“Life might be more fun on your own”
Hester van der Wal (29) has been single for four years and she really likes it.
“I’ve been in long-term relationships twice, and I’ve been alone for a while now. I haven’t met anyone who really suits me yet and that’s fine with me – I’m not looking either. After my last relationship ended In a not so pleasant way, I was restless at first; I immediately wanted to throw myself into a new relationship again. Until a friend said: ‘First, spend some time with yourself’. That was very good advice.
I then consciously took the time to get to know myself better. Why did I want a new relationship so badly? To fill a void or to meet the standard? The latter did play a role. For a long time I had the idea that I had to find a partner because that’s how it should be. But now I have made peace with being alone.”
“Sure, I sometimes miss someone next to me when I’m sad or having a hard time, or during holidays or special moments such as your birthday; it’s nice to have a partner who puts you in the spotlight. I can sometimes I feel a pang of loss when I see nice couples walking, but that is never so extreme that I think: let me find someone to fill that void.”
Clinging desperately to someone
“Every relationship seems perfect on social media, but that is of course not the case in reality. I hear that around me often enough. Some people around me continue to cling desperately to someone who doesn’t make them very happy at all. Do you do that? for fear of being alone? I understand it, but it’s such a shame. Life might be more fun on your own. At least that’s true for me.”
“I feel really good about myself now, and I’m happy about that. I have become much more independent and have learned a lot about myself. It’s really wonderful sometimes. I don’t have to answer to anyone, I can decide everything myself and I have never any arguments or fuss at home. And soon, during the holidays, I won’t have to divide my time between my own family and my in-laws. Isn’t that nice?”
A supplement, not a filler
“I’m really not sad or lonely. Although people do seem to see me that way. I am regularly presented with someone through friends that I should go on a date with and I sometimes hear the comment: ‘I don’t understand why you’re still single. ‘. Such a killer. I live in a village where, as a single woman, I am almost an exception, apparently others think something of that. I don’t really care about it anymore these days. Everyone has to live their life the way they want it. myself – I do it this way.
A relationship certainly has its advantages, and I’m not saying I’ll never start one again, but for the time being I don’t have that need. I’m not going to give up my freedom for just anyone, he has to be really worth it. If I go for it again, it has to be an addition, not a filler.”
“I’m often relieved that I’m not in a relationship”
Glancy van Elst (48) has been single for ‘an infinite time’ and is completely okay with that.
“My last relationship – with the father of my daughter – ended sixteen years ago. If you have a child together, breaking up is of course never what you want, and in the beginning I found it quite complicated. But now I find It’s really wonderful that I’m single.
I always laugh when people say it would be so nice to have a man in my life again. Then I think: hm yes, but why exactly? People apparently give me something else, they can’t imagine that I’m really having fun on my own. Yet it is so. I find it very clear, with just myself and my daughter.”
Hearts, statues of Mary and gemstones
“I’m often relieved that I’m not in a relationship. When friends tell me that they are dating, for example, and what a drama or disappointment that is every time. Then I think: oh no, terrible. Even when people tell me about hassle in their relationship: it’s wonderful that I don’t have any of that. I don’t have a partner who leaves cupboard doors open, leaves his dirty laundry lying around or doesn’t put the cap on the tube of toothpaste.
It saves a lot of dull irritation. And I haven’t had to make any compromises when it comes to furnishing my home. You can see that: I really like pink, hearts, statues of Mary and gemstones. My house is full of them and that makes me happy.”
“On the other hand, having a handy man in the house also has its advantages, from a purely practical point of view. And well, sometimes it would be nice if someone said to me: ‘Honey, just sit down and I’ll cook.’ “If I don’t feel good about myself, I can sometimes long for that. But at the same time, that feeling quickly disappears.”
“It’s not that I never want a relationship again. If it comes, it will come, but I’m not going to look for it. Dating sites and apps are really not for me. I’m a huge romantic and I still think I’m with I’m going to meet someone at the greengrocer who wants to grab the same orange as me and then violins will sound and rose petals will fall from the sky. But I also know that that’s probably not going to happen. And that’s completely fine.”
“No, I don’t date, not even just for sex. People often ask me if I miss that, and I understand that question very well, but it’s been so long that I don’t even know what I miss anymore. I get my happiness from other things.
I occasionally feel pressure to conform to the standard, but I am not very sensitive to the opinions of others. Who thought that you ‘should’ be in a relationship? Why should I participate in that? I’m stubborn and just do what I want.”
“I celebrate ‘breakup day’ every year, on the day my relationship ended”
Yvonne Bijkersma (45) has been ‘happily single’ for five years and enjoys it so much that she thinks she is no longer relationship material.
“After being with the father of my children for eighteen years, I have been single for years now. And I really like that. No whining, no fuss, no one pulling on me. I am incredibly independent and love being to do my own things. I can go wherever and whenever I want, without having to answer to anyone.
Sometimes I don’t get out of bed until 12 o’clock and no one says anything or thinks anything about it – so nice! I don’t have to take anyone into account, when I go out I never have to look at the clock because someone is waiting for me at home. I never have to discuss what we’re going to eat, because I’m the one who decides that. Yes, I could go on like this for a while, because I see almost nothing but benefits – I genuinely love it.”
“I also celebrate ‘breakup day’ every year, on the day my relationship ended, I drink wine with friends. My marriage has not been so much fun in the last five years, to say the least. We had completely lost each other and In the end we argued every day. It was painful, but also a real relief when it was over. That’s one of the reasons I think: once, but never again.
I was still active on dating apps for the first year and a half, but now I’m not at all. I don’t miss it, a partner. I think it helps that I often have my three sons around me, so I never feel lonely.”
“I don’t miss sex either. I’m not a nun or anything, in my relationship I was fanatical about it, but one-night stands or friends with benefits I have no need. Next year I might want to date more, just for the attention, to feel seen as a woman again. At the same time, that is not fair to those men. I don’t want to create false expectations. So yes, I am in two minds.”
No more relationship material
“Sometimes, when I’m feeling down, I miss that arm around me, or someone to snuggle up to in bed at night. But those moments are really rare. I just don’t meet nice men either. Still, I believe I’m still in true love somewhere.
If I ever get into a relationship again – which I don’t expect, because I am now so fond of my freedom that I am no longer and do not want to be relationship material – then I would in any case never live together again. No way that I’m giving up my own place.”