11 People Reveal How Long They've Been Single, Proving There's No One "Right" Timeline

Living the single life – either voluntarily or not – definitely has its own perks. I myself have been single for two years now, and have enjoyed solo trips to Berlin, advancing in my career, and meeting a bunch of people on dates and exploring new cities with them. I understand that some single folks can feel societal pressure to "settle down" and that they may be "running out of time." I asked several 20-somethings on the internet about their experiences being single, and also, how long is it normal to be single? For them, answers varied, and experiences were wildly different. That's proof that there's no one "right" way to experience single life — everyone does it their own way.

Read on to learn, from various genders and age ranges, how people deal with being single and what they like and don't like about their current relationship status. Whether someone's been single their whole life, got out of a relationship months ago, or is actively not pursuing a relationship at all, here are all their thoughts.

Sasha, 21, has been single because she's too busy for a relationship.

She was involved with musical theater in high school and college, and her rehearsal schedule prohibited her from getting serious with anyone.

"At this point in my life, I would ideally like to be in a relationship, but I'm not unhappy being single," she tells Elite Daily. "I like the freedom that comes with being single. If I theoretically wanted to pick up and move somewhere I could do that fairly freely, however, when I see friends with significant others I realize that I think I would also like the support and connection that comes with that kind of relationship."

Kate, 23, most recently dated someone last fall, but it wasn't serious.

She was last dating someone in October, but wouldn't describe it as a relationship.

"I’m good being single for now, since I’m still young and kind of in a transitional phase in my life," she tells Elite Daily. "I don’t think I’m ready to give the amount of love, attention, and time that someone deserves yet. I like being single just because I can play the field and have lots of options. No strings attached. And I can try a lot of new experiences."

Kate is looking forward to trying new date places, dating beyond her normal "type," and potentially sleeping with couples.

Brandon, 24, has never been in a relationship.

But he wants to be in one – his geographic location just prohibits him from finding someone. Brandon's in a graduate school program in upstate New York, where he says it's difficult for him to find dating prospects.

"I like to keep my academic [and] professional life distinct from [my] romantic life and that’s hard in a small town," he tells Elite Daily. "I have better dates in New York when I’m there, but most people understandably don’t want to fall into something that could be long distance for a couple years from the start."

Ally, 20, has been single for three years.

She says:

Sometimes I find myself wanting a relationship, but I also really enjoy being independent and just worrying about myself. Being single allows me a lot of freedom, and I really like that. I like my space and alone time, and there’s so much I want to accomplish, so being single lets me focus on me, which I love!

She's also taking that previous relationship as a learning experience moving forward:

I think I can sometimes be very codependent (which I noticed in my last relationship) and being single has held me responsible for my own happiness and for myself. I fix my own problems, if I want to go to dinner and feel like just being alone, I will sit at a table alone! It just doesn’t bother me. I feel like I have learned to rely on myself more than ever and it’s a great feeling.
Chloe, 24, also has been single for three years.

She tells Elite Daily:

I've had friends-with-benefits situations since my last boyfriend, and have been in situations where I thought the guy was going to commit to being my boyfriend (one guy even took me to meet his parents then two days later told me he wasn't looking for anything serious?!) and instead of committing they ended things or ghosted.

She says she has enjoyed being single, meeting new people, and going on app dates.

"I like that I only have to worry about myself," she says. "But the older I get, the more negative I feel about being single. For the past year, I've been the only single friend in my friend group and it makes it hard, especially on group trips where I am the only non-couple. My friends are accommodating, but it's hard when I want to go out on the town and meet guys and I have no one to be my wing-woman."

Chloe adds that the additional stress of finding a partner who shares her religion – Judaism – in order to get her parent's approval makes her dating pool smaller.

Another Kate, also 23, has been single for six years.

She likes being single, but some days, she wants to be in a relationship. She says it depends on what's going on in her friends' lives, or what media she's consuming at the moment. Kate is on dating apps, but is taking an open-minded approach to dating.

"I'm not really looking for anything incredibly serious or anything in particular," she tells Elite Daily. "I'm just seeing where life takes me! I like being independent, so being single is a huge advantage with that. At least for now, I don't want to feel pressured to coordinate my life with someone else's. I can barely keep track of my life, I can't imagine trying to coordinate with someone else's life."

Anabel*, 23, has been single for three months after getting out of a five-year relationship.

She's not quite used to not being in a relationship with her ex, who she was with for more than five years.

"It’s totally weird sometimes, like this week I’m reading a book by an author he’s met before," she tells Elite Daily. "And 'old me' would have dropped the book by him so he could read it (cause I was in his city today) but I didn’t."

Anabel is using dating apps, but has "no idea how to date," after being with her ex.

Emily, 27, was last with someone in 2014.

She attributes her single status to moving around often and considers herself "too selfish" to be in a relationship.

Emily says:

I wouldn’t be giving them the whole of me because I’d be too focused on whatever the next adventure was. I’ve always been comfortable being single. It’s given me a lot of confidence to do things on my own, like traveling, going to the movies, going to concerts. Being single helped me realize that life is too short to wait for other people to catch up and like the same things you do. I’m generally apathetic about dating. I’m not actively seeking someone to be in a relationship with. I’ve finally settled down in a city permanently and am more focused on cultivating friendships than a romantic partnership.

She also went on Time Out New York's Undateables dating series in 2017.

Bryce, 26, has been single for three years and likes it that way.

He tells Elite Daily:

I like being single and have no desire to be in a relationship right now. My favorite part about being single is the freedom to do what you want and make plans with whomever you want.
Jen, 27, hasn't had a relationship, but likes the freedom associated with single life.

She likes being unattached to someone and allowing her independent nature to shine by not worrying about anyone else's schedule.

"But there are definitely moments where I wish I had someone there for me, like at the end of a sh*tty day," she says.

Holly, 26, has trouble finding someone to commit.

She has been single for three years, and has tried dating people, but people have been reluctant to DTR. Holly likes being single, but gets overwhelmed sometimes that most of her friends are married or engaged.

"I'm happily focused on my career, finishing up my master's degree, and enjoying time with my friends," she says. "As I've gotten older, more confident with myself, and really thought about where I want to be and who I want to be with, I've been OK waiting to date more, rather than mindlessly dating just because I feel like I need to."

*Name has been changed at the source's request.

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