Let’s face it—being single takes guts. It forces us, sometimes unwillingly, to take a good, hard look in the mirror at ourselves and at the events that brought us back into this single season of our lives. Being single is not for the compliant; it’s for the bold, daring women who have the courage to wait for what they intrinsically know they deserve. I’m not bashing anyone who is in a healthy, stable, loving relationship—cheers to that! This is only meant to contrast the difference between the girl who isn’t afraid to stand on her own two feet and the girl who’s inept at standing on even one foot alone. With the release of Taylor Swift’s most recent album, 1989, comes a perfect depiction of this brand of single girl—one that is enduring, high-functioning, and takes no bullshit.
1. She loves herself first.
There’s a reason why people say that you can’t truly love someone until you love yourself. True love is not attachment. It’s not an “I’d die without him” mentality. Those kind of toxic thought patterns lead to jealousy and misunderstandings; they lead you to putting your significant other on a pedestal and potentially being crushed when they fall short of your expectations. Loving yourself first leaves no room for attachment. Those who love themselves first know deep down that their happiness is not conditional upon being “in love.” When the high-functioning single girl eventually falls in love again it won’t be for selfish reasons (e.g., because she’s bored, lonely, or wants revenge on her ex). It’ll be because she’s finally found someone who mirrors the love she sees in herself and expands upon it. Furthermore, she’ll always know that even if things don’t end up working out, it’ll be more of a sting than a complete paralysis, and she’ll quickly be fine going her own lovely way.
2. She knows her worth.
Knowing your worth and what you bring to the table is completely lost on you until you learn to love yourself. Once you’ve learned how to do that, the rest effortlessly falls into place. The enduring single girl scoffs at and even kind of pities all of the cunning toads pretending to be Prince Charming. On the other hand, the dating world is a scary realm for girls who don’t know their value. Quite frankly, guys will take what they can get. My ex constantly used to tell me, “All guys want is to hook up.” I always shrugged him off, annoyed that he felt the urge to remind me of this and thinking to myself that he wasn’t right. But you know what? He was so spot-on it makes me mad; but I guess, looking at it in retrospect, he’d know better than me since he is in fact a guy. Girls who are flighty, who jump from one guy to the next, do so at the risk of being mistreated and used. Having no idea of what they deserve because their worth is so lost on them, they give themselves to boys who don’t equally reciprocate their efforts and take on their yokes, fooling themselves into believing that these dudes are the only fish in the sea.
3. She realizes there’s a difference between solitude and loneliness.
She welcomes solitude with open arms, realizing that being lonely in her singleness is a choice. She understands that without this precious time of solitude in her life, she’d have no idea what lights her inner fire. She’s learning, without hesitation, how she takes her coffee, if she wants to be a stay-at-home mom or not, and whether she’s a beach or mountain kind of person. She’s also learning that it’s OK to change her mind about these things ten times a day because she knows that her core beliefs and values stand unwavering. She knows who she is and what she’s about without using the crutch of another person’s perception of her. Unhealthy relationships, born from people seeking a quick remedy to their loneliness, will chew you up and spit you out, causing you to lose yourself along the way and leaving you with not a clue as to who you really are. This can lead to a vicious cycle of entering into relationships for all the wrong reasons and never leaving any time for the necessary self-discovery through solitude.
4. She doesn’t invest her hopes and dreams in someone else.
Standing on your own two feet is a superlative game-changer. It’ll be thrilling when the day comes that her hopes and dreams closely align with someone else’s, but until then, she’ll never stop dreaming and pushing herself. She wouldn’t dare stop working toward being the best version of herself just because a guy is too blind to see her dynamism. She won’t diminish herself to fit into a small box that is someone’s idea of her. She knows she cannot be contained. that she is continuously evolving and growing. This mindset will, in time, attract the lone man who can match her, that sees her in all of her magnificence and wants to raise her up even further. That is the true love that the new age Taylor Swift—and all the high-functioning single girls of the world—have no problem holding out for.