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.

I’ve Never Dated Before, and Here is My Admission

Author: Emmanuel Pepis, The Dating Game

I’m about to admit something that may or may not be surprising: I’ve never been on an actual date in my adult life.

I can sit here and fill the page with stories of failed dating attempts in my past, but I won’t travel down that road. Sure, there are girls I’ve really liked. Sure, I’ve tried to set up something. Every time, though, either plans fell through or something seemingly out of the ordinary happened.

Because of this, for the last few years, I haven’t even tried to ask a girl out at all.

I don’t want to make it sound like I absolutely need to have a relationship to make me feel complete. You don’t. But I’d be lying if I said it doesn’t suck to be lonely sometimes. To not have someone to share your heart with and to not have companionship is not a fun feeling.

It can also bring good old-fashioned doubt into your mind. I’ve questioned myself, my personality, if I’m doing something wrong. I’ve blamed myself for far too long, and that’s a big reason I’m making this admission and writing to anybody who may be feeling the same way I am.

Trust me on this, though — continue to be the best version of yourself you can be. Continue to put yourself out there and let others see who you really are.

You’ll get frustrated. There will be moments where things won’t work out when you want them to. That’s okay. Don’t blame yourself when someone turns you down or when someone cancels on a date in the eleventh hour. I know the last sentence is easier said than done and dating can make the heart fragile.

I’ve put myself through that in the past. I have doubted my own personality when I shouldn’t. And learning from all this (admittedly the hard way) has put me in a better place now. Sure, I still have days when those negative thoughts creep in but for the most part, I can deal with it better now.

This may sound cliché, but love sometimes happens when and where we least expect it. Though it may be easy to get frustrated, continue to live your life each day. Continue to strive for your goals while keeping your eyes open. These are things I have had to repeat to myself and things that some great friends have helped me out with over time.

Not everyone desires to find a partner and I fully understand. And if you’ve never been on a date, either, that’s truly okay. It’s nothing to be ashamed of. There’s nothing wrong with you. And you’re not the only one. However, I will say to all of you, that you deserve true love. Don’t settle for anything less.

We all deserve to look at ourselves in the best light possible and appreciate the little things that make us who we are. And it’s those things that will lead to the right person coming into your life: whether that’s tomorrow, next week, next year, or five years from now.

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.

Single? These Memes Are for You

Author: Kerrin Frappier, The Dating Game

Memes. We love them. We save them. We tag our besties in them.

Images of animated frogs, beloved Muppets and favorite movie stars seem to be the perfect way to communicate frustration, disapproval and inside jokes. Especially for single millennials, there could be no greater tool to summarize our suffering and happiness (often at the same time) than memes.

Well, we’re all in this together… with a little help from these hysterical memes.

Those awkward attempts at flirting….

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I don’t care what anyone says, flirting is hard, especially when you’re good at sarcasm and self-deprecating humor, rather than batting eyelashes and being the perfect blend of funny and warm. If you have the gift of flirt and the ability to make conversation about anything that comes to mind, bless you… and share your ways!

For many single people, trying to make yourself appealing to a person you are romantically interested in causes much anxiety. The one thing we must remember is: be yourself — be your snarky, messy, hardworking, driven, passionate, caring self (as you should when making friends, too).

 

Dating itself sucks 

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Dating is hard work. Especially when it feels as if you are hitting dead end after dead end. Maybe you’ve gone through a difficult breakup or you haven’t found your “person” yet. Know that whatever you’re experiencing, your frustration is valid. You deserve someone who will make you happy and appreciate you for the person you are… that is certainly worth waiting for.

In the meantime, there’s Netflix, friends, tacos and wine.

 

When your family keeps asking why you’re single

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How many of us have been trapped at a family gathering, forced to listen to people ask you if you are “seeing anybody…” and if you want to get married or remind you that “you won’t be young forever?” This torturous guilt trip which often compares you to your happily coupled cousins and/or siblings does wonders for one’s self-esteem!

Even shouts of “you’re so handsome/beautiful!,” “anyone would be lucky to have you!” only makes you feel as if you really are doing something to put off potential suitors! Worst of all, you may feel you have to pretend these comments are helpful and do not bother you. But we all know they do.

 

When your social media is filled with wedding announcements, baby pictures and new relationships 

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In the age of social media, we are encouraged to only share with the world the best parts of ourselves. Seeing countless engagements, adorable newborn photos and sappy #WCW and #MCM posts all over every outlet does little to stop this trend of simultaneous over-and-under sharing.

That being said, we may not be able to appreciate the dedication, compromise and sacrifice it takes to make relationships work. While we may be sick of seeing these lovey-dovey declarations, it is imperative that we remind ourselves we are only seeing one side of a person’s life. We should not feel consumed by jealously because frankly, what we’re seeing is a filtered (don’t be fooled by those “no filter” tags!) version of reality. We should look up to the real relationships we see in every day life, the one’s that have made it through difficult times and are stronger because of it.

 

One is the loneliest number (sometimes)

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We’ve all felt it: that sinking sensation that you are utterly alone and that no one would choose to spend the rest of their days with you. Now that we’ve admitted it, it’s so important to remember that you have a lot to offer and there’s a reason your friends, co-workers and family look up to you and enjoy your company.

Do not be discouraged when everyone around you is pairing up. You are simply waiting for someone worthy of you, your time and effort. Enjoy those weddings as a single person, and enjoy meeting other singles. Being single is nothing to be ashamed of!

 

Being single is kind of awesome

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For those of us who are still single, we may complain about going on bad dates or getting no dates at all at times, but we also enjoy our independence. We can go out with our friends without the worry that we are leaving out someone and having one schedule to keep track of for important events sure is nice. We don’t have to share food or covers or worry about snoring. We can leave our homes a bit messy or keep them just the way we like them because we do not have to worry about someone else’s things.

This is the time to experiment and go on adventures! We “won’t be young forever” so why not take advantage of this free time? There’s that old saying “good things come to those who wait”… let’s make the waiting a little more fun!

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Are You a Single Millennial? These Podcasts Are for You

Author: Mary Grace Donaldson, The Dating Game

Fellow single millennials, gather around. While I am a firm advocate of the notion that it’s okay to be single (as far as I know, I will be for the foreseeable future) as well as the idea that you can be single and still celebrate love, it’s nice to know that there are other people out there who understand what comes with being a single millennial today. They understand the ideas that dating is different for millennials than it was for our parents, that dating roles for women in particular have changed and that millennials can also “date” on social media.

If you’d like to hear from more millennials on the world of dating as a single millennial, here are a few podcasts that offer such commentary:

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The Millennials Podcast

While not strictly for dating advice, The Millennials Podcast includes episodes on relevant topics for singles, from making fun of Valentine’s Day to how you aren’t necessarily “Forever Alone.” They talk “single life, dating, Tinder and how we actually like marriage.” I have a mind to send them an email with our round-up on dating apps other than Tinder…perhaps for their future use!

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Kinda Dating 

This podcast does not directly target millennials, but produces episodes that we can relate to, just based on the title. As we talked about when we discussed the nostalgia of dating, the idea of “talking to” someone or “we’re dating but we’re not” is (unfortunately) part of millennial culture. But host — and former MTV producer — Natasha Chandel (along with an impressive array of guest co-hosts) is able to make fun of it…while also addressing the nitty gritty of the issues of dating culture. Topics include “friends with benefits,” “Being Single and Owning It” and “Break-Ups: How to Heal.”

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DTR

Short for “Define The Relationship,” DTR is sponsored by none other than Tinder, in partnership with a media company called Gimlet Creative. And right there in the podcast description, the masterminds behind DTR touch on an issue we’ve discussed through dating apps, websites, social media and just dating dynamics: “Technology has changed the rules of the game.” It also discusses “what it’s like to meet new people in an Internet-obsessed world.” For some of us millennials, that works — but for some of us it doesn’t, and we wish for another time that we never even lived in, and we believe that we shouldn’t only communicate via SnapchatDTR launched in late-2016 so there aren’t many episodes available yet — but topics include mixed signals and what happens when a friend runs your Tinder account.

Did we miss any of your favorites? Let us know in the comments!