Let’s face it. We have learned to prepare ourselves for certain “signs” that begin to appear in the beginning of February: red pieces of construction paper cut into little heart shapes all over our campus, candy hearts with ridiculously tiny words engraved on them mocking us from inside a jar, people wearing obnoxious amounts of pink, and special “date” offers popping up in all our favorite local restaurants and cute coffee shops. While it seems these symbols of Valentine’s Day are bound to make all of the single ladies feel depressed, here at HC we have a different take on the V-Day woe: rather than lamenting, embrace being single!
We are not bitter about Valentine’s Day, we swear.
There are some amazing aspects of being single, and I promise you that many of these perks happen so frequently in your everyday life that you do not even notice them! While I hate – OK, love – to quote the Counting Crows, “you don’t know what you got ‘til its gone.” Despite that fact that you might be currently imagining throwing that really cute couple in your bio class off the library roof, sometimes going from being single to a relationship might feel like “they paved paradise and put up a parking lot.” So here are my top five best things about being single, and I give you permission to loudly paraphrase whenever the bio couple is involved in a particularly nauseating session of PDA.
Top Five Great Things about Being Single
Number One: FREEDOM and INDEPENDENCE
While the word “independent” has essentially become synonymous with being single, you might not realize how important your freedom is to your daily routine. A pivotal moment in my “single epiphany” was being able to make my own decisions without having to consider another person in the process. Being single means doing what you want, when you want! Imagine if Amelia Earhart had a boyfriend who had told her he didn’t think flying planes was a good idea! (Yes, she might have lived a little longer, but that’s not the point.)
Number Two: SPENDING LESS MONEY
A relationship requires always finding new and fun things to do with each other in order to keep things fresh and exciting: going out to dinner, buying each other surprise gifts, traveling to see each other, buying a coffee as an excuse to meet up, going to the movies, etc. Every couple hates to be that boring couple that only sits around on the couch, and most of the time finding an activity to do is costly. Being single means your money is exclusively your own, and you never have any obligations to spend it on another person. If you were in a relationship, some expensive dinner would mean you wouldn’t have been able to buy that cute new dress from Urban Outfitters!
Number Three: NO PRETENDING
Being in a relationship also means that another person’s happiness is largely dependent on your actions. I am going to be honest with you: sometimes that means lying and saying you swear you really do like that thick fuzzy orange cardigan he gave you for your birthday, and that you act like you aren’t annoyed with his strange quirks when you actually are. Everyone says a healthy relationship means being honest with each other, but in reality white lies probably enable many relationships to last MUCH longer than they otherwise would have. So do not envy that couple in your bio class any longer – as far as you know she stayed up all night listening to his obnoxious snoring, and he spent his entire semester’s paycheck on an ugly pair of loafers for her Christmas present which she secretly has stuffed at the bottom of her closet.
Number Four: LEARNING about YOURSELF
“Discovering yourself” might sound clichéd, but being in a relationship can end up defining your identity. The illusion of security that comes with being in a relationship means you might not make an effort to meet new people or even work hard to maintain the current friendships you already have, similar to Scott’s situation of his best friend who suddenly went MIA because of a new boyfriend. Being single means you have time to discover your individual goals and passions without being directly influenced by another person, because oftentimes a couple can blur the line that separates each person’s aims in life. Imagine if having a boyfriend in your chemistry class made you too distracted to realize you hate your Biochem major, and after you broke up it was too late to switch! What if you choose to study abroad in a country he loves instead of a country you love? There are constant threats to your personal identity when you are in a relationship, so use your single time wisely to set yourself on a path towards the future of your dreams!
Number Five: Life is OPEN ENDED
Surprisingly, many women who have never had a serious relationship, or have just ended one, think of being single as a dead-end zone! You should never think of being single as being trapped in a station waiting for the right train to arrive – instead realize that being single is a constant adventure (more like taking a train to new places every day!). The opportunities are endless, and the trapped feeling that many despairing single women experience is remarkably similar to the confined feeling that women in relationships experience. So carpe diem!
So, what’s a great way to celebrate being single this Valentine’s Day? Getting all your friends together to plan a Single Ladies flash mob dance on your campus (and it’s ok if it happens to be right when the bio couple gets out of class). Look at it this way: Beyonce has Jay-Z and she still sings about how amazing it is to be single.