Sitting in my bed staring at the wilting flowers I bought for myself on Valentine’s Day, I realized I recently started dating myself and I really, really love me. Knowing this now, I see how many great things happen when you’re single. Don’t get me wrong, everyone loves to be loved, wants to be held or yearns for a touch, but there is something so much more rewarding knowing I don’t need someone by my side to make me happy.
Throughout high school and the beginning of college, I considered myself a serial monogamist. I would date men of all ages for extended periods of time and once we broke up, it was on to the next one. But after my last breakup, something inside me changed. I don’t know if it was the inspirational quotes I read across the Internet or the large amount of time I spent by myself doing things I like to do, but the sadness of my breakup began to dissipate.
I wake up with a smile on my face knowing I don’t have to answer to anyone but myself, each and every day. I began to love myself for who I am and for those with whom I choose to surround myself. There are no more fights at 3 a.m. the night before a big exam, or the division of friends and possessions after a big breakup. I began referring to my situation as dating myself and I love every minute of it.
When I sat and pondered all of the supportive things my dad and friends have said to me when I was feeling down, I pieced together the many reasons why being single is so rewarding. I’ve always been attracted to the wrong type of men– men who want to tell me how to dress, men who think that my paycheck is their paycheck or men who come with baggage they can’t escape. Being single, I can be picky and I don’t have to put up with anyone else’s problems but my own.
I’ve learned to buy myself drinks, wear the clothes I want to wear and style my hair and makeup to my own taste. I never go out with the intentions of impressing others like I once did. Now when I get all dolled up, I want to look in a mirror to prove to myself I’m beautiful without someone on my arm reassuring me.
There has always been a stigma surrounding single people. Single men are considered bachelors and therefore eligible. But for women, there is the constant struggle to stand in a bar with the “single and proud of it” stance, or search for a partner she might not really want. I’ve never abided by this rule. I have no problem saying no to someone who I don’t think would benefit me in any way or standing around a bar with friends having a beer.
Not having someone hold me back from my true potential has let me immerse myself into things I wouldn’t have time to do previously. I spend time making the food I want. I save money by going out with friends and not someone who depends on my checkbook and I get to sleep in my bed alone, which is spacious and warm with my body pillow wrapped in my arms. Being on my own has helped me obtain a huge level of life skills I wouldn’t have otherwise, especially if I was in a relationship and had someone there to do the things I didn’t know how to do.
Some could say that I’m protecting myself from potential heartache by being noncommittal and others might think it’s because being single is my only option, but neither of those apply to me or other singles like me. Being alone is a lifestyle, one where I can immerse myself into other things that make me happy, like reading, writing and enjoying all that life has to offer.
Since I’ve been single, my grades have improved along with my fitness. I no longer have spells of sadness after an argument, because there are none. I’ve reconnected with friends that I had previously overlooked and my social life is now booming with relationships of friends I love. Worrying about the ambiguity of an undetermined relationship and letting things get to your head is so overrated, especially when in college.
When you’re in your twenties, the world is still shiny, bright and new. As I continue to learn who I am as an individual, I’ve watched friend after friend marry the “love of their life” after only a few months of dating. I started dating myself about seven months ago and despite a few distractions, I’m still learning more and more about myself each day. I want to spend my younger years with myself, learning all my unique quirks and hobbies before I get to know someone else inside and out. As a single independent woman, I’ve developed a unique confidence in myself, in my surroundings and my capabilities as a weed with no gardener. I’ll grow just fine.