Sarah Irby ~ Copy Editor
So maybe you’re beginning to feel a little bit like me; you’ve been single for a hot minute, and you’re starting to wonder if you’ll be forever alone. Not to mention, you’re forced to see all these cutesy couples on Facebook, and if you’re anything like me, it just makes you want to throw up. Nobody cares that you’re in love after two days, Janet. These things can start to bring you down, but there’s a whole ton of reasons to embrace being single, and I’m here to be your messenger.
- Do what you want, when you want
First of all, you don’t have to worry about someone being on your back and following your every move. We’re not talking about your mother here. This is a time for you to go out and enjoy yourself. Maybe you want to take an impromptu road trip or maybe you want to go get insanely drunk and have as much sex as possible. Who cares? You don’t have a significant other to worry about breathing down your neck. So you do you.
- Sleeping Around
Speaking of sex, when you’re not in a relationship, you can do it with as many people as you want. Sure, it’s nice to have that one person to rely on and be intimate with, but it’s also nice to explore new things and new people. You’re single, so you don’t have to worry about commitments or your body count. If you want to hit it and quit it, that’s your choice. It is casual, after all. I don’t think anyone should have any marriage expectations of you after hooking up with you in the bathroom at that party. But just remember, consent is key.
- Focus on yourself
You’re in college, but you still have a lot of learning and growing to do as a human being. Being in a relationship can be difficult and stressful, and you’ve already got enough of that to go around. Take time to focus on yourself and do the things that make you happy. Hone in on your photography skills, pick up a new hobby, concentrate on your grades and career goals, read a ton of books or most importantly, learn who you are and what you aim to become. None of these are easily achieved when you have all of your energy focused on someone else. Don’t neglect yourself; it’s okay for you to be your own top priority.
- Maintaining friendships
Have you ever noticed that as soon as your best friend gets into a relationship, your chances of seeing him or her on the regular go way down? It’s like disappearing into a metaphorical Bermuda love triangle. Yeah, that happens, and no one likes it, so don’t be that guy (or gal). When you’re single, you don’t have to worry about working to maintain your friendships; it just happens. You have plenty of time to hang out with them, because you don’t have a significant other latched onto your body. Not to mention, you don’t have to worry about whether or not the person you’re dating likes your friends.
There are a lot of things you inevitably end up sharing once you’re in a relationship: all your stuff, your friends, your bed … your food. Excuse me while I shudder at the thought. You know who I have to share all of those things with? Me, myself and I. And I like it that way. I don’t want you all up in my grill, hogging my blankets, using my stuff and stealing my food. Be greedy, it’s okay; make like Gollum and protect your precious.
- No one can see …
We all have some bad or disgusting habits that we’d prefer no one else ever saw. Well, they’re still your little secret when you’re single. When you’re dating someone, you run the risk of that person seeing you at your most vulnerable and judging you for it. No thanks. If you want to live in a pigsty or consume a bunch of Doritos and ice cream and soda while lying half naked in your bed … Go. For. It. Be gross, make a mess; there’s no one to call you out on it, and I’m sure you’ll clean up nicely in the morning.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not completely bashing the coupledom; I’ve been in some great relationships myself. However, I do find that I am a freer individual when I am single. I can be myself without worrying how it might affect my partner; I can say what I want, do what I want, and be who I want.
Ultimately, you have to know who you are and be happy with that person before you can commit to doing those things for someone else. So really, being single is just a strategy to prepare yourself for the relationships you might have in the future.
Don’t stress about it too much; single is the new black.