Why Being Young and Single Isn't Such a Bad Thing
Let's paint a picture:
You're fifteen, in high school, finding out where you belong in the spectrum of your school's hierarchy. You constantly see people your age or a bit older coupled up and practically locked together in the halls, as they hold on to their last precious moments together before class starts, as if they'll never see one another again. Can you hear the world's tiniest violin playing? Even better, your close friends find significant others and that is all they talk about 24/7. Good for them right? But what about you?
The years pass by and either nothing significant comes from linking up with people, or you're left totally beaten down by the whole process. Regardless, now you're eighteen, alone, and well, lonely. You have so many different decisions to make, yet you're so caught up in the idea of finding love, and having someone to spend your days with. There is always pressure to be connected to someone, whether its from your parents, the media, your friends, and usually yourself. Since you're eighteen now, you should have someone by now right? Shouldn't you be 'happy' and planning a future together with a big house, a dog, and children? Not necessarily. For those who are taken and doing such a thing, then good for you! But for those who feel like the clock is ticking, don't worry. It will happen, but for now, I suggest coming to terms with your 'singleness' and realizing the benefits of being alone.
Before I satirize the whole high school love story idea, allow me to convince you why you're actually lucky to be single with the following five reasons:
This is your chance to be completely selfish:
It's pretty obvious that when you're in a relationship, there should be a well attended scale of give and take. While sharing a part of your life with someone, your growth will be one in the same with theirs, meaning that their impact on your life could seriously change the course of your self discovery. For some people, they may require someone to help them see their worth or to find their confidence, what have you. But if you are with someone who doesn't value your personal growth, then you can kiss your best self goodbye. It is a very delicate thing.
Whether you are just starting high school or leaving it behind, being on your own brings you the opportunity to discover what qualities matter the most to you, and what you want from your potential partner. It is also a chance to learn about yourself, focus on your education and goals, and realize what kind of life you want on a greater scale. It is clear that having the hots for someone is one of the biggest distractions that stop you from focusing on what is important, as it is a special time and something you may want to explore deeper. While being a precious thing, it can also be burdensome for someone in the position of a student, or someone working towards their goals.
It may be nice to have someone throughout high school, but at the end of the day, if you spend all of your time with them rather than focusing on the tasks at hand, you could be left alone with nothing to show for but your memories with them. That homework you were supposed to do? Not finished. That University you wanted to attend? They don't want you now. This is an extreme case of course, but not uncommon. When it comes to new relationships, people can be selfish in the sense that they want their partner to focus on them and only them, which puts their responsibilities on hold. Instead, take that time and be selfish for the betterment of yourself. You will thank yourself later.
Your plans don't have to be compromised for anyone else:
Something I see happen time and time again is a person brimming with hopes and dreams, but their partner doesn't share the same dreams, therefore they remain merely ideas and are never put into action. Instead, they do what better suits their significant other. It is exhausting to see, and rather disappointing. If you want to move to the closest city, or spend a summer in Europe, you should do exactly that, and not feel obligated to stay behind because your boyfriend/girlfriend doesn't want you to. Personally, I believe a partner shouldn't feel like a shackle wrapped around your ankle, tethering you to their place of comfort.
Imagine attending a University for four plus years, spending thousands of dollars to go, and finally landing an interview for your dream job. You have the opportunity you've always wanted, except its a few towns away, and you have a significant other who doesn't want to leave what they have behind. They tell you its either go and breakup or stay and be with them. That sounds absolutely ridiculous, right? From the position of a single person, you would likely choose your dream, but from a person in love, they would probably agree to stay. Being in a relationship changes your perspective of many things, including your lifelong goals. Take away the partner and the guilt, and you're left with yourself and the obvious choice. A genuine, loving partner would encourage you to do what makes you happy, and they would try to think of a solution with you.
This is the perfect time to do the things you never had the chance to: learn a new hobby, work on your fitness, go to every bar in your city, discover somewhere beautiful, or even learn how to meditate. There are so many options, and so many things that can better yourself, you just have to look and make the conscious decision to let it happen.
For the sake of your mind and body, don't stress about having someone to do things with. You are young and have the rest of your life to spend with someone else! Go to whatever school you want, move wherever you want, get the job you've been chasing, and be the best version of yourself because you can. This time is reserved for you, and you shouldn't let it go to waste!
You will learn to love your own company:
There tends to be this weird stigma around being alone. You can be alone with yourself and your thoughts, and that makes you lonely. But, you can be lonely and still be content, which many people seem to forget. If you can't be by yourself for more than a few hours, then you haven't taken the time to appreciate your own company, or to recognize the ways that you are special. There are ways that some people can't ever fill that lonely void you may feel, that's because only you can fill it. Only you can change your perspective of yourself.
As many people before me have said, there is only one you, and you have to be your own best friend sometimes. Don't get me wrong, having meaningful relationships is so important, but people may not be around you for every minute of every day. It is up to you to figure out what you enjoy doing and how passing the time may be more worthwhile by yourself. For example, you may like the solitude of reading and writing, going for a jog, or exploring your area. We can all be introverted at times, but it's time we look at it in a better light, rather than just being 'the loner' of the two options.
It may take time, but you will see how cool you really are, and realize the factors that will make you a great partner to have one day. Not focusing on just one person can also give you the chance to improve your relationships with friends and family, and to solidify them for the years to come. There is a beauty in experiencing life's wonders on your own, and appreciating them for what they are.
Absolute independence won't be so scary:
Let's face it, growing up and moving out can be terrifying. You've likely always had your parents to fall back on and to rely on for everything, but perhaps it is your turn to take over the operation of your life. It may seem like the easier route to pair up with someone and take on these daunting tasks together, but sometimes it is actually a self sabotage in disguise. Shifting your dependency onto a partner isn't helping you in the long run, and really pushes you back a few steps. God forbid you don't have that partner anymore, then what? You now have to truly face everything by yourself, without being prepared.
By deciding to focus on yourself, you can skip this step entirely, and feel comfortable within yourself to do whatever it is that needs to be done. By earning your own money, paying for things yourself, and just surviving on your own, you will be in a better place to take on a relationship in the future, and you will certainly feel more accomplished. To take on life by yourself is much more rewarding than piggybacking on your partner's success, and you won't be left alone with nothing. Remind yourself that you don't need a man or woman to make you feel complete, because you don't!
You will be better suited for love:
As someone who has spent time improving themselves, accomplishing their goals, and leading their own life, you will be more prepped for a future relationship. Hopefully by this point you will have rediscovered who you are, along with your qualities and flaws, and have a better understanding of what you need in a partner. In an overall sense, you will be the better side of yourself, who is ready to accept love and to support said lover through life.
Many people feel that they can't love someone else without loving themselves, which is why taking the time to familiarize yourself with your own existence is so important. This way, you can avoid unnecessary heartache, and prepare yourself for whats to come. It is only fair for your future boyfriend/girlfriend is receive the best parts of you, so why not put in the effort while you are young and learning? I can not emphasize the importance of self-love and self-acceptance enough, especially when you are at such an important age.
Also, no matter what age you are, do not feel pressured to be in any relationship or do anything you are not comfortable with. I am amazed at the number of people below the age of eighteen who feel ashamed for not having kissed anyone, or for not having sex yet. There is absolutely no rush! The outside world makes you feel that not having anyone or by not participating in intimate activities makes you less of a person. It is utterly false, and only evokes more stress for young people. I have felt it myself, and I know how bothersome it is. For the sake of your sanity, do not focus on these things, because more times than not, it won't be what you envisioned.
When you are ready, love will come to you. Live with good intentions, focus on yourself, be honest, and you will find the love you deserve. Do not let society belittle you for not have a relationship at a young age.
Finally, don't be so hard on yourself for being alone. With time and care, everything will fall into place. Soak up your fleeting freedom while it lasts, and appreciate you for you. There is no better lover than yourself.
© 2018 Karleigh Rose