Is There Such A Thing As Being Single For Too Long? by M. Del Russo
I was recently on a first date when the guy I was with asked when my last serious relationship was.
It’s a fairly typical first date question, so I answered truthfully: My most recent boyfriend and I ended things a little over three years ago. “Wow, that’s a long time,” he replied. I was seriously taken aback.
…Is there such a thing as being single for too long?
The answer is, of course, no. “There is absolutely no set time frame that counts as ‘too long’ for being single,” says Megan Stubbs, EdD, a sexologist and relationship expert based in Michigan. Part of the reason why is because there’s no set definition as what “being single” actually looks like.
“Some people have lovers, some people have months-long relationships that never get ‘serious,'” Dr. Costa says. “Does that count as being ‘single’? That answer will differ depending on who you ask.”
…Thankfully, the actual numbers aren’t important. “You need to ask yourself where this pressure is coming from,” Dr. Stubbs says. “Is it family pressure? Were you just invited to another wedding and comparing yourself?”
Once you figure out why you’re feeling like you’ve been single for “too long,” you’ll be able to figure out why you may be thinking it’s a problem.
“It’s not that serial monogamists have something up on you,” Dr. Stubbs says. “It could be a myriad of reasons — you could be choosier, your priorities might be a little different.”
You may have also just not found the right partner yet, which is completely normal.
Instead of trying to nitpick the length of your single life and figure out what’s wrong, it could help to reframe this time of your life. “Being single offers much more freedom, and can be an extremely expressive time in your life,” Dr. Costa says.