October 16, 2012

Sorry People In A Relationship, Being Single Is Actually Better

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What is the issue?

Single people! Let’s rally!

Granted, I am in a very happy relationship and maybe shouldn’t be the spokesperson for you, single people — though, I don’t know, let me make my claim because someone needs to say something in our favor!

Before this relationship, I was THAT SINGLE GIRL in your group of friends who was just never dating anyone ever. Like, you know that girl? You wonder about that girl. You have questions about how she lives her life. You don’t get why she just doesn’t get a boyfriend. I was that girl.

I have over two decades of experience being MAD SINGLE. Like, the type of single where you’re not even remotely texting someone you might be interested in. There is no one to text. The type of single where if my lightbulb went out in my bedroom and I couldn’t reach it, forget it because there was no one to do that shiz for me. The type of single where I did not hang out with anyone with a dick in a one-on-one situation for an unbearable amount of time. The type where an elbow brush with a barista at Starbucks became erotic because no one ever touched me. SO. SO. SINGLE.

Then, one day, that changed for literally the first time in my life and now I have a boyfriend. But I did not have a high school sweetheart. AT ALL. I dated sporadically and unsuccessfully in college, fluctuating between a lot of tears and frustration and not being able to understand why I was so unlovable and gleefully listening to other people b-tch about their relationships while I wore full-on acne masks to bed in a comforter covered in Cheez-it dust and did not give one single f-ck.

So yes, I am in a relationship now, my first one ever. But single people, I feel as though I have a right to speak on your behalf. And although I love my boyfriend, I am actually incredibly glad for all the time I spent by my lonesome, because secretly, kinda, maybe we don’t want to admit it but: I still think being single is better.

It’s better!

The time I spent single in high school and college really let me get to know myself. And I do, now, have a great grasp on who I am as a person. I can do things alone — do I wanna see a movie? Great! I can go alone. Do I want to sit at a diner and work? Great! I can go have a cup of coffee and a booth to myself. Is it Saturday and I have no plans and no one’s around? Great! The museum is fun to go to on my own. And sure, I love my friends, but if they’re not able to hang out? I am a-okay. Being single taught me that skill. It’s a useful one to have. It makes you independent. It makes you decisive. It makes you sure of what you like and don’t like without someone else’s stuff getting all muddled in your brain space.

I also got a lot done. I was so free to do what I want, as DREAM once sang. I joined clubs. I spent tons of nights with groups of people interested in the things I was interested in and I had a lot of fun. I worked on my career. I never spent hours and hours embroiled in a fight with a partner. I never cried over a boy for weeks, forgetting my school work or internship. At the time maybe I wanted to feel those emotions or have that love-y drama, but now I’m like, that craziness was a waste of everyone’s time. While you waited for a text from some flakey dude, I wrote a kick-ass thesis, applied for a zillion amazing grants and organized my sorority’s awesome formal. (Not literally, these are just examples.) I never checked in with anyone. I never had to compromise my evenings. I never did anything I didn’t want to do (unless, you know, it was for a friend I loved obviously). Singledom gave me oodles of time and time let me do some worthwhile stuff I’m glad I got the chance to do.

I also got to meet tons of really cool people. Sure, it’s nice to spend all your days with one special guy or gal but when you’re single, the world of human interaction is your oyster. You can go out and meet different, new, exciting people every night if you want. Or you can stay in and chat with your awesome Tumblr friends who totally get you. Or you can become really close with your IRL buddies and make amazing friendship memories together. Meet everyone! Spend time with a diverse group of people! Hear new, weird stories from new, weird people! There’s no answering to anyone else so go have fun! I had some of my best nights while single — a mix of treating myself to wine and chocolate at home, and getting dolled the hell up and meeting friends I adore for crazy, not-safe-for-Facebook evenings. (I also learned to change that aforementioned lightbulb myself. What what.) Don’t take that stuff for granted!

All I’m saying is, until you’re really ready to be in a relationship, or until one is headed your way like a freight train (choo! choo! all aboard!), don’t worry about it. You’re not tethered. You’re not tied down. You’re also not pathetic! It’s not bleak. Being single rules. And I suspect many of our boo-ed up brethren would secretly agree. TC Mark

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