Have you ever been single at any point, and friends or family look at you as if you're not so much missing a partner as minus a limb?! The implication is you need to be enjoying a loving, committed relationship to be happy. If a particular romance has ended, you may well feel pressurised into ‘getting back in the saddle.' In other words, the natural thing to do is head over to the nearest dating site for singles where your better half is surely waiting patiently for you to introduce yourself.

Let's take a step back from these one-dimensional attitudes. Rather than clamber into any metaphorical saddle, have you ever announced you were quite content being alone, if only for an unspecified period? If this provokes stunned expressions amongst your buddies, perhaps the time has come to explain the reasons why this whole ‘better half out there' attitude is nothing but a myth which needs to be busted!

You're putting non-existent people on a pedestal

So the implication is, you need to be part of a partnership to have any currency in your social circle? What makes this especially problematic is, you are being asked to take your place in a partnership which doesn't actually exist. It's one thing to refer to a better half when you know all about their personality, and they've actually behaved in a way to merit praise. But if this person is merely a figment of someone's imagination, then the whole scenario is patently ridiculous. Worse than that, it's hardly going to do much for your own self-esteem if you're constantly reminded you'll only become a whole person once you're united with this mythical another half.

A ‘better half' is too much responsibility

The clue is in the title. A better half implies someone with admirable character traits. But life is far more complicated than that. If only every single person were guaranteed to be matched with some kind of knight in shining armour who would lift them out of their sad single status! Referring to someone as a better half is placing a lot of responsibility on their shoulders. What happens if you do you get involved with someone who has particular flaws? There is nothing wrong with that at all. It's called living in the real world.

Forget external happiness; think of number one

The whole point of this myth, that there is a better half out there just waiting for you to discover them as if you're in some kind of fairy story is the implication you will only ever find true happiness once you have tracked this person down. What this actually does is negate your own aspirations. While it may be tempting to fall into the trap of assuming you'd only be better off when you do come across someone you can enjoy a relationship with, this attitude is demeaning because it thinks you will never be satisfied as a single person. If this is the case, how on earth do you explain why so many single people lead deeply fulfilling lives?

Appreciate there's more to life than being part of an item

If you're at all concerned about the requirement to seek a better half, just remember being an item is not some kind of default position. People are single for all manner of reasons. Some might have just come out of a relationship. Others choose to be single because they prefer having the freedom to choose their own path. There is no right or wrong. And indeed no such thing as myths.