Single people frequently feel left out of major life milestones and celebrations. Married people get to have weddings, bridal showers, kitchen teas, Valentine’s Days and anniversaries. If they have children, they get baby showers, Mother’s and Father’s Days, and all their children’s milestones too: first steps, first words, starting school, first dates, graduation, first jobs, moving out of home and many more.
These events can leave single people out in the cold.
These events, while worth celebrating, can leave single people out in the cold. And singles need kitchen teas and spoiling too! So how can we celebrate life milestones that do not revolve around romantic relationships or children?
I’ve come up with a few worthy milestones we can all celebrate, regardless of our relationship status. Here are my milestones—or justifications—for celebration:
- Getting a new job (completing long job applications and nailing interviews also count)
- Increasing from part-time to full-time hours
- Decreasing from full-time to part-time hours (for some of us, that’s a major cause for rejoicing)
- Moving from contractual work to salaried employment (or vice versa)
- Workplace anniversaries
- Getting promoted
- Getting a pay-rise, even if it’s an automatic one
- Completing a major project or presentation or kicking off a major initiative
- Receiving a workplace award or formal recognition
- Leaving a bad job.
- Finding a rental
- Moving house
- Renewing a lease
- Passing an inspection
- Buying a home (can be multi-phased celebrations, eg. making an offer, offer accepted, bank loan approved, moving day)
- Completing a renovation, extension or installation
- Unpacking (this can sometimes take years to accomplish)
- Paying off a mortgage.
- Trying new medication that works
- Having a ‘good health’ or ‘high energy’ day (always a reason to celebrate in my world)
- Getting a long-awaited diagnosis
- Successful surgery
- Going into remission
- Hiring a cleaner or other support worker
- Doctor break-ups (when you’re doing so well they don’t need to see you anymore)
- Accruing a certain amount of sick leave at work
- Being approved for NDIS, disability pension or similar
- Maintaining a healthy eating/exercise program for a certain length of time
- Achieving a healthy weight goal.
- Getting a pet
- Travelling solo, especially to a bucket-list destination
- Meeting a savings goal
- Learning a musical instrument
- Trying a craft or form of art
- Any visit to IKEA!
- Joining a sports club
- Forming a reading group
- Venturing into any new social domain
- Moving out of home
- Enrolling in, and then completing, a course of study
- Paying off a student debt
- Buying a car
- Being approved for, and paying off, any kind of loan
- Writing a book
- Starting a blog
- Being a guest speaker or presenter at an event such as a conference or book signing
- Singing up for, or signing off from, a social media platform
- Setting up your own website or online business
- Attending conferences, events, theatre, gigs, festivals and restaurants solo
- Entering a contest, especially if you win!
- Volunteering for a charity.
- Finding a new church
- Leaving an unhealthy church
- Taking on a ministry or serving role, either in the church or outside of it
- Stepping down from ministry
- Taking a sabbatical
- Going on a mission trip
- Joining a bible study or fellowship group
- Returning to church, prayer, bible reading or worship after a period of time away
- Turning back to God after a time of distance or separation
- Enrolling in, and completing, a bible study course
- Engaging in faith deconstruction.
I hope these lists inspire you!
There are many ways to celebrate our major achievements, and they don’t have to revolve around relationships! I hope these lists inspire you to look for, and celebrate, all manner of major milestones in your life—and the lives of your single friends.
What other significant milestones can you think of to celebrate? What milestones have you celebrated as a single, or helped other single people celebrate? Are you overdue for some celebration? Let’s pool our ideas. Keep those countercultural conversations coming!