As the fall weather approaches, single vibes seem to be fading as quickly as the summer sun. The upcoming seasons are known for daily snuggles and cozy romances. From carving pumpkins into scary faces to apple picking in matching flannels, you can probably think of a few couples who are “goals.” For some collegiettes, relationships are all they know while others genuinely prefer the single life.
Can’t decide which one you are? Here are some signs you may be addicted to relationships and advice on how to learn to love being alone.
1. You can’t remember the last time you were single.
Even since grade school, you’ve always found yourself more interested in who your weekly crush was rather than what games people were playing in the school yard. You can try to think back to a time when you were alone, but chances are it wasn’t by choice.
Kim Olver, life, relationship and executive coach, further elaborates, “In my work, I find there are two main reasons college women are more interested in relationships than dating. The first one is that they have a higher need for love and belonging and do not find superficial relationships need-satisfying. They prefer commitment to the casual.” We know how valuable your free time is, so it makes sense to be selective with whom you spend it with.
“The other reason is that there are some women who simply do not feel whole without a significant other,” Olver continues. “They look to that person to ‘complete’ them. Most women who fall into this category either do not know themselves very well and define themselves based on what appeals to their SO, or they do know themselves and don't like what they see,” Olver concludes.
Relationship addict or not, this is a good reminder to focus on the relationship you have with yourself a bit more.
Related: 15 Fun & Free Fall Dates
2. When you’re single you’re looking for someone to be your SO.
You’ll seek out your exes if it means you don’t have to be alone, even if they treated you poorly. You willingly settle for less than you deserve to ensure you have an SO in your life. “These people would consistently make decisions to benefit their SO, even going against what they would do if left to their own devices, so as not to make waves in their relationship,” Olver explains.
We definitely don’t think you should compromise your worth for the sole reason of feeling wanted. It can be difficult to admit when you find yourself in an unhealthy relationship, but worth evaluating if it means you can learn to be happy elsewhere.
3. Nothing makes you happier than being with an SO.
For those of you who are in fairytale-type relationships, we can see why you choose commitment over today's crazy dating world. Hannah Morin-Roy, a sophomore at the University of New Hampshire, expresses why she loves being with her boyfriend of almost five years. “I’m addicted to relationships because of the feeling you get when you’re with someone,” she says. “Not so much in a sense that they complete you, but that you know many situations wouldn’t be the same without them. They make everything more exciting and fun.” Because who doesn’t want to be with someone who continues to brighten up their days?
“He knows me better than I know myself and there is nothing like creating lifelong memories with him. No one else can give you the same amount of happiness like a significant other can.”
This sounds like the type of relationship we should all be waiting for. There’s someone out there for everyone, it’s usually just a matter of timing.
4. You find more comfort in relationships than anywhere else.
Maybe you’ve tried to be alone. Maybe you’re independent in many ways, but when it comes to relationships, you have a soft spot. If you’re with the right person, you know they’ll always be there for you and some people need that comfort in their life.
Matteo Pocobene, a recent graduate from Emmanuel College, shares his thoughts. “Although I'll admit being single at the age of 22 is cool, I'm a relationship guy because of the way I feel when I fall in love with someone,” he says. “The best thing about dating is feeling comfortable with yourself. When you date someone you love, you know that they accept all of your flaws — you don't have to try to be someone you're not.”
There is nothing worse than trying to fit a mold other people create for you. You don’t need a relationship to be your own person, but there is certainly a confidence boost that comes with knowing someone loves you for all that you are.
5. You don’t just want an SO, you need one.
You’ve probably seen old high school classmates posting on Facebook about their current relationship drama. Chances are it’s the same couple that continues to break up and get back together over and over again. Annoying, right? This is not what we call a healthy relationship.
Read below for advice on how to learn to be happily single!
Alone, but not lonely
Making the choice to be actively single is beneficial for many women, especially ones who don’t feel confident when they’re alone. Olver advises, “The women who feel incomplete without an SO need to go on a relationship holiday with SOs so they can create a healthy need-satisfying relationship with themselves.”
We couldn’t agree more. Self-love is a must and it can take time to learn your true worth. Give yourself that time if you need it and don’t be afraid to seek out professional help through a form of counseling. This isn’t something you can just learn overnight.
Olivia Hennedy, a senior at Bishop’s University, supports this mindset as well. “I believe in order to have a genuinely happy and healthy relationship, you must learn how to be happy on your own first. Once you realize your self-worth and respect it, you won't settle because you know deep down that anything less wouldn’t make you truly happy. You have to feel whole before you give a piece of your heart to someone else."
It takes both time and effort to build a relationship with yourself. College women have the right to be in committed relationships, but they also have the right to be joyfully single. Olver elaborates, “Happily single women tend to prioritize their personal goals, their personal friendships, and they make their decisions based on what is right for them rather than what's best for their SO or their relationship.”
No matter what type of woman you are, know you are worth much more than you probably believe. You can love relationships as much as you’d like, but remember to love yourself first.