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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  • Anonymous

    why so many articles about “OMGzzz i lurvee being single” 
    methinks y’all doth protest too much. 

    • Pinion

      Yeah, you lonely fucks. Get cock. Or vag. Or COCK-VAG ARGH HARGH HARGH sorry.

    • Liz

       um, it’s the opposite of that. 

    • Yello

      Original quote. Well done, I see what you did there.

  • http://twitter.com/yvonne1503 yvonne

    Amen! I love having so much time to myself and the best part for me is to travel when I feel like it without answering to anyone (and the extra push to make random new friends!) :D

  • Jessica

    a 3.6 is actually pretty impressive. i was single all through college and that most definitely did NOT help my GPA.

    • Anonymous

      Yeah for real. 3.6 is like an A- average. So horrifying. 

    • Dickhead

      really depends on your major though…a 3.6 in engineering is impressive, maybe not quite so much in communications

  • Guest

    You mention the perks of being single now from the standpoint of a
    Perpetual Girlfriend. But how would you try to perk up singledom to
    those of us who have been [reluctantly] perpetually single?  Give the other side some food for thought.

    • Robin

      That you shouldn’t be looking for a boyfriend like he’s a status symbol. He’s not that new car, he’s not that espresso machine. He’s not there show to the world ‘hey look, I’m not undesirable after all!’

      The fact that you want a boyfriend shows you aren’t ready for one for the reasons you think you are. You should want a boyfriend because you want to be with that person, not because they’re a sack of skin and bones and boyfriend shape that validates you.

  • Meb

    This is so true! 

  • rush

    Have I been doing relationships wrong? 

    Every time someone talks about all the time they have in singledom to find themselves and whatever other missing things they didn’t know they’d lost, I think–Really? You can do that, only just now? I was in a relationship for my last two years of University (which followed a series of other relationships from high school days) and graduated with honors, started a book, self published one, and made a living from being a freelance web-designer. Plus, we took road trips together, I baked them apple pies, we went to bookstores and cafes together and there were orgams…sometimes. Somehow I haven’t managed to lose myself in the process, nor find myself compelled to fill any holes with the presence of another person rather than hobbies and passions. (figuratively speaking.)I think that maybe this is why I don’t feel like I could ever get married to someone, because then, the expectation here is to what? Lose yourself in that other person for ever? Do badly at your job till death do you part? Stop writing, and pursuing singular passion? Really?Damn, maybe it’s just me but, if I am indeed doing this whole relationship thing wrong–I don’t ever really want to get it right. 

    • RaeMichelle

       I think the reference to finding oneself while being single applies to people, like me, who have spent their lives defining themselves by the relationships that they are in.  My whole life up until recently, I have gone from relationship to relationship, feeling completely lost and somewhat desperate in the short weeks of being single.  I didn’t know who to be when I wasn’t centering my life around someone else. 

      In the midst of my most recent relationship, I have grown as an individual and come to understand that I don’t NEED someone else to be content with who I am.  I should WANT someone who can support me, not someone who completely defines me.  For people like me who haven’t allowed themselves to grow into individuals, taking some time to be single seems like a breath of fresh air and a time of exciting possibilities.

  • http://profiles.google.com/nhusain09 Nahid Husain

    It was a year and a half ago since my ex and I broke up and until then I had been constantly dating since I was 14 (with the few weeks or months in between, like you mentioned). The past year has been tough, but it’s also so nice to be able to do what I want and be who I am. I second the idea of being secure in yourself before building a relationship…and the fact that we have time to do that is fantastic.   :)

  • C Harlisle

    Singledom and orgasms? Not mutually exclusive.

  • http://thestrangerblog.com/ Michelle (The Stranger)

    Mila… You just read my mind. Holy smokes, I’m frightened.

  • Caitlin_jamie

    You mention Tumblr, what is your blog address? I liked the article!

    • Mila Jaroniec

       Thanks love! There’s a link to it in my author bio

    • http://www.oneyearintexas.com Perfect Circles

      You mention Tumblr, what is that???????

    • http://www.oneyearintexas.com Perfect Circles

      You mention Tumblr, what is that???????

  • Marisa

    Honestly, this doesn’t make the case for being single, so much as it makes the case for dating someone who supports your dreams, wants, and needs. I feel bad that you’re previously relationships have stifled your ability to write and neglected the balance between personal time and couple time.

    • http://www.oneyearintexas.com Perfect Circles

      but a little time away from anyone does help.

    • http://www.oneyearintexas.com Perfect Circles

      but a little time away from anyone does help.

    • HJ

      Maybe she WANTS to be single.  Jeez.

  • mprice

    good. friggen. article.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Brandon-Sklar/1118183619 Brandon Sklar

    It is almost as if you stole the words from my mind. Thief. 

  • Hazellmg

    seriously Ms. Mila? you only had time for yourself when you became single? just shows how some people still find a hard time with the word BALANCE.

    • Mila Jaroniec

       It’s not the word I have a hard time with, it’s the practice.

  • Guestropod

    being single is really easy to like when you know you ~could~ get into a relationship at pretty much any time with not that much effort

    it sucks if you’re more of a ~forever alone~ type I think, or one of those sad failed PUAs or whatever

  • Anonymous

    The problem with this line of thinking (and the idea of goal-oreinted self improvement) is the idea that one day you will be “done”, that you will wake fixed and say “Ok, I’m ready for a relationship now!”. People aren’t projects that can be completed, and the journey of self improvement is a lifelong one that will never be completed. Also, love doesn’t work on a time table. Often, the best relationships pop up at the worst times. The problem with the back to back relationships you’ve been in is that it seems that your planning your love life, instead of letting it happen. Let the chips fall where they may, and if you meet someone amazing, don’t throw it away because you don’t feel you’re “improved” enough for a relationship. You’re right, a relationship shouldn’t complete you, but it is never two emotionally “ready” adults who have improved themselves to completion and are now ready to commence coupling. What a relationship is a partnership, somebody with whom you can grow as you change, someone who encourages you to do what you love and gives you the space to do so, and someone who sees all your fucked up un-improved baggage and embraces it. I met my man on the heels of a breakup of a four year relationship. I was fucked up and it was fucked up timing. But as we prepare to get married, I’m glad I took that leap, I didn’t push him away and wait till I’m “ready”. Because I’ll never be ready, and if we survived that sort of beginning, we both know we can survive anything. I also am glad because it turns out he is everything I ever wanted in another human being.  He’s my partner in my self improvement, and he makes me want to be a better person. I applaud you for taking the time to be single and discover yourself, but just remember – you can’t schedule love.

    • Anonymous

      Ugh, I can’t edit my grammar mistakes. That’s what I get for not proof-reading.

      • fyeah

        too long didnt read

    • http://twitter.com/lijepvuk Mattie

       I definitely agree with this comment. You can’t just all of a sudden decide that now is a good time to not be single. I’ve been happily single for the past 4 1/2 years, but still dating. About 8 months ago, after swearing off guys and relationships, I think I’m ready. But its not something you can just do. You can’t just say, I want a boyfriend now, especially when you’re older. Not that I’m old, I’m 25, but most of the quality guys who actually WANT a relationship too, are taken. And I agree with Averyloved. You have to just do whatever you’re doing and let love happen. So enjoy being single, but be ready for when you want to not be single but won’t have someone automatically there to fix it.

      • Robin

        Bullshit, ‘quality’ guys are not taken. There’s a never ending stream of them. It’s not like there’s a set number of guys for each age group and once they’re snapped up, they’re gone.

        And you should be content being single until the cute guy you fancy decides to ask you out. Before that moment, you should 100% embrace being single.

  • guest

    My guess is if you have to write an article affirming your contentment with being single, you’re probably not content with being single.

    • Jfdesroches

      That’s not fair. So nobody can affirm a positive feeling without really – and secretly – feeling the opposite? It actually sounds like she likes being single AND being in a relationship. She’s just enjoying one while the other isn’t around.

    • Jay

      or maybe it’s because she’s sick of people like you suggesting otherwise.

  • Anonymous

    amen girl!

  • AGT

    Just what I needed to read today. For that, thank you!

  • http://twitter.com/Spinsterlicious eleanore s wells

    It isn’t really being single or married that makes people happy, it’s the quality of the relationships and love in their lives.  If they’re missing,  marital status won’t matter.  If the life is full, marital status won’t matter.
    -Author: The Spinsterlicious Life: 20 Life Lessons for Living Happily Single and Childfree

  • http://www.facebook.com/timbolinjr Tim Bolin

    i find, after being single for most of the last 10 years, i have the exact opposite opinion of free time. ive got way too much of it, and its starting to irritate the hell out of me.

  • Velvetelvisdesigns

    Continually getting frustrated at people who seem shocked that I don’t like being single and I would occasionally like to wake up next to something other than chocolate wrappers. Yeah you like being single now, you haven’t shaved your legs in weeks and the other side of the bed is covered in crumbs and nobody gives a shit. Give it three years, until the “plus guest” is permanently removed from invitations so as to not hurt your feelings. You are not experiencing proper singledom until you make your friends spoon you so you can remember what it feels like.

    • http://twitter.com/iamthe0nly Jordana Bevan

      please god be my friend

    • Lizz

      Amen to this!
      This is on the same level as people in relationships telling you to enjoy being
      single.  I’ve been mostly single for five
      years now, and the first year I was one of the ‘being single is
      great! I’m having so much fun!’ people. I cringe now, because I remember having a conversation
      with my housemate (who had been single for years) and telling her that she should just take after my example and enjoy being single.  I regret that so bad now.  Especially since at the time I was bringing home hot guys all the time and she probably hadn’t been laid in a while.

      Personally I
      think that people who have been single for less than a year haven’t experienced
      true singledom, and shouldn’t be allowed to boast about how much they love it.  I fucking hate it when my serially monogamous friends
      compare my experience to that one time when they were single for two months. It’s
      not the same. At all. 

      But yea, maybe that’s my karma because I did the exact same thing.

      • Lizz

        Sorry for the weird formatting of my text, can’t edit it!

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