Thought Catalog
December 15, 2014

Why Everyone Should Be Single For A Year (At Least Once)

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What is the issue?
Baie.
Baie.

Why does being single have to suck?

The honest truth is that it doesn’t.

We choose to let it suck because we choose to listen to the ideas that fill our heads that we have to have someone to complete us. That’s actually the opposite of the truth. We need to complete ourselves before we can become a part of something that needs two whole pieces to make one big piece.

Puzzle pieces aren’t broken. If they were, we wouldn’t be able to put them together to make a puzzle. Relationships are just like that. We have to be a whole piece in order to fit perfectly with another piece. I’m not saying we won’t have flaws and parts that are a little rough around the edges once we learn who we are, but we will have learned to accept those parts and love those parts.

I’m also not saying this concept applies to everyone in the world. But I am saying that it can help tremendously in the growth and self-acceptance of a person.

Being single for a year is a gift, not a curse.

Some people find the love of their life when they’re in high school. Hey, some people even find them in kindergarten. But for the majority of us, it doesn’t come that quickly or that easily. And that’s okay. For those that go through high school and college and enter the real world without that significant other to take to weddings and work parties, we have to realize it’s okay and it doesn’t mean there is something wrong with us.

It actually doesn’t hurt to take that single lifestyle and make it a great lifestyle for a lengthy period of time – like a year.
A year. 365 days. 525,600 minutes.

It can pass in the blink of an eye. It can measure a time of growth, a time of depression, a time of joy, a time of loss, a time of love. It can measure a lot. Why not let one of those years of however many  years you are given on earth be spent with the coolest person in your life? Yes, I’m talking about yourself.

You should spend at least a year getting to know yourself. Chances are, you’ll really learn to love you.

1. A year is a solid length of time for a commitment.

A year is an amount of time we tend to select for any type of commitment. A gym membership, a job, a daily routine, an engagement, a relationship, etc. So, why not select it as a commitment to yourself? That doesn’t mean you have to go off to another country to “find yourself” Eat, Pray, Love style (although that would be nice). It just means to commit to learning more about the person you are and who you’d like to become without the distraction of another person to confuse you. If you give yourself 365 days to do that, I promise you won’t regret it.

2. You have the rest of forever to be with the one you choose to spend forever with.

Once you meet that special person, it will begin forever for the two of you. Forever is a long time. So, why not spend that time before your forever focusing on you and your family and friends. Spend time with people you may not have as much time for in a few years. That includes yourself. My philosophy on relationships is that if you have found your forever person, then you should spend time with other significant people in your life now because you’ll have forever with that person later. If the person you’re dating isn’t the one, then it won’t matter that you didn’t spend every waking moment with them. You can avoid the dilemma of having to split your time between people by devoting a year to spending time with whoever you want, even if it’s just you.

3. Relationships can take a toll on you, so take a break and refresh your life.

Whether you’ve been in one or seven serious relationships, chances are your heart has been hurt,  your emotions have been tossed around, and you’ve been left feeling lost and loveless. Not all relationships do that to you, but some do. And when they do, you can’t continue to throw yourself into more and more destructive relationships. You desperately need a break. You need time to give your heart a rest and let your emotions stabilize themselves. It would be like running a race and continuing to run even after you’ve had a severe injury. You would be ordered by the doctor to rest until you heal. A year of being single is an order from the love to doctor to let yourself heal so you’ll be in great condition for the next race you run.

4. You have to do you before you can do anyone else.

Get your mind out of the gutter because that is not a sexual statement. You have to learn who you are before you learn who anyone else in the world is. That’s an actual fact. Learning more about someone else before you learn about yourself is seriously so confusing and actually really harmful. It can really mess the self-realization process up. When you devote more time to learning another person’s quirks and habits than you do to figuring out your own, you’re just asking for a disaster. Spend some time learning what makes you tick, what makes you so you, and then you’ll know exactly what weird quirks and habits another person who’s perfect for you will have. It’s pretty logical if you think about it. A year of discovering what makes you beautiful and what would make you want to date you if you weren’t you seems like a pretty wise idea. Because once you realize that the way you play with your hair when you’re nervous or the specific way you drink your coffee makes you unique and beautiful, you will be confident in the fact that the right person will think it’s beautiful too.

5. You will probably never be this alone again.

That’s not a bad thing. I repeat, being alone is not a bad thing. How many times have you heard your mom say she needed just a day to be alone to get her thoughts in order and the housework done? Once you’re married, and then once you’re married with kids, you will not have as much time alone as you once did. So, take advantage of that now. A husband/wife and kids are wonderful gifts. But, if you aren’t ready for that, if you haven’t mentally and emotionally prepared for that, you’ll go crazy. You’ll crave that alone time that you once thought was so terrible. So, take it now. Take it for what it’s worth. Spend time doing things that make you happy and relaxing when you want to. Get things done around the house or don’t. Just be alone and appreciate it. Because one day, you won’t be alone, and if you spent all the time you needed being happily alone, you will appreciate not being alone a little bit more. It’s not always fun to be alone, but when you make it fun, you’ll look back and realize how much it made you love the person that made you not so alone.

Use singleness to your advantage. Use it to grow, to think, to wonder, to experience, to change. Make the year (or two or five) that you spend without a significant other one to remember. One that you will remember forever. Don’t slip into the idea that being alone is the absolute worst thing on the planet. Happiness is much better when you can share it with loved ones, but you need to learn what true happiness is for you before you can make everyone around you happy. Teach yourself about you and teach yourself how to love that you that you are.

A year is a pretty long time to be in a relationship. It can be 365 days worth of love, joy, and self-realization or it can be 365 days worth of depression, sadness, and self-pity. You get to choose. You even get to choose if you even want a year to yourself. Maybe it’s not for everyone, but I can assure you, everyone who takes it and runs with it, learns to love it and use it for the rest of their lives. It can be the year that changes your life if you let it.

So, don’t feel bad for turning down dates or not even getting asked on dates. Maybe you’re meant to spend the next year with someone you thought you’d never spend it with and maybe that person is you. TC mark

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