Why I’m Not Upset About Being Single

Normally when people say they love being single, we’re hesitant to believe them. They’re all like “Omg I LOVE being single! Being single is the best!” and we’re all like “Yeah, okay Carrie Bradshaw. Tell that to the wine and bon bons you’ll be faceplanting later when a surprise showing of The Notebook catches you off guard.” That whole single-and-fabulous thing has been done to death, don’t you know? Come off it and be single and desperate like the rest of us diurnal humans, please.

But I’m going to tell you right now, I’m not upset about being single. In fact, I would venture to say I love it. And no, I’m not some kind of fiercely independent lone wolf; I don’t see myself staying single forever and being happy that way. But for now, I realize I am 100% content with being alone, mostly likely because I’ve spent most of my life not alone: I’ve been in back-to-back relationships since I was 13, with only a few weeks or months in between. It’s kind of scary, really. It’s like I started dating and just never stopped, and it only recently occurred to me how insane this was this past New Year’s when I found myself at the club, at midnight, in the middle of a horde of kissing couples, totally and completely single on New Year’s Eve for the first time in ten years. Scary and exhilarating, like I had I had grown a new set of limbs.

And I realized what that new-set-of-limbs feeling was: TIME. I suddenly had so much of it. I used to spend so much time wrapped up in other people that I forgot to spend it on myself. Sure, I learned lots of invaluable things about love and relationships during my stint as Perpetual Girlfriend, but damn, maybe if I had spent less time making out in thunderstorms and text fighting and confessing feelings, maybe I would have written more than one short story during my entire undergraduate career or graduated with something better than a 3.6. Who really knows?

But now that I have all this time, I don’t want to give it up. All that time I used to spend talking and cuddling and having orgasms has been replaced with freelance projects, not-for-class reading, working on more than one short story a year and playing on Tumblr (no one’s perfect). It’s amazing how much you can do when you just give yourself the time to do it. I mean, I love those warm fuzzy feelings you get from being close to someone as much as the next person, but god damn it, I also love being able to leave for hours without saying where to and spend hours writing without being asked if I’m done yet. Relationships take work, obviously, you can’t just be with someone and not give them the time of day, but at this point in my life at least, I don’t feel like I have that time to give. It could be that I’m making up for the time I’ve lost.

At one point or another, we all define ourselves by who we’re with to some degree. We spend so much time looking for that other person to complete us that we don’t fully get to know ourselves to begin with; we expect someone to magically fill the void and instead of forming a genuine bond, we end up sapping their energy and draining our own. But what being single by choice has made me realize is that being in a relationship shouldn’t be something you need; it should be something you want. It should come from the desire to share an experience rather than the desire to be completed. You have to feel secure in yourself before you bond with someone else or it won’t work. So, because I still have a lot of work to do on myself before I’m ready to share, I will spare you interested ladies the heartbreak (heh) and remain cheerfully single until then. TC mark

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