The Unexpected Joy of Being Single by Catherine Gray: You Are a Whole Person!

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I spent Valentine’s Day evening alone, curled up in my pyjamas and reading The Unexpected Joy of Being Single to make me feel better. And you know what? It worked!

Rating: Red StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed Star

Category: Non-fiction

Synopsis: When she feels her life becoming overwhelmed by endless scrolling through dating apps, Catherine Gray decides to take a year-long break from dating. In The Unexpected Joy of Being Single, she shares the emotional ups and downs during the year, plus words of wisdom from psychologists to pop culture icons. All this makes for a bubbly and varied guide that gives you the encouragement needed to embrace single life.


Writing Style

I loved how Gray’s personality sparkles throughout every page. She is open, honest and doesn’t take herself too seriously. Her no-nonsense approach reminded me of that friend we all have who won’t let us wallow in self-pity! However, the author’s wit takes the edge off and keeps it a light-hearted and fun read.

The Unexpected Joy of Being Single Catherine Gray Book Review Pinterest Graphic


Gray’s anecdotes, some wild and some hilariously relatable, kept me entertained and snatching reading time whenever I could. I was also surprised by the amount of scientific research and expertise that the book contains. What is the psychology behind dating app addiction? Are married people really happier? Why do we feel under so much pressure to find a partner?

It was fascinating to read about common myths being debunked. For example, single people are stereotypically seen as lonely, but in fact, have a bigger social network than married couples.

The Unexpected Joy of Being Single Catherine Gray Quote

Genuinely useful, practical advice is forthcoming too. On Gray’s recommendation, I downloaded the ‘Happy Not Perfect’ app which is fantastic for helping to create a routine of self-care. It emphasises gratitude for what we do have, rather than focussing on lack.

The message? You are not desperately searching for your other half to complete you: you are already a whole and valuable human being.

Favourite quote:

“It is better to be alone than poorly accompanied.”

Read if: you need some encouragement to embrace single life.

Buy Now on Better World Books:

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Have you read The Unexpected Joy of Being Single? What did you think? Let me know in the comments – I would love to hear from you!

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