We've all seen it: a cute picture of a couple doing something "adventurous" with a sappy quote as the caption, followed by "#relationshipgoals" in the comment section.
It seems like every where I turn, I see girls and guys getting wrapped up in one another. It's like today's couples feel the need to spend every waking minute together, and those who are not in a steady relationship are constantly looking for one.
I'm not saying I'm against dating or playing the field but I ask: Whatever happened to "me" time?
During the summer, so many people feel the need to explore their dating options and feel obligated to always have someone to talk to. Maybe there's satisfaction behind always having someone's name pop up on your phone or having someone to small talk and compliment, but I've recently discovered there's much more to life than fighting for the affection of someone of the the opposite gender.
Instead of worrying about my dating life this summer, I've decided to focus on myself. And it's been one of the most rewarding, stress-free summers I've had in a long time.
If you're looking to have a summer free of dating, here are some things you can do instead:
1. Create a bucket list with your best friend.
As cliche as it sounds, this has been one of my favorite parts of my summer. My friend and I at the very start of summer created 50 things that we wanted to do before we headed back to school for the fall. From drive-in movies to crafting and even crashing a wedding, our list is filled with zany activities to accomplish. Although we have yet to complete almost half of the list (and some of its items are almost nearly impossible), it was something and still is a fun way to spend time with one of your best friends.
2. Spend time outside.
It's as easy as it sounds. Instead of being cooped up on the couch binge watching Netflix (even though we all do it) or wrapped up in your phone, unplug yourself from cyber space and go for a walk or lay outside and soak up the sun. Social media is a big reason people feel pressured to date. So let it go for a bit and take advantage of the nice weather while you have it.
3. Get a job.
You may be thinking, "Ew, who wants to work during the summer?" Yes, we all dread having to get jobs, but at some point you have to start learning how to adult (or at least try to). Regardless of what it may be, a job is the easiest way to earn yourself some cash to do other things like shopping and going out to eat. I mean c'mon, who doesn't love clothes and food?
4. Work on yourself.
This has been my favorite and most rewarding part of this summer thus far. I've been going to the gym a lot—not to turn myself into fitness freak, but just to stay active and healthy. I've been listening to a lot of music and doing a lot of writing (obviously). I've found that my body responds well to this "help yourself" mentality I've conjured up this summer and worrying less about what other people think about me has made me feel much more relaxed. It's definitely refreshing to have a mind that's not only not wrapped up in worrying about pleasing someone else but that feels just as good as your outsides do.
5. Try something new and potentially out of your comfort zone.
I think it's important for people to broaden their horizons. If people feel the need to stick to what they're comfortable with, then they'll never know what life is like beyond the comfort zone. This can be anything from painting your nails a different color or trying a brand new hairstyle. By doing so, you'll learn new things about yourself. I learned that I actually like avocado. Strange and random? Most definitely. I hated the look of it so I just ultimately thought it didn't taste good without even trying it. But it's having a positive "let's see how this goes" mentality that's most important in these cases. I also think this step is important and a very good way to potentially determine what kind of relationship they could see themselves having in the future. If you constantly order chicken at Chipotle, you'll never know what the steak could have to offer you. Think about it.
6. Cleaning, cleaning, and more cleaning.
Odd? Yes. But hear me out. I'm not just talking about dusting your room or vacuuming the house. I'm talking cleaning out your closet to get rid of clothes that you no longer need or like, or that don't fit you. I'm also talking ridding the toxic people in your life. Summers are meant to be mess, stress, and drama free. Find the people who fill your life with those things and pitch them along with your gaucho pants that you've had in the back of your closet since 6th grade because you thought that maybe one day they'd be trendy again. Sorry. Not gonna happen.
It's summer! Don't worry about tomorrow and enjoy today. Be happy. Find what you love to do and roll with it. Eat as much ice cream as you want. Take pictures. Frolic in the flowers. Binge watch "High School Musical." Paint a mural. Order a pizza raft. Play with puppies. And smile; there's so much to be happy about.