Editor’s Note: We have another new contributor! Welcome Nicole Germany to L&C! Nicole will be our resident relationship columnist (you may have seen some of her dating posts on Elite Daily), tackling all things dude, whether you’re solo, shacked up, or somewhere in the middle. First up, she’s got some good news for all the single ladies out there: being on her own was one of the best things she’s ever done for herself.
For most of my 24 years of life, my relationship status was ‘single’ with a capital S. Sure, there had been a few immature relationships I thought might, possibly, maybe go somewhere, but for the most part – my cat was my closest companion.
Most of my friends have always been of the ‘serial dater’ community, jumping from relationship to relationship, and they were completely unfamiliar with the concept of being a party of one. I, on the other hand was of only the ‘independent’ descent.
In college, my date nights included my closest friends (the single ones and the girlfriends, when I could steal them away) and lots of wine, nights that are now some of my favorite memories. To think I might have missed out on some of the best times of my life to be in a relationship that, judging by the number of ex-boyfriends my friends have–probably wouldn’t last.
Obviously there were moments of weakness. In those momentary lapses of judgment (like on Valentine’s Day) I thought that in order to be happy, I might be better off in a relationship. But what I’ve come to really understand over the last few years is that in order to be happy, we have to live our lives as selfishly as possible when we’re young. It wasn’t until a few years into college that I finally accepted my ‘singleness.’ I accepted not only the title, but also the actual freaking freedom that came with it (imagine that)! I could do whatever I wanted and never had to explain myself to anyone (okay, maybe my parents). It was completely and utterly liberating.
While my friends were complaining about or fighting with their significant others, I was experiencing a life of how it should be in your 20s, FREE.
Being single isn’t for everyone; some of us need that support system in our lives. It’s understandable because no one wants to be alone. That’s a huge fear, being alone forever – But what about the fear of not living your life the way you want to or the fear of depending on someone to make you happy every damn day? I’ve been caught in the “OMG I’m going to be an old cat lady” mind-trap. I know how it feels and frankly it sucks, but I would still never give up my single life days for anything.
Even though I’m finally in a mature healthy relationship, staying single in my early 20s helped me fall in love with being alone. I now enjoy the moments I have to myself and I truly cherish the fact that I know how to be single, and that I’ve become a whole person on my own.
If it wasn’t for those years of being on my own, I too may have fallen into the serial dater community. I may have missed out on the opportunities that come with being single. The opportunities that involve exploring the world, drinking too much wine with your best friends, trying new things and most of all being exactly who you want to be with no one getting in your way.