As a serial monogamous, this year has been an interesting one. I’m a relationships kind of person and when I found myself out of one, I just didn’t know what to do with myself. I have now been single for well over a year. After 2 relationships under my belt by the age of 22, I realized I probably needed some time of from that emotion. Sometimes I look around at my peers who go from one partner to the other and think, ‘do you actually like these people or can you just not handle being alone?’ and then one day I looked into that painful soul-reflecting mirror without any cover-up and thought ‘could I be one of those girls?’ Was I in the trap of fear of being alone waiting for a knight to come save me?
After a few months of being single I also realised that I had spent the majority of my coming to age years, finding myself whilst not being by myself and questioned whether I really knew me at all (it was an existential kind of day) These are the things I’ve learnt to love and learnt to appreciate during my new-found ‘single not looking’ status (okay there was some looking)
1. Freedom – When your single your free to see and do whatever you want without really having any consequences or thinking about anyone else when making that decision. I can make plans at the drop of a hat, book random weekends away, take up every offer that friends make without considering anyone elses time, schedule or thoughts on the matter. As long as your selfish attitude isn’t effecting anyones else life, then it’s not really selfish right? Well this is what I tell myself anyway. Your selfish years are limited. But then there is also this other side to the freedom that I didn’t even realise I didn’t have. Emotional freedom. I had not made a choice for years without considering someone else. It’s only since being single that I’ve realised how much my relationships have influenced choices I have made that have shaped my life. The last year, my life has changed dramatically through some choice I have made. I feel these are more real and more me when your not thinking of two.
2. Going to Things Alone (it can be kind of awesome) – There’s something quite liberating about doing things alone. Whilst I wouldn’t want to do every activity for the rest of my life alone, I have to admit I am enjoying my own company on little adventures more than I thought I would. There is also something quite liberating about going out with a huge group of couples where you’re the only single person and feeling quite comfortable with the whole experience. As someone who’s been every kind of odd wheeled number under the sun and enjoy it, I feel I can own this independent thing now. As someone incredibly shy and introverted, not having that safety blanket does you wonders.
No, fewer men dramas - Ok so we still have some men dramas, the guy we gave our number to that didn’t call (this one guy went so far out of his way to get my number , why bother if he wasn’t going to use it anyway, I must have given it to him wrong, but no, I did triple check it, he must be dead, that’s the only logical explanation, what do you think 1 million female friends and probably a few male friends too that I am obviously going to discuss this with incessantly?) or then worse, the guy that did text me and 30 texts later wish you had been too drunk to type your number properly; but this is about as gloriously uncomplicated as it gets.
4. Not missing anyone – At one point, I was in a long distance relationship, I lived a life of constant longing for someone. Whilst at the time naive little me believed some Disney quote about it being better to have someone to miss then not to have someone at all. Maybe I am getting cold in my old age, but this is a load of codswallop. Not missing anyone is brilliant. Missing someone can be crippling and all-consuming and not in the way Carrie Bradshaw envisioned it. I feel like a shmuck for saying that, but this is true. Missing someone can be so consuming that it clouds everything. Suddenly massive life opportunities become less wonderful, because you’ll miss someone. I’m not saying not to take massive life opportunity or break up with someone so as to not to miss them, cause that won’t work, but it is nice to be free from the cripplingness of missing someone.
5 More time – In all that time that I’m not either sitting around waiting for someone to call or seeing boring movies I never wanted to see anyway, I suddenly have more time to get things done. More time for family and more time for friends and more time me.
6. More social circles that are your own - With all these extra free time, you have more time to invest in your social circles, new and old. Whilst having a partner can introduce you into a new social circle, this social circle never really feels like something your completely included in. You’ll always be on the outside. I’ve spent a lot of this year (with a lot of help) developing old friendships and creating new ones.
7. The longer I am single, the more comfortable I get with it, the less likely I’m going to give it up for just anyone – This post makes it seem like I’ve moved to single-town and I don’t want to return. That’s not entirely true. But the more comfortable you are with being single, the more choosy you get with who you’d be willing to give up all these benefits for. For any girl in their early 20′s, this is only a good thing.