The unexpected joy of being single by Catherine Gray

Book Review – January

{This post contains affiliate links. All thoughts and opinions are my own.}


I came across this book at the airport on 23rd December when I was waiting for my flight to Slovenia. It was one of the last minute buys and I don’t regret it.

Unexpected joy of being single by Catherine Gray was next to Unexpected joy of being sober by the same author and million other books and because I needed to get back into reviewing books for Mina’s Planet I deiced that this title would be appropriate for January, for the begging of the year. And maybe because I was trying to find joy in being single myself, just a little maybe.


This book was published by Aster (Octopus Publishing Group) in the UK in 2018 and it was written by Catherine Gray. If you ever came across to any of her interviews you would see that she is very open minded about her drinking and dating habbits. After so many years of being sober, Katherine realised that she had another addiction, being a serial dater. It was all about to find the One and her friends used to call her love monkey because she would swing from a man to man. To make the whole thing a bit more complicated at the age of 33 her dad called her spinster. Which I had to google:

Spinster: A spinster, or old maid, is an older, childless woman who has never been married. A “spinster” is not simply a “single” woman, but a woman who has not formed a human pair bond by the time she is approaching or has reached menopause and the end of her reproductive lifespan.


Anyway, I enjoyed reading it quite a lot. There were lots of things that Katherine wrote and I agree with. I learnt there is a difference between being alone and being lonely. So many women stay in relationships because of the sake of being with someone, as far as they are not alone. But being in a relationship with someone could make you more lonely than you could be alone on your own. Yes, you are not physically alone, but worst, you are with someone but lonely. When do you choose yourself above your relationship?


I also learnt, that just like you can be an alcoholic addict, you can be a love addict too. In her book, Katherine talks about relationships that she had, and from a readers point of view it’s obvious that are toxic. But once when you are in a toxic relationship you might not notice it, or you do notice and still stay. Katherine also gathered states from different professionals such as neuroscientist, therapist and psychiatrist to prove the fact that you can be a love addict. There is a whole explanation of what is happening in our head when we are in love. I will leave this to you to find out.

It was interesting to read about her adventures and be reminded that as women we are capable of dealing with a lot, for whatever reasons. I am sure that we all have these small, sad stories of being pushed down by a man who supposed to be our supporting rock. Instead, they are the rock which hit us.


Katherine goes on about that society is set up to think that we all have to be in a couple and produce. That there must be that one and only. We grow up with fairytales where only the man can save the women. I never thought about it, but when Katherine pointed it out it makes sense, I can see it a lot. She said just look at the Snow-white, Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, etc. All three saved by a prince. But what if in your fairytale your prince is an asshole who fill himself only when he steps on you. When your success makes him a horrible man, but your failure makes him happy?

One of the things that also stayed with me was the paragraph called The Fear Of Alternative.

She said that we are brainwashed with the myth that we are happier together. But studies showed that coupled people said nothing would make them happier than finding another partner. I could belive this easily, because of my friends and family, I know people who are unhappy with their partner but decide to do nothing about it. Katherine state that, these people should clearly be single, but we all know its not always that simple. But then, is that true? She finished her paragraph with the powerful words, that being single is not better than being married, but it’s not worse either. Its time for us to find our own joy, being single or married, we can not forget about ourselves. Who we are and who we were before being a couple.

Grab this book if you are single or married because sometimes it is just nice to know that a) nothing is wrong with you, being single or b) nothing is wrong if your friends are single. Just like its nothing wrong with you being married. You do you. This is the book that will definitely stay close to my bedside. As a gentle reminder to myself.