Thank you for the hug Em, much appreciated
Its really good to hear your thoughts actually! I think that society expects certain milestones at certain ages - and it can impact us emotionally if we feel we haven't fitted in with one or more of them.
So not just being single and not having children - which I see in myself - but things like leaving home (nowadays much harder to afford your own place), getting a job, for example. But I reckon there are loads more. I do feel like I'm labelled and pitied - like you say, we shouldn't care what other people think.....
I don't know if i would have no mental health issues if i had a partner - its all so complex isn't it. I do know that everyone can have struggles, including people in relationships, and what we see on the outside isn't necessarily the reality.
There is definitely a human need for belonging isn't there? I accept that I would like companionship and someone special in my life, but not at any cost. And I think that knowing what you need is a strength (I have been accused of being picky in the past. But one friend of mine recently commented that I was right and it was actually positive - it meant you knew yourself and what you needed). I am scared of being dependent on someone, not being in control, being hurt - all the cliches!
I don't know about accepting being single, but being ok with it would be nice - but being open to meeting people. So when I feel like it, maybe I'll try online dating again and see how it goes.
(This is me being all positive about the future by the way - it helps to write it down actually.
Enough of my waffling now