There’s a bit of conventional wisdom related to National Singles Day, September 22 that says, “A new love finds you when you least expect it; when you’ve stopped looking and you’re on the verge of giving up, that’s when it hits you like a ton of bricks.” We’d like to add, there should be no continuing to “scan” the groups at the places you go, all the while still telling yourself and the universe you don’t expect anything to happen. The point is actually farther from a future romance’s timing and closer to being okay with yourself. Come to think of it, “You’ve got to be alright alone,” is something Americans have also heard many, many times. It’s when you’re comfortable in your own skin that you exude the kind of confidence that attracts.
But don’t get us wrong. We don’t want to dissuade those who feel they’re ready to give love another chance (or that big first shot). According to the U.S. Census Bureau statistics, the number of single adults in our country is growing significantly, almost exponentially, from year to year. It’s not exactly “shooting fish in a barrel” these days, but should you, as an eligible single, decide it’s time, you’ll probably have multiple options to choose from.
In the meantime, take some space and some time and do some reflection. National Singles Day is a 24-hour period where it’s okay to be about “me, me, me,” because you’re doing some important work, fine-tuning who you know you are, who you thought you were before, and where it all fits in, in the grander scheme.
History of National Singles Day
Although there are holidays around the world (the domestic Singles Awareness Day on February 15, China’s Singles Day on November 11, and the UK’s Singles Day on March 11) that have similar sentiments behind them, here in the US, National Singles Day is less emphatic about the idea that there is something wrong with being without a significant other, as if it’s a condition to be treated. A good bellwether would be an individual who, though he or she may be of limited means, takes time to pamper. Making a small sacrifice to get a massage, to keep up an exercise regimen, or the like, conveys the attitude of National Singles Day: yes, someone is out there for you, but no, you’re not in a big rush.
Some guys were in quite a rush, quite some time ago. Stay with us: the original European settlers to North America, during the vast sweep west from the first landing points like Jamestown, naturally came into contact with the aboriginal tribes of what would become the United States. Grizzled veteran Ebenezer Sproat impressed the Ohio-area Native people so much with his height and stature that they nicknamed him “Hetuck,” meaning “eye of the buck deer,” or simply, “Big Buckeye.” The name “buckeye” gradually came to denote Ohioans in general, and centuries later, in the 1980s, the Buckeyes Council created National Singles Week to “celebrate single life and recognize singles and their contributions to society.” As you see here on National Today, the idea has spread far and wide from the Buckeye State, and now what’s most remembered is September 22, to pack as much celebration into a “single” day (if you will) of that week as we can.
National Singles Day is all about successful single living, and we have some suggestions on how exactly to go about it. Read on.
National Singles Day timeline
Rihanna is single by choice
"Guys need attention," she says. "I’ll give it to my family, I’ll give it to my work – but I will not give it to a man right now."
Taylor Swift builds a money empire out of her failed relationships
"1989," the best-selling album of 2014, is simultaneously Swift's breakup with country music and a mourning of her one-month relationship with Harry Styles, referencing him literally and contextually in three songs on the album.
Beethoven: “Too ugly, and half crazy”
Magdalena Willman said no to his proposal, later telling her nephew that Beethoven was "too ugly and half crazy."
Queen Elizabeth I shuts it down
In response to pressure from England's lords to choose a mate, Queen Elizabeth I replies: "If I am to disclose to you what I should prefer ... it is this: beggar-woman and single, far rather than queen and married!"
National Singles Day FAQs
Should I give gifts on National Singles Day? If so, what kind?
The general trend seems to be on pampering gifts. We mentioned massages; gift certificates for those or other spa-type treatments are always nice, as are presents that indicate a knowledge of someone’s likes and hobbies (crafts, cooking, reading, movies). However, you’d be more in the spirit of National Singles Day if, on September 22, you splurged on yourself instead, contemplating “Numero Uno” and how to be a truer you.
What if I’m invited to a singles mixer? Is that in the spirit of the holiday, too?
Of course, with one caveat: if it’s something you, yourself want to do with your evening and you’re not caving to pressure from the gathering’s organizer or attendees. You may surprise yourself by discovering that yes, you’re really ready to meet some new people, or lucky duck, that one special person. Anything goes, as long as you truly desire it.
Isn’t this just another example of retail-sales driven hype to get my money?
Some will have this opinion, and the really cool thing is that if that’s how YOU feel, then you’ve taken a step toward finding out how you’re going to recognize September 22 as an individual or a group of singles. Even better? The other extreme viewpoint is just as alright: support your local economy, or go online and get that gadget you’ve been seeing targeted ads about; in other words, no matter how you feel, you’re right!
National Singles Day Activities
Delete you ex’s number (for real)
Don’t forget your Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or every single social platform where the two of you are connected. Take the time to make Google Contacts understand, as well. You will both have moments of weakness; the idea is to minimize their impact. We hope you won’t have to move and change your number, but be prepared. It happens.
Hit the club…
… or the gym, or the farmers’ market, or a brick-and-mortar book group. Older and wiser people have been known to say, “Develop the interest first, meet people second.” Think of it this way: you’d be more interested in someone who had a depth and breadth of talents, and they’ll feel the same about you, especially if you share some of those areas of interest and knowledge.
Marry yourself (?)
Needless to say, this activity is for National Singles Day extremists ONLY. If you want to cement your single status forever, plan a ceremony and invite all your friends and promise to love, cherish, and honor yourself in sickness and in health. (This is technically legal but will not be recognized as a valid marriage certificate by the United States government.)
FIVE AMAZING FACTS ABOUT DIVORCE
Can you blame your singlehood on someone?
In the state of New York and in Mississippi, you can sue a third party who “stole” your spouse, in civil court for “alienation of affection.”
Another reason to put down butts
A marriage is 75% more likely to end in divorce if one partner smokes cigarettes.
The odds can seem hard to beat
Official sources report that in the U.S., there are approximately 876,000 divorces per year, which when averaged out equals one divorce every 36 seconds.
Take it from an articulate person
Canadian author of “The Handmaid’s Tale,” Margaret Atwood was quoted as saying, “Divorce is like an amputation: you survive it, but there’s less of you.”
“I must have learned something!”
College graduates have a 13% smaller chance of going through a divorce.
Why We Love National Singles Day
The world is our oyster
For most of the year social events, popular culture, and even family dynamics can seem to be heavily skewed toward the couple’s paradigm. Who hasn’t been the “third wheel” on a road trip or spontaneous outing and ended up feeling like a toadstool, or worse, been in the same position with the additional stress of romantic feelings toward one member of the couple? Well, on National Singles Day, forget all that. This is your day.
Singles are gaining ground
With so many Americans who are single either by choice or because of a divorce or a spouse’s passing, businesses are taking advantage of the new niche. Singles can check to see if certain cruise lines have solo cabins without paying a supplemental fee. And if a single person eats out, there's no shame anymore, as restaurants have become more sensitive to seating parties of one with everyone else, instead of in hidden nooks back by the kitchen. Our advice? Experience single life to the max, and find more of these new developments.
It’s easier to become a single parent today
Singles often feel pressure to partner up and produce offspring, and we don’t see this changing fundamentally, considering the human biological procreation impulse (and our grandparents’ repeated reminders thereof). However, increasing numbers of singles with sufficient incomes are looking into adoption and other methods of raising a child on their own. If the idea tugs at your heart-strings, contact your local adoption agency and learn about the avenues available.
National Singles Day dates