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I’m often asked why am I not in a relationship, and even though my answer is always “I’m just not interested,” my reasoning runs a lot deeper than my broad response. 

There are people that love companionship, but there are also people who want to get to know themselves. We fear this idea of “loneliness;” that it is this dark place where love does not exist; when truth is to be alone, in your thoughts trying to piece the puzzle together, takes a lot of strength and courage. To know yourself is important for when you get into a relationship because you will know what to accept and what to walk away from. A lot of times we, as women, don’t know how much we are worth, so we settle for behavior that is less than what we deserve. It is necessary we learn the ins and outs of ourselves – as the most mesmerizing species, if I do say so myself. 

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From my own perspective, I am in my prime. I’m in these 20 somethings with a vision, I can’t even fathom sometimes. I am so focused on my future and myself, that I’m simply not willing to invest myself in something else at this moment, because a relationship is a commitment. I have come to terms with that, but not everyone understands. Don’t get me wrong, along the way a girl can date and have a good time, but that is as good as it’s going to get for now, “hunty.” Personally, I spent a while living to please others and as I get older and my ambitions grow stronger, wanting a companion doesn’t make the Top 5 on my to-do list. 

A relationship cannot be rushed or forced. With the different degrees that are now in place, my definition of a relationship is to be monogamous, so we are clear. There seems to some discrepancies between having relations and being in a relationship, but that’s for another day. Young people have this idea of things happening overnight or when they want it to, and that is anything but the case. You have two individuals that were brought up in two different households, and may have two different ways of thinking and doing things. If you have the same meaning as myself for a relationship, it will take time to mold and mesh two personalities to coincide with one another.

Being at such a young age, it’s pertinent that we stay ahead of the curve. One thing I’m really focused on is setting myself up for life after college. I don’t want to have this degree everyone told me I needed, and not know what to do with it. Some may say that I need to allow myself to be in the moment, but these moments lead to our future. I said all that to say, I always use my tunnel vision to guide me through some of the decisions I make and that includes my dealings with people. If I can’t see someone in my future, or them at least benefitting me right now, then I have no reason to spend my time on you. Time is scarce, and has no refund.

There is also the aspect of being comfortable with your own company. I realized I was willing to cater to others needs over my own because I didn’t know the entirety of what I was worth. I finally put myself first, and I’ve been falling in love with myself ever since. With growth comes those days where you reflect on who you once were, and it is a liberating feeling. Remembering the hell you were once in, to experiencing a stuffing inner-peace . . . sometimes that’s all the companionship someone needs. 

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Nowadays, among people within my age bracket, relationships are this complicated thing. Redundant arguments, insecurities and doubt take away from our experiences. Relationships really aren’t supposed to be as difficult as we make them. We are young, still trying to figure ourselves out and trying to piece together whatever parts we think are certain. 

To the ladies out there putting on for themselves, your time will come. Until then take advantage of only being obligated to yourself. It’s all right to be selfish and obsessed with who you are becoming and what you are working toward. In due time, everything will fall into place. 

Sierra Jenkins is currently a student at Georgia State University studying journalism and African American studies. Jenkins aspires to enlighten and inform others through her writing. She believes it is important to have conversations and create dialogue around topics that aren't always discussed publicly. Jenkins strives to break societal barriers through her use of words and set an example for other women from all walks of life.
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