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Sex + Relationships

Intentional Singleness: An Uncomfortably Healthy Practice

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

I had just ended a relationship that lasted about a year. Normally when this would happen I would think “How am I going to meet the next guy?”, “When I going to meet the next guy?” and I’d start scrolling on a dating app soon after I ended things with someone. But this time I didn’t. This time I realized that, yes, I hadn’t been in anything too serious in a few years, so technically, I was living the single life (except for the fact that I had been jumping from one fling to another for the past few years). This was when I realized that I had yet to be intentionally single. I always craved male validation, and I didn’t like the idea of being alone. It gave me a sense of pride when a guy was giving me validation. Basically, being truly single scared me. It made me uncomfortable. One thing that I’ve always been taught is that you grow in your discomfort. And so I decided that this was one of those things that I would have to do. I had to get really uncomfortable. 

So after this particular breakup, I got rid of the dating apps and made rules for myself for the next few months on how to go about being intentionally single.

The first thing I decided to do was to stop putting out that single energy. I didn’t want to put out the energy because then I would be attracting people, and that would distract me from my purpose. So that meant no flirting, no leading people on, and shutting down and prospects (yes this will be hard). No boyfriends, no flings, not even a crush.  

I also decided that I would say no if someone were to ask me out, if they were someone I had just met and they weren’t willing to pursue me, and I had to give a lot of energy into it, then I wasn’t interested. 

And finally, no dating apps, I deleted them off my phone and I wasn’t allowed to have them again for at least a few months. I was determined to truly be intentionally single. 

In the following months I realized this was the best decision I had ever made. I realized that I hadn’t spent much time with myself and my thoughts in a long time. The energy that I used to put into guys I was now putting into myself. I was doing more things for myself, for the pure sake of building myself up, and had begun to become a lot happier. I started picking up old hobbies like reading, knitting and skateboarding. I read a book on people pleasing and changed the way people treat me, and to who I give that energy, and who is worthy of my energy. I had the time to really delve into my beliefs and figure out why I believed what I did. I focused on my friendships and made sure those relationships were solid. 

As women we are told from the day we are born that we have to go and search for our other half, that we are not whole. This idea is so damaging for us women. It distracts us from the more important aspects of life and prevents us from going out and having new experiences. We get lost in the thoughts about needing someone by our side, and who will be our next valentines date, all because the idea “sounds nice.” But you know what else sounds nice? Growing as a person, building up character, learning new skills and spending time with yourself. Dealing with your own issues and being comfortable alone before sharing your life with someone else because you feel jealous that other people are in relationships and you want those fun experiences. If you feel like you need a partner in your life to be happy, that means it’s time for some self reflection, and once again, get uncomfortable. Because the truth is, once you’re in a relationship, its hard to focus on yourself like you would when you were single. You get comfortable with where you are with yourself. Of course, there is nothing wrong with pursuing a healthy and fulfilling relationship. However, when you are single, it’s so important to spend that time wisely. Learn about yourself, learn about the world, gain new hobbies, enrich your life in any way that you can. You are not a half, you are whole, and you deserve to learn how to find happiness on your own.

Nicole Kolder

McMaster '24

Hey guys my names Nicole Kolder and I am a writer for HerCampus :) I’m going into my third year for social psych and so happy to share my articles with you!
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