Let’s get real: love is something we all want.
It’s that time of year again—when everyone and their grandmother (sometimes literally) are getting engaged and posting sappy pictures on Facebook of “the ring” and statuses that include “I’m the luckiest girl in the world—found my soul mate!”
But, for those of us that are single and feel as though our world is turned upside-down as we watch everyone else’s life seemingly take off in the direction of a “happily ever after,” we have one word to describe this phenomenon: ew.
There’s nothing worse than feeling like it’s infectious nature is all around—but we don’t have a part to play! Whether we are just getting out of a serious relationship or have been flying solo for a while now, it’s time to recognize our solitary state for what it truly is: an opportunity.
For all you single ladies out there (myself included), let’s take a moment to consider all of the incredible possibilities that being unattached affords and realize why singledom should be cause for happiness—and not horror!
1. Pursue Our Dreams.
Let me assure you: this does not mean we are selfish! There is a time and a place where it is appropriate to consider another person’s needs and wants in conjunction with our own. However, when flying solo for the time being, it is totally fitting to think about personal self-interests and goals without having to take into account anyone else. Furthermore, career advancement can come more easily if we do not also have to juggle where our significant other’s work might take him or whether being a stay-at-home mom is an impending possibility. Seize this time to really pursue those individual dreams that all-too-often one can only aspire to fulfilling while not attached.
2. Be Impulsive.
Love those sporadic weekend trips to Las Vegas? Or deciding on a whim to try sky diving? How about the decision to buy that new car? Whatever our driving motivation might be for embracing those spur-of-the-moment opportunities that arise, no longer is there an obligation to clear it with anyone or get the OK that it is acceptable and fitting within his schedule. So… enjoy it! And think about all of the fun to be had now that we are allowed to pick up and take off on a whim (and Friday night is free from having to go to his office party with all of his incredibly awkward coworkers).
3. No Explanations Needed.
Remember that last boyfriend and how we felt required to justify every decision we made to him? I once dated a guy that constantly made me feel that our differences were cause for concern simply because he did not appreciate those qualities that make me fun and quirky. Was it really necessary to have to defend why I enjoy watching The Bachelor? Or why I always sleep on the same side of the bed? If a man (or woman) makes us feel as though the qualities (however silly they may seem) that make us unique are cause for defense—run! And bear in mind that being single (and ourself) is volumes greater than being attached and self-justifying.
4. Save More Money.
I once dated a guy and, for his 30th birthday, thought it a good idea to give him “30 gifts for 30 years” (what can I say, I wanted to mark the special occasion). Needless to say, I came close to not making that month’s rent. Three months later, he dumped me weeks shy of my own birthday. The lesson learned? Never again will I pull out all of the stops until a man has demonstrated that amount of devotion to me. Furthermore, I found soon thereafter that being single was great for my bank account. No more was I required to dole out the dough to fly across the continental United States to visit his family or buy fabulous Christmas gifts to demonstrate my affections (his love language was receiving gifts). Here’s to spending more money on us!
5. We Can Take Responsibility for Our Own Happiness.
All-too-often we feel that we are cause for dictating whether the person we love is happy (when happiness is ultimately something that a person must choose on his or her own to exemplify). Being single affords the opportunity to not only recognize that we cannot be responsible for making another happy, but also gives us the opportunity to once again recognize that our own happiness should not be hinged upon being attached.
Recognize the grand potential there is in singledom!
Whether you are a financial analyst who is looking at trends in bankruptcy in Alberta and just had your heart broken, or a high school science teacher in Albany who has not been in a serious relationship in eons, being single provides many opportunities for self-reflection, self-exploration and self-fulfillment.
And, who knows? It may just be the time you need to make a few welcome adjustments so that your next relationship is ten-fold better!
Love elephant and want to go steady?
Assistant Editor: Jennifer Moore/ Editor: Rachel Nussbaum
Photo: Borys Las-Opolski/ Flickr