There's always that dreaded question people ask whenever you decide to catch up with old friends or family. "So, what's new? Are you seeing anyone?" And more often than not we reply with, "No, not right now" with an awkward half grin and trying to avoid all eye contact. As fast as those words come out of your mouth, the instantaneous gaze of disappointment overwhelms your vision. Why does being single have a negative connotation attached to it? Why is focusing on yourself, selfish to many? To this, I say, 'boy bye'! Don't let anyone dull your shine, and don't let any relationship status define your worth.

Though being alone can be scary; you can think of it as being in a committed relationship with yourself. Through this experience you get to figure out that question you've been asking for so long. Who am I? What do I like or dislike? And "What do I need?" versus "What do I want?"

Being by yourself is the most effective way to find who you truly are-whether it's through travel, getting into a good book, or testing out new hobbies to find hidden talents. If you're constantly in a relationship, you'll miss the opportunity to look at yourself through your unguarded eyes. You'll constantly be looking through the glasses of other's prescriptions, wondering why you can't see straight. Only seeing yourself through other's eyes is dangerous. You're ultimately granting power to the person to define who you are- rather than discovering the uncharted territory for yourself.

To truly know who we are we need to be single sometimes. Not all the time, its okay to love and be loved- but the hard truth is we live our lives differently when we live for ourselves. How would your life change if you weren't worried about the implication of being single? Would you focus more heavily on school? Your career? Would your relationships with friends and family take more weight in your life? Would dates take up less space? Would you work day in and day out to better yourself?

Society needs to recognize that singleness isn't a disease, only cured with the presence of another being. Rather, it's a journey only we can grant ourselves to make.

We all deserve the earth shattering feeling of self-discovery, the feeling of growth and independence. Without it- we are wanderers, living but not alive and you never notice until it's too late. Being single doesn't mean alone, it means being authentically you. We are all lovable even if there's no one there to tell us, we are all more than we give ourselves credit for, and its time we test our strengths.