'You're Not Superior, You're Just Partnered' — Stop Telling Single People To Make Themselves A Priority

Singledom is not something to be pitied.

single woman looking down, silhouette of couple sitting on beach at sunset Ioana Catalina E, Rawpixel.com / Shutterstock

Writer and podcaster Shani Silver made a TikTok sharing her problem with the unprompted relationship advice often given to single people.

The original video she stitched discussed one common piece of unwanted advice given to single people: To make themselves a priority. Her video pointed out that making yourself a priority and wanting a romantic relationship are not mutually exclusive.

Silver explained why she dislikes the cliché advice given to single people to 'love themselves' and 'work on themselves first.'

"Y'all are free to stop making somebody's singlehood their own fault anytime you want," she started. "Couplehood is a convenient thing to hide behind and it's a cute little stepladder that helps coupled people rise above single people in their own eyes."


According to Silver, when you give a single person this advice, "all we hear is your superiority... You're not superior, you're just partnered — and there's a big difference."



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Singledom isn't something that should be pitied.

In fact, it actually comes with a slew of benefits, from building stronger friendships to a more flexible lifestyle. It's also increasingly common to be single.

According to the Pew Research Center, nearly 40% of adults in the United States are unpartnered, up from 29% in 1990. Furthermore, about half say they aren't even interested in dating, most commonly because they have more important priorities, enjoy being single, or are too busy.

Silver went on to share her issue with the much-given advice that if single people "just keep working on themselves," then "someone will show up eventually."

"You never let a single person know how long they're gonna have to 'work on themselves' before that partner will magically appear in front of them," she said. "Because the advice is [BS]."


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People in the comments were quick to point out that it is actually because they have worked on themselves that they choose to remain single.

"I’m single because I worked on myself, therefore my standards are higher than my partnered friends who haven’t," one user wrote. "It takes strength to be single," another commented. "You can partner up with anyone to just not be alone. But it takes wisdom to know you’ll just be miserable doing that."

At the end of her video, Silver had a strong message for viewers.

"Single people, you don't have to listen to this," she urged. "If somebody says 'Just work on yourself, just love yourself, and then I'm sure you'll find a partner,' you don't have to listen. Better still, you can ask them if they did."


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At the end of the day, it's usually best to keep any unsolicited advice to yourself. 

Others in the comments included their own responses to unwelcome advice from others, with many adding that they won't apologize for not settling for less than they deserve — which is a mindset everyone should have.

The "advice" people give, which Silver mentions above, is far from helpful. Even if you mean well, these types of comments perpetuate the idea that your worth is based on your relationship status, which simply isn't true.


For so long, women have been expected to get married and have children as soon as possible, but that is no longer the case. Women, and everyone else, are allowed to enjoy being single for as long as they want — forever, even — without shame.

While relationships shape who we are and how we live our lives, they aren't the sole driving force. It's through hard work to become better people and figure out what we want to accomplish in life that truly define us.

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Audrey Jaber is a Boston-based writer and Assistant Editor for YourTango.