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This article is for whoever is recently single, from a short-term or long-term relationship, or for anyone who still looks for the reassurance they need from random college hookups. We all have room to grow.

The first, most important thing to know is that being single is not about having the “hoe phase” everyone talks about. Sure, you can talk to anyone you want and do whatever you please, but this is not the purpose of being single.

You should not immediately run out looking to replace the reassurance and gratification that a past relationship gave you. Being single is the time to give both of these to yourself.

Time on your own is about learning to love yourself and being all that you need. You have the power to give yourself everything you relied on a past partner to provide you. Sometimes, you may not believe this because it isn’t the easiest thing to accept when you’re heartbroken, but the second you realize the power is within you, you begin to grow.

You may notice this growth in multiple areas, in your self-confidence, your strength, your self-love and your openness for the next relationship.

The most prevalent way this overall growth will show is in confidence you gain from not needing validation from a partner. There is something about feeling yourself without needing someone to tell you how good you look. It is empowering.

You also get so much stronger after going through a breakup. Some of this strength comes from getting out of the situation overall. But it also comes from dealing with personal problems all on your own. When in a serious relationship, your partner helps you with so many things that come up daily. Whether issues arise among family, friends or even work, a partner is usually there to talk to about it. They walk you through it. When you are single, however, these are issues you have to deal with on your own.

You can consult your friends in these situations and ask them for guidance, but using your partner as a crutch is no longer an option. So, you rely on yourself more than ever. You work your way around situations that you may have once thought you could never handle on your own.

This inner strength and newfound confidence mash together to grow your self-love and self-trust. The more you trust yourself, the more you learn to love yourself. Once you get to this stage of being single, it is important to take advantage of it and fall in love with yourself.

Be the person you always need. Give yourself gifts, make yourself feel good. It is a cliché, but you cannot fully love someone else until you properly love yourself.

This self-love can open you up to the next person who comes into your life. If you’re secure being by yourself, then you may not be so standoffish to someone new. You will be more willing to let down your guard and let them in your life.

When you are finally ready for that new relationship, it will be such a great feeling. Just make sure whoever is lucky enough to have you can handle the strength, confidence and comfort you feel in your own skin.

Marlena is a third-year in the Donald P. Bellisario College of Communications at Penn State where she is majoring in Public Relations and minoring in Psychology and Digital Media Trends and Analytics. She is so grateful to be at Penn State and loves learning more about communications, her peers, and herself every day. She hopes to use this knowledge and her own positive outlook to help others in any way she can.
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