As someone who has spent the vast proportion of her twenties technically single (6 out of ten years, off and on), I would like the categorization of relationship statuses to be revised.
Instead of just single or ‘In a relationship’ being the standard terms to describe ones relationship status, there could be 3 recognised categories: Single, In an Emotional Quagmire, and In a Relationship.
This is because there is generally very little time when one is actually completely properly single and feeling like a fulfilled normal human being content to see friends and family and go on silly holidays and flirt outrageously and generally enjoy oneself , and instead being ‘single’ encompasses a lot of time where there is someone on the horizon who is messing you around, or that you are messing around because you think you can do better. And in any case it’s bloody complicated and takes up way too much time and effort and ends with heartache, i.e. you are in an Emotional Quagmire. (Alternatively we could call this stage being Fckwitted, ala Bridget Jones)
If this was the recognised categorisation of things, people who are In a Relationship (who should really check to make sure they are not actually in a Quagmire) could stop being condescending to Single people, and save all their relationship advice for those in a Quagmire. And those people who are in a Quagmire and messing somebody around could put up their hands and admit to not actually really wanting to be with the other person, and happily move into a genuinely Single person phase without fear of being looked at pityingly when they show up at a wedding without a plus one.
People could also in general be more understanding that life does not stand still and Single people and those in a relationship now can find themselves in a quagmire later on if they are not honest with themselves and each other and make an effort to communicate (Ah the things you learn when you turn 30).
I hope to see ‘In a Quagmire’ on a census soon. Rejoice single people!