemed her lack of relationship as ‘the key to a happy life’. Exercise, meditation, taking yourself out on a date, reading a good book, listening to music and podcasts that you love, exploring new places or even your own city; the world is your oyster and you can accomplish so much if your head and heart is in the right place. So, this winter ditch the mistletoe, don your most festive jumper and never, ever forget that you are enough!