It’s Friday night, and once again you’re at home in your pajamas about to delve into a sea of movies on Netflix. All of your friends are out with their significant others and you? Well, you’re about to order Chinese delivery. Numerous times your friends have tried to get you to come out. They tell you, “You’ll love (insert name here) just come out and meet him/her!” You feel obliged, so you go and it turns out you’d rather be at home. It’s hard to not feel like you’re missing out when all of your friends are dating. It may feel like you aren’t a member of a secret club. But why is it that so many people believe that being single is a bad thing? They think being single is an unfortunate time in someone’s life and that nobody really wants to be all by their lonesome.
The fact is being single is a choice first and foremost despite popular belief. All over social media single people are categorized as the “unfortunate ones,” but why? Being single means doing whatever you want, when you want and not having to answer to anyone. If anything, it’s the time in your life to be completely selfish, and to do all the things you heart desires. Believe it or not, being single is being in a relationship— with yourself. Once you’ve made the conscious decision to fully detach yourself from someone else, you’ll be able to fully invest in you.
To fully invest in another person, and love them unconditionally, you have to love yourself. Individual growth will only benefit your relationship once you’re in one because you’re secure with who you are. The single life doesn’t have to be a life of Ben & Jerry’s and wishing your life mimicked a rom com. It’s about figuring out yourself— your likes, dislikes, goals and ambitions. For some people, it’s hard to devote their lives to themselves and no one else because then they feel like they don’t have any love to spread around.
But the truth is, you have to learn how to give love and not expect anything back. Expectations lead to disappointments, and more chances for you to feel rejected. But don’t let that be your excuse to be a bitter single. According to Gallup’s latest poll, “The percentage of young adults who report being single and not living with someone has risen dramatically in the past decade, from 52% in 2004 to 64% in 2014.” It seems like more people are deciding the single life is the way to go— at least for the time being.
Being single can be the best time of your life, but if you don’t learn to expect nothing, and appreciate everything it could become a recipe for disaster. Once you can do that, when and if you’re in a relationship you won’t feel like the other person has to “complete you” because you complete yourself. I know what you’re thinking, “Isn’t that slightly narcissistic?” The answer is no, it’s not. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with being happy and content with who you are, and especially not needing reassurance from anyone else.
Long gone are the days that you needed to be married with kids by the age of twenty-one, or at least engaged to be married. Nowadays, being single isn’t taboo and more people are taking the time to make time for themselves. It’s important to explore what you want out of your life, and applying it without strings attached. Let’s not forget to mention that being single isn’t better than being in a relationship, but it definitely does not have to be the worst thing that ever happened to you. Take this time to indulge in the things that make you happy, whether it be a hobby, traveling, or just investing time to figure out what else you enjoy doing.
When you’re ready to not be single anymore, it won’t seem like you’re giving up on the things that make you who you are, only now you’ll be sharing them with someone else. Compromise is key, and if you already know what you want and don’t want it’ll make things that much easier. Remember to enjoy yourself above all else because who knows? One day it might not be as easy as just picking a movie on Netflix and ordering Chinese.