Disclaimer: I haven’t always been okay with being single, and this mindset may not be one I always hold. At some point in my life, I will definitely be looking for a partner. For now, though, I am doing all right on my own and am actually having a blast being single.
My best friend was recently asked out by a cute, nice, charming, very sweet, older guy. Sounds like a dream, right? He turned him down. When he first told me the news, I wanted to clutch my heart, throw myself to the floor and sob. But then I remembered his reasoning: It’s his first semester in college. He wants to focus on himself, his grades, further solidify his aspirations and figure out what he wants to do with his career.
It’s a trend that’s becoming increasingly prevalent within our generation: marrying later in life, holding off on pregnancy and focusing on our work instead of our love lives. For me, I was never able to picture myself holding off on a relationship. I was boy crazy from elementary school through high school. Considering that, and the fact that I had a habit of spitting water at the boys I liked in middle school, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that my love life was fairly dry (pun intended).
That being said, my views have had a drastic shift: I have come to terms with the concept that the world doesn’t have to revolve around the “quest to find a soulmate.”
Here are five reasons why I’m okay with being single:
1. I haven’t learned how to love myself yet.
I walk around pretending that I’m confident, and I’m ready to be more than that. I’m ready to turn fake confidence into real confidence. That means I need to give myself more time (and more permission) to focus on the improvements I would like to see within myself. I’ve always been a very dependent person, and I want to learn to be independent before adding anyone else into my life. In the simplest context, I’m just not ready for anything serious, but I wish that I was. I wish, honestly, that my life was a rom-com, or a fairytale, where at my age, I’m falling in love with the man of my dreams and that I am completely ready for it. But I’m not. I’m coming to terms with that. It’s time for me.
2. I’m in college to better myself as a person; focusing on someone else would take away from that.
I see college as being important for more than a higher education. I think college is a great time for one to indulge themselves in self-growth and evaluation and to figure out who he/she is. Yes, sometimes it’s lonely, but why rush? College lasts just a mere four years, and it seems like it’s a long period of time, but I’ve still got an entire life to live afterward. My views have changed in that I don’t think I’m an advocate of actively seeking someone out anymore. I saw my college experience in a totally different lens back in high school than I do now, one month in. When I pictured myself in college, I focused on the stories people tell about finding their husband in college. If I find my husband in college, I’m not going to argue with it, obviously. I just don’t think my focus needs to be on finding that special someone.
3. I want to be making core friendships, and I don’t want to be tied down to anyone within a romantic context.
This is what leaving for college felt like: One random summer day, I was ripped up out of my bed, away from my social circles and my family life, and I was thrown into a brand new environment where the expectation was to find a new circle of best friends immediately and pretend you aren’t floundering. I’m one month into freshman year, and I haven’t found that core group of friends. I am completely floundering and I’m okay with it, but I think tying myself down to one other person immediately would be an issue. As I mentioned before, I’m a fairly dependent person, and I wouldn’t push myself to get out of my comfort zone to meet new people on my own and open myself up to different cultures, practices, etc.
4. Being in a relationship would add another level of stress to an already stressful period of life.
With textbooks to read, sport games to see and extensive club meetings to attend, how are college students even finding time for themselves? There is a multitude of college students who have to use energy drinks just to stay awake, so how can a person add a relationship to that to-do list? Relationships tend to become priorities in one’s life, and yes, maybe they do serve as a nice break from other responsibilities, but in college, I simply see them as too much of a time-consumer. That’s not to say it’s impossible for one to balance a relationship with classes, other school activities and friendships. In my opinion, I would rather be spending any second of free time I have watching Netflix.
5. I don’t want to be looking for my “better/second half.” I want to be a full, whole human on my own.
It’s interesting how we tell other people that our significant others complete us, because we’re inadvertently stating that we’re okay with being incomplete people. I want to be able to tell someone that I am my own person first. A person in a relationship opens themselves up to a second person becoming a part of their character. People are fluid; our characters constantly evolve, but I don’t think I necessarily want someone shifting any of my ideals and views before I even know what my own opinions are. I want to give myself more time to get to know myself first.
Besides, isn’t it more fun to go to a party with your girls?!