Seven Reasons I Love Being Single
One of my pet peeves is the single person who hates being partnerless. Hollywood loves to play up the stereotype of the woman who is desperate for anyone to love her. Sadly, a lot of my friends fit right into this cliché. They hate going to special occasions without a date on their arm. Or they complain about being the only unattached person on the planet, which is how life appears from their perspective.
So, I’d like to offer a different perspective. While I look forward to meaningful relationships in my future, I enjoy dating. Yes, someday I hope to find “the one.” But, in the meantime, I relish the chance to get wild on the dance floor and represent “all the single ladies.”
Here are a few reasons I love being single:
1. Social Currency
How often does anyone ask if there are going to be any nice married couples at the party? I’ve yet to hear it. Instead, my very presence as one of the cute single women (or at least one with a great personality, hopefully) increases the potential fun of any social gathering. Parties have a different energy when people have the possibility of meeting the man or women of their dreams… or at least finding someone cute to talk to or make out with later on. Simply being available increases our value as social currency.
2. Ogling Season
The entire season of summer seems designed with the single person in mind. Surfers out of their wetsuits. Guys jogging without their shirts, and girls in bikinis. Cute neighbors by the pool. Basically, it’s ogling season, and when we’re single, we can look and appreciate without anyone getting jealous.
One of the fun things about being single is developing all of the little crushes. Just about everywhere I go, I have someone to look forward to seeing: the guy at work who impresses the kids with his dinosaur sketches, the cute guy on my soccer team who always compliments my defense, my friend’s friend who teases me at all the parties. The joy of crushes is that most of the time, we don’t even have any expectations of pursuing a relationship, but sometimes we’re delightfully surprised when one forms.
4. Friend time
We all swear we won’t dump our friends once we get involved in a relationship. Yet, the more we hang out with someone, the more our calendar fills up with activities with that person. Sometimes, we stop making our own plans altogether and just assume our weekends will be spent with our significant other. When we’re single again, that first weekend can be a wake-up call, as we realize we didn’t make any plans, and our friends no longer invite us out. So, we’re forced to pick up that phone and reconnect with our friends. We rediscover how fun quality friend time can be.
Relationships often take a lot out of us emotionally. When I’m truly single, I get so much more done on all my projects. It’s as though all that brain space dedicated to dating, relationships, or breaking up is suddenly freed up for other interests. We have time to take those classes, write that book, or do whatever it is that became less of a priority when we were spending quality time with our guy or girl.
When I asked a friend what he loved most about being single, he gave me a very succinct answer: self-reliance. When we’ve been in a relationship or even serial dating for awhile, we forget what it’s like being alone. We get used to doing a lot of the things we love or even those chores we loathe with someone else. Being on our own again means relearning that alone doesn’t have to mean lonely. Not only is it okay to watch movies all by ourselves, we can finally watch the ones we wanted to see, but which had always been voted out.
7. Endless possibilities
My favorite part of being single is the feeling that anything can happen at any moment. I love the idea that life is full of potential. Being in a serious relationship can be wonderful, but when we are with someone, the future can become somewhat limited. Where we’ll live, what type of job we’ll have, where and how often we’ll travel, how long we can get away each time—these are all serious considerations when we are involved with someone. Without the extra dimension of a significant other, much of the world opens up to us. We feel like we can go anywhere, do anything, and dream as wide as we wish.
Thus, I say that we enjoy this time to ourselves. Being single now doesn’t mean being lonely forever. So we should savor it.
Given your utter lack of productivity on this site between January and May, I’m wondering what you were doing with yourself during that time. Garnering dating stories to write about? 😉
Geez Dennis, it could be my 3 jobs, being a full-time single mom or simply spending too much time partying like a rock star. Lessons take time to learn, it’s hard to reflect in the midst of the process. But yes I have plenty of brain space freed now for writing articles.
There are a lot of legitimate pros to being single, but I feel like acknowledging these seven things means that you don’t retain any sort of autonomy when you’re in a relationship in the first place. I know when you’re with someone, and I mean in a serious relationship, you do tend to do a lot of things together, and eventually you tend to become a unit instead of two people in a relationship. But I’m still rather idealistic, I guess, because I don’t think you have to stop ogling or lose your self reliance (even if it’s only KNOWING you can be self-reliant, or taking time for yourself once a week) or be less productive when you’re in a relationship.
It’s been a while since I’ve dated anyone seriously, though, so I could be totally off on this. For the record, I’m single and would rather not be, but for most of the time I’ve been single, I’ve enjoyed it tremendously. Hopefully if I meet someone special, I’ll enjoy all the pros of being in a relationship as much as those of singledom.
Actually I especially agree with the part about being self-reliant. Having never been in a really serious relationship, I think that I’ve always been rather independent even in relationships. I think it’s harder for some people than others though. As for the ogling, I’m sure we still do it, but hopefully not quite as obviously! I don’t think that being happy single and being happy in a relationship are mutually exclusive. I think the best way to live is to be happy in whatever state you’re in. I do know that when guys complain about being single or go on and on about how they want a girlfriend or hurry up and settle down and get married, I find it a total turn off. It forces me to wonder: are they with me because they like me or because they can’t stand being alone?
Also, I think the less rocky the relationship is, the more productive you can be. It’s the beginning of relationships, where you spend so much time wondering where it’s going, if it’s going anywhere, does he like you, do you really like him, etc. that take up so much brain power. Then, as a relationship is falling apart, again you find yourself pondering similar questions: is it you, is it him, are you making a mistake, is he really busy or is he just trying to get you to break up with him because he doesn’t have the nads?
I agree with all that. Aw man, now I really hate dating. I’m trying not to think about things too much, and keep my mind occupied on other things. Hopefully that’ll lower the brain power needed to start a relationship and let me feel situations out a little more instead of obsessing about them.
I will say this: being single is simpler. That’s for damn sure.
You know, I too was really good at being single. And I hardly dated! But I gotta tell ya, I could probably write that same list as a married woman and be able to back up every one! Hmmm… now you give me an idea.
Woo hoo! That’s the whole point of this site….
Maybe if you lower it enough, you too can become a panda. 😉
Why do you assume I’m not the panda?! I’m cute and cuddly. Just because I like to pounce on things and go “RAWR I WANT TO CLAW YOUR FACE OFF!!” doesn’t mean I can’t sit around eating bamboo shoots all day.
Sorry, I won’t hijack here. Bad Allison. BAD.
Sorry, Allison. That doesn’t work here. Lions are not omnivorous. :-p
Thoroughly entertaining everyone. I liked this article a lot Meg, an BTW that a a fantastic candid photo of you as a bridesmaid. Props to Marley but it is truly one of the best most fun pictures I have seen of you.
That aside, I love myself and my life as a single. I mean this sincerely and not cynically or sarcastically when I say I dont think I will ever get married (and not for some philosophical or abstract reason, either) For the record – had you asked me that a few months ago it would not have been the case. Statistically more marriages fail than not, and I really don’t need a partner to make me whole. I see the positives of a relationship too, but since the people I seem to attract are less than suitable partners, I accept my fate in life! 🙂 and I am pretty darn busy with all the great new challenges I face and wonderful experiences. Cheers!
I loved being single too. I liked doing whatever I wanted whenever I wanted for whatever reason I wanted wherever I wanted.
I’m just going to say that you don’t have to give up crushes when you’re not single. I don’t flirt with anyone, I don’t mess around – but, dammit, there are just some people I like to see now and then.
I liked it when I was in a relationship, and love being single as well. True that you have to like and be happy with your darn self.