Listen free for 30 days

The Unexpected Joy of Being Single

Locating Happily-Single Serenity
Narrated by: Catherine Gray
Length: 10 hrs and 30 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (332 ratings)

£7.99/month after 30 days. Cancel anytime

Summary

Single in your late 20s or, hold the phone, in your 30s or beyond? Oh hi! You're in the right place.  

Over a third of us are now single. With the single camp growing at 10 times the rate of the actual population, it is now the norm to be single well into our 30s - the average marriage age for women is 35 and 37 for men. But nobody seems to have told society, rom-com makers, songwriters, marriage-hungry mothers, 'tick-tock' uncles, our mates or us that.  

Cue: single anxiety. Love addiction. Spending hours scrolling through dating apps. Being inconsolable when he/she doesn't text. Humming 'Here Comes the Bride' when they do.  

Catherine Gray went through all of this. And then some. She took a whole year off dating to get her love-hooked head straight. How do we chill our boots about our single status? Detach from 'all the good ones are gone!' panic? And deprogramme from urgent, red, heart-shaped societal pressure to find your 'other half'*? 

We know intellectually that single is far preferable to panic-settling, yet we forget that almost constantly. Why? Psychologists and neuroscientists tell us? Let's start the reverse brainwash and locate our happily-single sanity for good. Are you in?  

*Spoiler: you're already a whole person. 

©2018 Catherine Gray (P)2018 Octopus Publishing Group

What members say

Average customer ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    224
  • 4 Stars
    72
  • 3 Stars
    15
  • 2 Stars
    13
  • 1 Stars
    8

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    177
  • 4 Stars
    51
  • 3 Stars
    36
  • 2 Stars
    9
  • 1 Stars
    11

Story

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    184
  • 4 Stars
    50
  • 3 Stars
    30
  • 2 Stars
    10
  • 1 Stars
    8
Sort by:
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Hire a better narrator!

I enjoyed this and her previous book, but she is not a natural audiobook reader, it's read slowly and with virtually no intonation!

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Possibly ok if you're young and/ or unaware

I was pretty disappointed with this - particularly with the author's black & white thinking, and very broad-stroked approach to gender roles. This is the 21st century....I'm not sure who Catherine Gray hangs out with, but by the sounds of it many of them could do with an audible subscription and recommendations for contemporary discourse on sexism, gender identity / politics... etc!! A lot of this is aimed at people who are particularly love/ relationship fixated and /or have alcohol-related issues which fundamentally affect their relationships. Hard to relate to in many places if that's not you. It mixes in pop psychology, a sprinkle of statistics, and terms which I assume are intended to endear (think on-trend phrases and witticisms). None of which work for me. I feel I didn't learn anything. Perhaps I'm too old (and perhaps - and encouragingly - too wise) for the message(s) here. Can't recommend unless you are unaware and/ or under 25 yrs (or under 30 and particularly lacking in self-awareness) in which case it may be a good place to start.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

loved it

great to finally hear what I had been thinking for so long. made me relate and laugh and feel empowered

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Another beautiful and relatable journey shared by Catherine Gray

When I became curious about giving up alcohol I turned to The Unexpected Joy of Being Sober. Whilst reading the book, I found my self gobsmacked at how many of her experiences I could relate to, as well finding places/rooms that I didn’t even know existed inside of me.
This book was exactly the same; full of facts, so much love and kindness and a tool box full of knowledge and responses to arm yourself with, in the rediscovery of self.
I absolutely love the way the books are narrated and can’t recommend them enough.
If you’re reading this CG, thank you for going against the grain and for sharing your stories, adventures and journey. You’ve inspired such an exciting chapter in my life! To being solo and sober 👸🏻

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Captivating

Loved this honest book. Couldn’t put it down. Insightful and made me wince when I remember feeling the same way as CG. Let’s you rethink about your own life and choices and attitudes whether you’re single or not. Joy is from within. Fantastic author. Highly recommend.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

LOVED IT!! An inspiring and empowering book!

This is an honest and open book with humour and emotion. A great listen for anyone who is or has been single which I have recommended to many female friends.
Clearly written from the heart, it is also backed up with incredibly interested data. Even if you aren’t single I would still recommend you give this a listen.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

An uplifting and powerful read

So much to be taken from this beautifully honest and insightful book. What a gift.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

10 out of 10.

Loved it. Could not turn off! Catherine is so entertainingly honest and her experiences are so relatable! (It felt like she wrote it for me!) I bought this after a break up, thinking it might help me to get over it. I can't even explain why, but this was an absolute game changer for me. It got me through a point in my life that I thought I genuinely had it tough because I was the only single friend in my group, 'starting again'. This was the dose of reality I was looking for that I'm not actually doing too badly. Everyone should read. Cannot recommend enough!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

I needed this!

I loved this book, so many 'ohhh, that's why I did that' moments, very enlightening and empowering!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Incredible book

Loved this book so much. Listened to it over just 5 days! Found it so inspiring, funny and relatable.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Sort by:
  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Amazon Customer
  • Amazon Customer
  • 27-03-19

A voice actor would be a good investment

I so want to listen to this book but the accent and the reading pace is very hard to listen to. I’ll try to persist because I really want the content, and I can see it has great reviews, but we can’t all be excellent at all things. A professional narrator would have been a good investment.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for JenYaz
  • JenYaz
  • 04-02-19

So thankful for this book

I applaud Catherine for writing a book that challenges stereotypes, outdated ways of thinking, and some of our personal insecurities about being "un-coupled." I found her account of her own very personal experiences to be refreshingly honest and beautifully vulnerable. I can honestly say that this book has changed the way my brain and my heart think about my solo life and my future. I feel unburdened and set free from the ridiculous stigma, unnecessary worry, and negativity that is often attached to being single. After listening to it on audible, I bought the book so I can soak it in again and go crazy with my highlighter! On a personal note to the author - I thank you so much Catherine for the encouragement and inspiration this book gave me. I respect your work and love the way you write! Also, I am so glad you narrated this book yourself....added more connection for me. Peace & love to all! ☮️🌟💟

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for beth savage
  • beth savage
  • 09-09-19

I would recommend but room to improve

The book overall is good and I enjoyed. It defiantly promoted some new thoughts and feeling on my own and social standards as well as my personal feels on these topics.
However the author has written a book about being single yet she almost constantly dates!! Yes she takes a brief hiatus but the number of guys mentioned must easily be in double figures and I presume she’s only drawn on certain relationships. Maybe call it ‘The unexpected joy of searching and reviewing’

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for vania M.
  • vania M.
  • 09-03-19

Like a validation bath

I needed this book. Thank you for finally saying and validating the things on my heart about my single existence and making it ok to just be how and who I am. Liberating!!

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Meranda R.
  • Meranda R.
  • 08-01-19

Narrated with British Accent

Did not realize the narrator was British with a thick accent. Hard for me to understand what she was saying at times and I didn’t understand a lot of the slang terms. I didn’t connect with it at all.

2 of 4 people found this review helpful