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How do you feel with the term “single”?


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Well, I am “single” and I ever was and I’ll ever be (except in case I’ll have a qpr one day)

but I don’t like to answer my “relationship-status” with “single” because it doesn’t feel true. I ever understood the term “single” as a transition phase, as a status everyone wants to change. For me it’s a negative phrase and I don’t feel comfortable using it

because I might be “alone” but I’m not a single. I don’t fit in the relationship-categories at all (and that’s what “single” is: a word to describe the status of your romantic relationship)

i would love to have another aromantic word I could use instead. Do you call yourself “single”? How do you like the word?

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I feel similarly! I also don't feel that single really applies to me because of the reasons you describe. I think it also negates all the relationships that I do have in my life because single makes it sound like just because I don't have a (romantic) partner, I don't have anyone at all in your life, which is untrue. 

I hadn't thought of having an aromantic word to replace "single". I think that would be hard, though, because I think it would still be a relationship status for a particular kind of relationship even if it's not romantic. So I would still feel strange because then I'd only change that status for a partnership even though I have many important relationships in my life... if that makes sense? Nonetheless, it could be interesting to try and come up with such a word! Saying "I'm not in a romantic relationship, but I'm not single because I fall out of the romantic relationship status" is a mouthful hahah, so one term would be handy. I'm curious, what would you like this word to describe about you? 

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"single" 😠. It does not simply mean "not in a romantic relationship". You never hear it applied to people where difficulties to get into a romantic relationship are assumed. Someone in a wheelchair isn't single, they are not even single, they're "other". Though "single" is loaded with contempt, it's still better to be "single" than to be "other". I wonder how poly romantic relationships fit into this, probably that's also "other" category. Too weird / shady!

It's "paired" > single > "other".

The word "single" basically means "Aww, keep trying, you'll find the one. You ain't so ugly or psycho that all hope is lost. Everyone wants to be in a romantic relationship. And you surely do, too! You must -- because all your other relationships are worthless in comparison!".

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I completely agree, the word "single" feels weird to use as an aro. It's connection to amatonormativity is too strong for me to feel okay using it to describe myself, so I tend to not talk about it since there's no language I've found that totally describes my situation. 

I've heard some use the phrase "self-partnered" but I don't like that too much either because it places the emphasis on relationships/partnerships rather than the individual. Usually I just say I'm "on my own" which isn't much better, so I'm also curious if anyone has better words to describe this! Maybe we could invent a word?

 

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I don’t necessarily hate it but I don’t like it either. Single sounds like you’re still looking for a partner and I don’t want people to think that. I haven’t really had anyone ask me for my relationship status for a long time so I don’t know what I’d say. “I’m a single Pringle who does not wish to mingle.” 😂

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Same. I don't despise it, but it always seems to have the same connotation to me as 'oh you'll find the right one, some day.' 

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I never really thought about it but now that you say it, I never really used the term. I thought myself as "not in couple" rather than "single", if that makes sense.

It is true that being single is seen as something temporary. I remembered watching an interview about people being single and are happy about it, and it was all about "I'm having fun by having casual sex before I enter in a serious relationship". (No hate for people who do that, though) I saw that before I knew about aromanticism and was confused : I thought I would finally relate but instead "single" was treated as something you could only enjoy as a temporary thing. People had to be interested in it and if they don't pursue it, it could only be because they weren't ready. I didn't relate at all.

 

Now, I say I am aro instead of single. But I understand that it would be problematic to just say that to mean "single aromantic" because some aros are in romantic relationships.

May something like "unpaired" work? It would not apply to people in QPR but I thought maybe they would not define themselves as single anyway because in couple.

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Posted (edited)
16 hours ago, Erederyn said:

 

I hadn't thought of having an aromantic word to replace "single". I think that would be hard, though, because I think it would still be a relationship status for a particular kind of relationship even if it's not romantic. So I would still feel strange because then I'd only change that status for a partnership even though I have many important relationships in my life... 

That’s a good point. But maybe it has to as this is actually the thing alloromantics are asking about? So maybe it could be a word that does not only imply that you aren’t in a romantic relationship but that values other relationship as well in a way your “single-being” can’t be read as a “lack of”…  I don’t know, it’s not that easy unfortunately 😅

Quote

Saying "I'm not in a romantic relationship, but I'm not single because I fall out of the romantic relationship status" is a mouthful hahah

Haha I love this I’ll say it next time lol

14 hours ago, Rainy Robin said:

I heard some use the phrase "self-partnered" but I don't like that too much either because it places the emphasis on relationships/partnerships rather than the individual. Usually I just say I'm "on my own" which isn't much better, so I'm also curious if anyone has better words to describe this! Maybe we could invent a word?

 

I would love to hear suggestions :D

I’ll think about it by myself, maybe I’ll have a good idea.. (but I would not be too positive about my creativity^^) As the word squish exists it should be possible to find another word for this

Edited by Acecream
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I do agree that 'single' is a bit loaded. It seems to come with the implication of 'available', and I do feel a little weird using it. But I still think that sticking with the word 'single' and using it neutrally like it means just 'not-partnered' is a valid option still. The reason I am less inclined towards thinking of a new term is that it can sound defensive. I actually dislike 'self-partnered' for this reason. I think it sounds quite weird, like "Oh I'm not single totally have a relationship (with myself)". 'Unpartnered' is better in my opinion. Self explanatory and not sounding like you're so embarrassed about your single status that you have to make up a relationship for yourself. Even though I am pretty sure that's the opposite of what the term 'self-partnered' intended. 

Is 'single' the formal term for being unpartnered in english speaking countries? Like, if you're filling in a form for an apartment and they want to know how many people live there, for example. In swedish there is 'ensamstående' which would be something like 'standing alone' if translated literally (which makes it sound cooler than it does in swedish x) It has a bit of the same implication), and that's used as the formal formal word for single.

I don't remember in what online-space, but I have seen someone with the handle 'NotTakenNotAvailable' x)

And I of course, like to call myself 'unromanceable', though that might be more a replacement for 'aro-ace' than it is for 'single'

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I've never really put any thought to it. I mean, I'm recently separated, so I guess I'm single. But I just feel like a person. A person without a significant other, and not currently in search of one. I wouldn't say "alone," since I have "people." I have family and friends, so I'm not really alone, even when I'm by myself.

5 minutes ago, Jedi said:

And I of course, like to call myself 'unromanceable', though that might be more a replacement for 'aro-ace' than it is for 'single'

I actually really like that. I may start using that term, myself.

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2 hours ago, Jedi said:

 

Is 'single' the formal term for being unpartnered in english speaking countries? Like, if you're filling in a form for an apartment and they want to know how many people live there, for example. In swedish there is 'ensamstående' which would be something like 'standing alone' if translated literally (which makes it sound cooler than it does in swedish x) It has a bit of the same implication), and that's used as the formal formal word for single.

In german we have the formal term “ledig” for people who are not and were never married. It doesn’t say anything more about your relationship status. Actually “ledig” does mean also “free of responsibility” which would be a nice meaning to describe your single-being^^ but it isn’t used outside of formalities and sounds a bit old-fashioned, so I guess people would make fun of when anyone would start to describe themself as “ledig”^^

we also have the word „alleinstehend“ which should mean the same as the swedish „ensamstående“ (the german word  „einsam“ means „lonely“ so „ensamstående“ sounds quite similar)

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I'm fine with 'single' ,and yes I call myself single. To me it just means "not in a romantic relationship". I've never read anything else into it, but then I've never been particularly inclined to over-think the meaning of words or to want words that describe my experience in precise detail.

2 hours ago, Jedi said:

Is 'single' the formal term for being unpartnered in english speaking countries?

I'm not sure if I would describe it as a 'formal term' but it is the word used on forms that ask about relationship status.

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8 hours ago, Acecream said:

I would love to hear suggestions :D

I’ll think about it by myself, maybe I’ll have a good idea.. (but I would not be too positive about my creativity^^) As the word squish exists it should be possible to find another word for this

I don't have any ideas yet, though I've thought that borrowing from Greek or Latin root words may help here. I'll post if I think of anything!

 

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On 3/15/2021 at 1:32 PM, Acecream said:

Do you call yourself “single”? How do you like the word?

Single is kinda my vibe. I *may* get a s/o one day, so who knows lmao.

 

I like knowing that I can find an s/o.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I don't think that I ever really thought of myself as single. I don't think I really have any feelings about the word one way or another, to be honest. I'll probably just continue to not call myself anything really.

Someone mentioned Greek and Latin roots,\ so here's a few that could be used to make a new word:

 "hapl" means single

"hen," "mon/mono," "sol," and "uni" mean one

"homin" means human

"soma" means body

"sui" means self

"exo" means outside

"ego" means self

"nihil" means nothing

"null" means none

"pleb" means people

I'm no linguist so I'm really not qualified to say this but hey, all words are made up anyway. If you really wanted to, you could probably mix and match these with each other and/or existing words to create a new one if you really wanted to. Like exorelational (outside of relationships), or haplosomatic (single body/single person).

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@Acecream
in swedish ledig also means "not taken". So I wouldn't want to use that here 😄

About the term single, I don't use it for myself but I don't mind using it in forms of such if it comes up.

I think solo is a better word. It sounds more permanent.   

 

 

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On 3/16/2021 at 12:55 PM, Jedi said:

Is 'single' the formal term for being unpartnered in english speaking countries?

yeah, it's like, single (meaning not currently in a relationship and never been married yet*), in a relationship, married, or divorced.  

*that's what people generally mean when they say they're single.  even "single and not looking" generally still means 'currently not wanting a relationship' (focusing on other things) or 'not specifically looking but if it happens naturally, cool'.  which--side note--i feel like is a good attitude for allos to have all the time.  like, for someone to focus their life on hunting down a partner can only lead to bad things: disappointment ('watched pot never boils' kind of thing) or settling for someone who is at BEST, not ideal for them and at worst, abusive.  because they feel like anything is better than being single.  not to mention other areas of their life suffering due to neglect/apathy.  of course this is far from the first time this has been discussed in the aro community, but yeah, relevant.   

i sometimes say "single for life" to indicate that i don't ever want to be in a romantic relationship/married.  of course the sentiments of disbelief, disdain, and/or pity in response are about the same as those in response to aromanticism itself.

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