Back in high school, you\u2019d be hard-pressed to find someone who\u2019d be happy to be eating alone, sitting alone in class, or being the only one not paired with anyone during group activities. 'Loner', 'Weirdo', 'Creep' - these were some of the names you\u2019d be called if you didn\u2019t have any friends. We grew up socialised to believe there was something innately wrong about being alone.\u00a0 These days however, more people are embracing the idea of eating, working, and living alone. Our dependence on technology has made singlehood not just a necessity, but a way of life. There\u2019s an increasing number of single young adults that enjoy their lives of quiet solitude. Are you one of them? Here are the top 4 signs: 1. You like eating out alone Andrew sits on a kopitiam stool, his work laptop to one side of his body. His eyes are fixed on only one thing - the steaming plate of curry mee right in front of him.\u00a0 Uncaring of any curious glances that might go his way, he\u2019s 100% focused on the delicious egg noodles bathed in a coconut-curry broth in front of him. Andrew is a typical salaryman living in the heart of KL, and his lunches are usually solitary affairs, at his favorite hawker stall outside his workplace.\u00a0 The sight of a 20-something officer worker eating lunch alone isn\u2019t weird - nowadays, you\u2019ll see a good 20-25% of diners eating out alone at food courts, cafes, diners, and bars. Why do you eat alone? I asked him. \u201cMy lunch break is short, I only have 20 minutes to eat, 10 minutes to travel, and 30 minutes of free time,\u201d Andrew explained. \u201cI want that to be my me-time. I don\u2019t want to spend it keeping up with conversations I have no interest in participating,\u201d he said flatly. Mira, an HR exec who enjoys solo dining, echoes his sentiment. \u201cSometimes you just want to take a break from your job lah. There\u2019s only so many lunch breaks with colleagues you can have before you get tired of their chatter!\u201d\u00a0 While seemingly anti-social, they do have a point.\u00a0 People who dine alone often catch up on the daily news, read their favorite serial comics on Insta, or simply bask in the serenity of not being at others\u2019 beck and call. 2. You are too busy to meet others Sometimes though, it can simply be an issue of being too busy to meet people. David is a medical equipment salesman for a large pharmaceutical. Each day, he travels to the clinics and specialist hospitals on his route and pitches his products to them, arranges shipments, and liaises with suppliers. \u201cI don\u2019t have a fixed eating spot. Most days, its at whichever mall is closest to my client of the day,\u201d he quipped.\u00a0 He often only gets to sit down and eat when he gets home. At work, he eats on the go, and his lunchtime varies. \u201cMy schedule changes every day. On Monday I\u2019d be meeting with a client in Kajang. On Wednesday I\u2019d be delivering an invoice to a clinic in Cheras.\u201d Often, that means he has to eat alone, because that\u2019s the nature of his job. I asked him if he ever feels lonely doing this job by himself.\u00a0 \u201cTo be honest, I don\u2019t really think about it. I\u2019m usually too focused on the next thing on my checklist to worry about loneliness.\u201d David relishes the independence his job brings, and he\u2019s used to the feeling of being by himself. \u201cI do see my boss daily, but we have almost never shared our meals together - he\u2019s got the rest of his team to manage, and I\u2019ve got my targets to reach,\u201d he says simply. 3. You cannot stand living with others Living alone has its benefits - especially if living with others causes you existential pain. Fiona thinks it\u2019s good to be alone, because then you can have the whole house to yourself. \u201cIt used to drive me crazy when my flatmates made a mess in the kitchen. Now I don\u2019t have that added stress in my life.\u201d\u00a0 She adds that the peace and quiet of an empty house is preferable to the inconvenience of living with others. \u201cPlus, you get to bring people to your place, on your terms.\u201d\u00a0 When asked if she ever gets lonely, she replies: \u201cNot when I go out and see people on a daily basis!\u201d She does have a point. Can you imagine living with someone like Sheldon from BBT? In our increasingly digitalised society, human connections are less and less bound by traditional modes of socialisation. \u201cWe used to be confined to little boxes about who we could meet. Now we get to be more selective about the company we keep. I think that\u2019s empowering,\u201d says Vivian, who runs her own laser hair removal studio. There\u2019s a risk that in the bustle of adulthood, you end up becoming a hermit, not really meeting anybody.\u00a0 Timothy works as an IT specialist and lives by himself. Each day, he comes home to an empty apartment. \u201cSometimes I do feel isolated,\u201d Tim admitted. \u201cWhen I get home, I always put on some Youtube channel like the Finebros react series. I guess it\u2019s comforting in a way.\u201d Do you have any strategies to overcome it? \u201cYeah, I\u2019m part of a few societies, and I go to church. It keeps me grounded and sane, don\u2019t worry,\u201d Tim said confidently. 4. You\u2019ve embraced being \u2018self-partnered\u2019 Emma Watson recently did an interview with Vogue, and the statement that took the media by storm was her assertion that she\u2019s happily \u2018self-partnered\u2019 - as opposed to simply being \u2018single\u2019.\u00a0 The term #Selfpartnered quickly became trending on Twitter. Some found it progressive, others thought it was narcissistic. Having watched the whole interview, I didn\u2019t sense any self-absorbed delusion about her -\u00a0 I think she\u2019s simply accepted the idea of being \u2018single\u2019 as perfectly normal. As comedian Russell Brand says, \u201cLanguage is continually evolving. Emma Watson\u2019s choice to say \u2018I\u2019m self-partnered\u2019 - even when the literal words confuse me a bit - is her right to say that she doesn\u2019t want to be regarded as somehow \u2018incomplete\u2019. I think it\u2019s a very valuable point.\u201d The truth is, society still sees people who stay single as human beings who are somehow \u2018flawed\u2019. Just look at the plot of rom-coms like Bridesmaids. Being single is seen as undesirable, a curse to bear until you\u2019ve found The One. Jokes like \u2018you\u2019re gonna turn into a crazy cat lady\u2019 are basically held over your head like a death sentence.\u00a0 As if you\u2019re somehow worse-off being surrounded by cute cats rather than a buff partner with two kids. Particularly in a Malaysian context, settling down and having kids isn\u2019t simply a personal choice, but is often a familial obligation.\u00a0 But if we step back and think about it, why should that be the norm? In the modern world where personal fulfillment comes in many forms, there is no longer the need for adult children to \u2018carry on the family line\u2019. Being single isn\u2019t a curse, but a blessing Nowadays, when the demands of life make time a precious commodity, it\u2019s honestly not selfish to spend a little more time on the things that make you happy, rather than chase after an idealised goal that society says you should have in order to have \u2018made it\u2019. As long as you\u2019re interacting with the world in a positive way, achieving personal milestones, and maintaining a healthy work-life balance - who cares if you\u2019re single or \u2018self-partnered\u2019? Being single should be the norm rather than the other way round. What do you think? Let us know in the comments! For more articles about being single and loving it, read Single at 30: What the \u2018No Plus-One\u2019 Life Taught Me and Why You Should Celebrate Being Single \u2013 Advice from Someone in a Relationship.