I'm Not In A Relationship and I Love It

My 'Single' Relationship Status Doesn't Mean I'm Damaged– It Means I'm Patient

Being single doesn't make me unworthy, damaged, a hoe or a side-piece– thank you.

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I'm single. I've been single for *most* of my life – with exception to pathetic middle school relationships and a relationship freshman year of high school I would like to forget about.

I love and embrace being single. I've never had a burning desire to be in a relationship, regardless of how many cute relationships I've been exposed to on social media and read within the plots of my favorite books, shows and movies. I even prefer to stay off of dating apps, and choose to ignore any type of message from guys on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, trying to "slide in my dms."

Even though I love being single, other people often suggest that this is a problem or character flaw. Countless times I have been out and a guy will approach me asking where my boyfriend was or if I had one. I don't see the point in lying and having to say that my "boyfriend" isn't with me or pretend that I have one– because again, I embrace being single. However, whenever I am asked these questions and respond honestly– saying that I don't have one– I am further questioned:

1. "Why not?"

2. "What is wrong with you that a guy wouldn't want you?"

3. "You just like to hook up then?"

In response to those unnecessary follow-up questions, I typically just roll my eyes and move on with my day or night. It wasn't until recently that these questions began to infuriate me.

I feel as if I shouldn't have to justify why I am single.

I'm single because I want to be. I like being independent and carefree. I like not having to be on my phone all the time talking to someone.

I like that when I'm thinking about my future, I'm only thinking about myself, and not factoring another person into it.

I don't think there is anything "wrong" with me.

Not to sound conceited, but guys do want me. More times than not, the guys that like me I'm either not attracted to or just not into pursuing an actual relationship with them.

I don't see the point in being in a relationship with someone if I'm not going to be 100% in it, just because I don't want to be single. That's not fair to anyone involved.

No, I don't like to just hook-up.

Have I had a few hookups while I've been in college? Yep. But when I say few, I mean few–when I've been drunk, which doesn't really count to me. However, just because I am single doesn't mean I would prefer to hook-up with the first person that shows interest (not that there is anything wrong with that).

I was raised with my mom always telling me: "Be in a relationship because you want to be– not because you feel you need to be", and that has stuck with me.

I have never felt like I needed to be in a relationship, nor have I ever felt I was missing out by not being in one. Have I talked to or dated a few guys that maybe I would have wanted to be in a relationship with? Sure, at the time.

However, looking back, I'm glad things didn't work out. If things hadn't of worked out, I wouldn't have learned what I will want in a future partner. I wouldn't have learned what turns me on and what turns me off.

I wouldn't have gotten to know some incredible people (and some not-so-incredible people).

I think that being single has allowed me to gain a sense of independence that is reflected onto everything that I do. I'm evolving into a confident individual whose self-worth can't be diminished because a guy didn't text or snap me back. Failure and rejection, to me, isn't not having a guy not want me back, it's when I lose out on an opportunity that could further grow me as a person– as an individual.

Most importantly, being single has allowed me to understand, that as a person, I am more than having or not having a significant other. At family gatherings when the awkward question of: "So are you seeing anyone?" comes up, I can say: "No," and move on to talking about things that actually matter – such as my accomplishments, goals, and ambitions.

People who are single are not any less than people who are in a relationship. There is nothing wrong with us, and we are surely not hoes just because of how we choose to act on human attraction and hormones. We are still worthy of love and affection – it is just not in our priorities.

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To The Toxic Relationship I Was Afraid To Let Go Of

To my younger self... I'm sorry.
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As time goes on the question that echoes in my mind is: "why?" Why did I let someone who was so undeserving have my love, time, and affection?

We all like to think that we have what it takes to mend the damage someone carries, but the fact of the matter is we don't. Hurt people, hurt people – and it was only when I tried to heal a bruised heart mine became the one in trouble. When you're young, vulnerable and under someone's spell you don't realize that you shouldn't have to rip yourself apart to keep someone else whole. I was scared of losing someone I didn't really have and I thought it was better to have someone halfway than not at all.

The irony of it all is that I grew up in a healthy environment. I have two parents who love my sister, each other, and myself unconditionally. They practice the same values they preach, some of which being loyalty, forgiveness, and how important it is to love each other despite the flaws that consume us. Those values were engraved so deep in my heart and soul I couldn't recognize when enough was enough or when to pull back and that just because I displayed these traits didn't mean they would be reciprocated. It took me a while to figure out I had to draw the line of determination from desperation.

It was a bittersweet realization when I looked up from my treacherous journey only to see it led me to a dead end, but I have never felt so liberated.

There's no denying I came out of the storm a different person and most definitely with a different heart. There were so many important lessons learned, both good and bad but the one thing that's for certain is it took me getting lost to find myself. You don't fully understand what you deserve until you experience something you don't. I learned the importance of self-worth and how crucial it is to not beat yourself up over the "coulda, shoulda, woulda's." I learned that in order to love someone, you have to start with yourself.

I know I'm not the only one who experienced this and I know I'm not the only one who wanted to figure it out on my own terms, but what I do know is that no one deserves it. I'm in my twenties now and still unsure of the actual meaning of love, but I know with absolute certainty that what I felt then was not it. I have so much growing, learning, and experiencing to do – and I fully intend on taking only those who deserve to be with me on my journey. No more and no less.

Everyone's story is different but the one thing they have in common is that we get to decide whom we share our stories with and how they make us feel. You never know which page your story will end with, so make sure it would be one you would be happy with. I urge every single one of you to rid yourself of people who do more harm than good. Life isn't forever.

Cover Image Credit: Thought Catalog

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12 You Should Know About Your Significant Other After You've Been Dating 12 Months Or More

You have multiple food orders memorized.

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Dating someone for a year+ means that you are bound to know things you might not have known in the early months of the relationship. You also might act differently than you did at the beginning of the relationship.

Here are 12 things you know when you've been dating for over a year.

1. Clothing size, shoe size

This one you can probably be able to figure out early in the relationship. But, you start to keep in the back of your mind and think of that person when you see clothes or a pair of shoes they might like.

2. You can guess what they are going to text back

Especially if it is just a casual conversation about nothing in particular. You know their go-to responses.

3. You have multiple food orders memorized

Their food orders, of course.

4. You have that one TV show you can put on and neither of you will complain

And that is "The Office."

5. You don't get jealous

How could you have lasted in a relationship for over a year and not have any trust?

6. You know likes and dislikes

And can assume if they are going to like or dislike something.

7. You got a LONG Snapstreak

474 day streak over here.

8. Their successes make you just as happy as it makes them

Seeing your significant other do well and accomplish something great is just as rewarding as if you had done the same.

9. Your friends are his friends and his friends are your friends

And you can all hang out together.

10. You have your favorite restaurants

That we always end up going to.

11. You've met everyone in the family and extended family

And you feel like part of the family.

12. You know extremely personal things about each other

That you would not necessarily share with the public.

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