Singleness. It’s a season, like spring, that we all know.
For some, being single is lifestyle they want to enjoy their whole life. For others, they desire a relationship, but they’re just waiting to find the right person. Being coupled-off is another season, autumn, if you will. If you’re single, regardless of your personal decisions, there are amazing reasons why sometimes being single is simply lovely.
(Disclaimer, I’m not saying that spring is better than autumn. This article is just to honor the delights of the season of spring when you’re living in it.)
Your future remains curious.
The last time I met someone I was extremely interested in, I literally skipped a half mile to work that morning. The butterflies! The endorphins! Zip-A-Dee-Do-Dah!
And then… I stopped for a moment. If this person is my forever person, then would this be the last time I’d feel this overwhelming jolt of lust and excitement? Even though I was incredibly excited, I felt a pang of grief as I considered that this could be my last time getting caught up in the rush of falling head over heels. I also felt a wave of fear to consider giving up my independence.
If you have committed to a long-term relationship, that’s incredibly beautiful. However, there is less curiosity about certain elements of your life. You already know who you’ll be living life with. You know you’re not going to get swept up in the raging river of falling in love again. When you are single, there are so many elements of your life that still remain to be discovered in a way that’s different from those in a relationship. If you desire to be in a relationship, then the mystery of who “your person” will be is still be uncovered. Something dramatically life-altering and exciting could still be around any corner.
Freedom to truly know yourself.
This statement is a bit of a cliché, but it’s also true. When you’re single, you can devote 100% of your energy into discovering what you love. You can focus on your education and career. You can pick up and move or travel anywhere. Even go to the movies you want to see all by yourself. (Pro-tip, if you haven’t done this yet, do it. It’s amazingly empowering).
Invest into yourself during seasons of singleness. Go to yoga, run a marathon, read, create art, talk to a therapist, learn a new skill, force yourself to grow. By investing deeply into making yourself a more whole person, you’re bound to attract others into your circle who have poured similar work into themselves, as well.
College loans, low-paying jobs after graduation, high costs of living in the cities with the most job opportunities. Being a millennial is expensive.
Mastering the art of money management is much easier when it’s just one person’s bank account to manage. You aren’t yet burdened with the very real costs of a wedding. If you don’t have children, then you only have to worry about one mouth to feed. Like learning to truly know yourself, also take the time to truly manage your finances so that if you do end up in a committed relationship down the road, you aren’t bringing financial baggage into that partnership.
The gift of dating.
I’ll be the first to acknowledge how exhausting and vulnerable the dating process can be. Small talk can feel so shallow. It’s draining to have to get all dressed up to meet someone new. Nodding politely while they introduce themselves may seem like a total crapshoot. You’ll either feel rejected or reject people over and over and over again, until one day, maybe it will work out. Each time, you get back on the horse believing that maybe, just maybe, this time it’ll be different.
However, as much as dating can be exhausting, it can also be an incredible gift. It’s a beautiful way to observe and learn from people who have experienced the world differently than you. First dates are an opportunity to connect to someone (often seemingly randomly), who may be totally outside of your normal circle of influence. Ask questions. Peek into their world. Expand your network.
…as much as dating can be exhausting, it can also be an incredible gift. It’s a beautiful way to observe and learn from people who have experienced the world differently than you.
Sometimes a date can naturally fall in your lap, but often times, dating means putting yourself out there (again and yet again). Dating apps can simplify this process, but it often feels more romantic to meet someone in real life. When I’m single, I give myself pep talks and strike up conversation with strangers all over the place. If I didn’t meet someone new that day, I consider that day a missed opportunity.
Treat strangers like old friends. Ask engaging questions. Truly listen. Value their humanity. The act of putting yourself out there never feels completely natural, but the more you build this social muscle, the easier it becomes. I’ve met people I was interested in at weddings, coffee shops, birthday parties, international hostels, work, conferences, music festivals, charity events, through blind dates, in school, reconnecting with people I knew years ago, and once by literally falling on the street when someone ran to help me stand back up. Anything is possible.
Are you in an environment where there are strangers? Amazing! This is an opportunity to maybe meet someone who can dramatically impact your worldview.
We all have our own paths. Regardless of if you are single, in a relationship, married, or somewhere in between, your circumstances are not better than another’s. Respecting our unique journeys and avoiding comparison to those around us is the true secret to contentment.
It’s New Year’s Eve and you may feel like something’s missing if you don’t feel like you have a sweetheart to kiss at midnight. However, if you don’t have a person to smooch when the ball drops, perhaps this means that 2017 may be your most mysterious and exciting year to come.
Are you in a season of singleness? Is it easy or difficult for you to embrace?
Images via Madi Ellis
I am headed towards the last month of a 1 – year dating fast and I have done most of the things listed here EXCEPT my solo movie. I must do it in the coming weeks.
Thanks for sharing 🙂
Thank you for this beautiful article. I’m reentering the season of single after being married and thinking that I’d never be single again. It’s so scary getting a divorce, but also liberating to realize that one day I get to have those falling in love feelings again. And a whole lot of adventures in between.
I also really enjoyed reading this article. This has been the second New Year I’ve celebrated as a single woman in my adult life, and in many ways it is incredibly empowering and delightful. Being in a committed relationship is a beautiful thing, but the most important person to love, nourish and take care of is always ourselves first. It has taken me over 30 years to figure that one out! On the second day of the New Year, I took myself on a date to the museum, to get a makeover at Barneys, met a man for a drink at the bar, but then treated myself to a dinner and a movie. It is quite wonderful taking yourself out!
Dating has always been tiring, but fun for me. In the end, we date to know ourselves better right? When I was in my 20s, I had a long laundry list of what I thought I wanted. Now at 33, I realize how much I’ve changed and how people can constantly surprise me. I’ve learned so much about who I am by meeting people all around me.
Thank you for this beautiful reminder. Happy 2017!
Awe! Love all of this!
This is exactly what I needed to read. Thank you so much for sharing your take on singleness and empowering others!
I’m not single right now but these are definitely great points. It’s really a great time to explore what makes YOU happy!
Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog