If you have ever had a messy breakup, a clingy partner, or some other relationship issue, I cannot relate. I am extremely single. But for some reason, I have found that recently I've been in situations where I've been asked to give support and relationship advice to my friends. I've never been in a real or successful relationship, so it would actually make zero logical sense to ask me for relationship advice, yet that's exactly what I find myself giving — and, somehow, it works.
I've realized that I'm being helpful not in spite of my single lifestyle but because of it and that I was able to give meaningful support to my friends by reminding them of their value as an individual and being able to separate themselves from their relationship and their emotions. You are the only person who is a constant in your life, so you have to learn to trust yourself in order to form solid relationships with others, romantic or otherwise.
People who are in relationships, and especially my female friends, tend to fall into codependency that lacks autonomy or confidence in their own identity. One friend I had would call me about how depressed she was feeling about school and her grades, yet still was trying to repair a relationship with an emotionally detached boy who had no interest in her.
As I watch my friends navigate the weird dating world of Gen Z, I find it amazing how many couples don't actually like each other or can't differentiate between themselves. I told my friend that she should be making changes in her life to promote her own value and gain confidence in her own abilities. As a single person, I've never dealt with such a tied identity. I've had to purely be myself, trust my abilities, and bolster self-confidence. This means I have time to focus on my studies and my extracurriculars and have never waivered solely based on an interest in another person, for the most part.
I promise I'm not a robot! I have emotions and feelings! I still love a good cheesy romcom, and I pine for attractive men and the concept of a stable relationship. But I don't let the thoughts consume my every waking minute. You could say I'm putting my trust in the universe that I'll find my dude some day. But I had to first find myself, and I think everyone should do the same, even if they're currently dating someone.
I recommend that if you have a consistently single person in your life, you should ask them about your relationship issues. Letting in a new outside perspective is always a good idea. Of course, there are stable couples who have been able to strike that balance between individual and couple quite effectively, and they also give excellent advice. But I'd start with the single person. We're probably way easier to find in college, anyway.