single

7 Perks of Single Life

Author: Mary Grace Donaldson, The Dating Game

There’s a lot to say about being single, starting with the fact that sometimes, it’s rough.

It’s very easy to look at the downsides of the “single struggle.” Online dating can be a minefield. Actual dates can be disastrous. You may be the only single friend left in your group. You get frustrated, angry, and upset.

But, what if we looked at the “single struggle” as not a struggle? Because not only is it okay to be single — sometimes, it’s downright convenient and easier. Take advantage of the single life, don’t dwell on it!

 

Your schedule is yours, and yours alone
Want to go to happy hour with your coworkers on a whim? Or to an all-day music festival with your friends? You don’t have to check any schedule other than your own. You can pick up and leave and do whatever you want, without having to think of someone else. You can be gone all day, every day. No significant other means truly getting to do what you want, when you want to do it.

You control the remote
If you want to watch Hey Arnold! reruns until you fall asleep every night for a week, go for it. If you want to rock out to *NSYNC every time you’re in the car, go right ahead. While compromise is important to any good and healthy relationship, it’s also nice to not have to compromise — even on something as trivial as what Netflix show to binge this week (hint: you get to pick). And sometimes, it’s nice not to have to compromise and only think about TV, movies, or music that makes you happy, without having to consider anyone else’s preferences.

You pick your meals 
As the saying goes, “a couple is just two people sitting there debating what they’re going to eat tonight.” Not single people! Try out that taco lasagna recipe you’ve been scouting on Pinterest for a week now. Order Chinese food one night and pizza the next. You’re picking for one, you’re preparing for one, you’re ordering for one, and you’re eating for one. Meals are significantly less complicated for single people. If you want breakfast for dinner, have breakfast for dinner. It’s all up to you.

You can enjoy your family even more 
When your family is the only family in the picture, you don’t have to split holidays and other important occasions. You won’t run into those potentially complicated situations, when your cousin’s high school graduation is the same day as your significant other’s cousin’s wedding. You’ll be able to attend graduation and enjoy it. Plus, you can take advantage of spending quality time with your family that you might not have otherwise.

You have more time for self-care
When you’re single, you get to focus on you. In a relationship, you’re very rarely alone except for those times when you’re both at work (and you’re not even really alone there). If you’re single, you’ll have more time to yourself — and since your schedule is yours to manage, you’ll be able to allot time to take care of yourself. You can stay in on a Friday night with your adult coloring book without having to feel like you need to spend time with anyone other than yourself.

You’re able to travel 
You can travel when you want, where you want, and when you want, and with who you want. You can travel with your friends, your family, or even yourself. You only have to plan for one, and you get to choose the location. You don’t have to coordinate vacations with a significant other. And since you’re not “tied down,” if you want to hop on a plane tomorrow and get lost for a little bit, you can (just check with work first). 

You teach yourself independence 
You are taking care of yourself, and you alone. And that’s truly a beautiful thing, and it’s truly a great skill to have. You also become very good at entertaining yourself, and you become comfortable with being by yourself. You build confidence just in knowing that you’re self-sufficient, and can handle life on your own.

If You’re a Late Bloomer to the Dating World: I Swear, Nothing is Wrong With You

Author: Nicole Chininis, The Dating Game

While other people were busy having their first boyfriend or girlfriend in middle school, I was not. I was busy fantasizing about my soon to be wedding with Justin Timberlake (bleached curls, *NSYNC days). In high school I still, shockingly, wasn’t getting much attention despite waxing my bushy Greek eyebrows taking my braces off, and getting contacts.

The summer before college I thought, THIS IS IT. I’ll finally feel normal, meet some guys, and not feel like the isolated one in the group who wasn’t getting any attention at all despite trying to get my best flirt on. College came and went. Still nothing.  

It didn’t help that people around me made me feel like I was a defect.

“But you’re so pretty, why don’t you just try a little harder.” …

“You’re not trying hard enough, put yourself out there more.” …

“You’re too independent, maybe it scares people off” …

“It will come in time, you just have to wait for the right person”… (this one always killed me because it usually came from the person who had boyfriend after boyfriend without blinking an eye).

This post is not to make you feel bad for me, but rather to make people realize that their story is not a unique one. It can feel like everyone, LITERALLY EVERYONE, around you is coupling off. Boy does it sting.

I used to think to myself: What is wrong with me? I’m normal I swear. I’m not asking to get married tomorrow, but a boyfriend would be nice. Actually, no, any look in my direction would suffice. I’m not trying to sound dramatic, but it’s what I felt. It can feel hurtful because there is no rhyme or reason to why things happen the way they do. You start digging yourself into a dark hole of “it will never happen to me,” because it truly feels like nothing ever will come.

It wasn’t until I was 24 or 25 that I started to feel like things were changing. But even when I started getting attention, nothing ever seemed to work out the way I wanted them to. The same questions of “What is wrong with me?” would pop into my head. It wasn’t for lack of trying, so I can’t really tell you why things happened the way they did.

I’m not here to tell you that I found a secret solution that made me start dating the amount of guys that Taylor Swift has (you go, girl!). What I did end up doing was trying not to care anymore and just be myself. If I had an opinion, I was going to say it. I started getting more into style and make-up because it made me feel confident for me. I went to grad school, I started learning how to dance salsa and I tried to do things that made me happy.

You can’t wait for others to make you happy, you have to do that yourself.

Dating is hard — whether you’re dating or you’re not. If you’re dating, you can have your heart broken again and again by people who aren’t ready for your greatness. If you aren’t dating, the heartbreak comes from the pain and anxiety of trying to figure out what’s wrong with you. Nothing, let me repeat, nothing is wrong with you.

Someone not interested in you? Their loss. Feel like you’re the only one? You’re not. You’re not looking for anyone, you’re looking for the one who deserves you. You are great. You are NORMAL. You are you — and anyone truly is lucky to have you.