It’s pretty common to be single in college. Julia Bourland, author of The Go-Girl Guide: Surviving Your 20s with Savvy, Soul, and Style explains, “there are fierce desires to find a mate…But dating in the 20s is more complicated than ever.” Your 20s are a time of transition, which can be made easier by going through them yourself. There’s no need to add to the stress you already have in your life by trying to be in a relationship. Another great thing about being unattached is that life is what you make it. “I think the best part about being single in college is that the possibilities are endless. You never know what is going to happen or whom you are going to meet. Although being in relationship can be great, it can also be predictable. When you’re single, you never know what will happen next!” shared Kathleen Bogle, Professor of Sociology and Criminal Justice at La Salle University and author of Hooking Up: Sex, Dating and Relationships on Campus. Sometimes it can be hard to get past a feeling of loneliness or jealousy at those disgustingly cute couples walking around campus, but let’s further consider why being unattached is fabulous!
1. There’s no “checking-in” — Kathleen Corlett from Syracuse University attests: “I can think of several reasons to love being single! At the top of the list, you never have to worry about ‘checking in’ or running plans by a significant other.” When you are single, the only person you have to report to is yourself (and occasionally your parents so they know you are alive). And with texting becoming such a dominant form of communication, it’s easy for couples to check up on each other throughout the day, but this gets annoying fast. Why not be able to go on a friend date or use the bathroom without telling your significant other!?
2. Guilt trips are nonexistent— There is never a need to feel guilty (or even think twice!) when flirting with the cute guy or girl at Starbucks. You can feel free to flirt with guy or girl friends, waiters, people in class, or hall-mates! So there you are, you can work it when you are single and flirt without the guilt trip catching up with you later. Go ahead—embrace your right to flirt!
3. Strengthening friendships — It sucks to get ditched by your friends who are in relationships. You were good enough for them when they were single but suddenly they have no time for you once they change their Facebook status to “In a relationship.” Being single, you can focus on strengthening your friendships with your friends. You have all the time in the world to have girls’ or guys’ nights and watch chick flicks or football. Instead of focusing your time on a serious relationship, you can focus on others who are close to you, and let them influence you as a person. This is the perfect time to throw in a quote from Sex and the City: “Being single used to mean that nobody wanted you. Now it means you’re pretty sexy and you’re taking your time deciding how you want your life to be and who you want to spend it with.” I couldn’t agree more with Carrie Bradshaw!
4. (This one is more female specific) You don’t have to dress up (for him) — As women we go through a lot to be considered attractive and well-manicured. We are waxed, shaved, tweezed, polished, toned, tanned, our hair and nails are done, and we have to have just the right outfit on. Now let’s think about it, who are we doing all of this for: a guy or ourselves? We are young, beautiful, and single. So put down that blush brush and go run errands with a makeup-free face. Put on your favorite t-shirt or skip shaving your legs one morning and you will exude an air of confidence because you will feel confident within.
5. Learn about yourself — Abby Frank from Longwood University says: “I really just enjoy being able to learn how I enjoy things without worrying about someone else’s feelings at the same time. I’m 20 and in my prime to learn how to travel and be on my own. I just feel like being attached to someone else would give me tunnel vision, instead of really being able to make decisions based on what I truly want for myself. And don’t get me wrong, I love getting kisses on the nose, and cute text messages, and hugs, but what I love even more is being able to focus on my own mental health. In the time that I’ve been single I’ve really learned to love myself as a person and be able to comfort myself without wallowing in my own loneliness.” Gale Crandell, a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist shared with me, “We often associate the ego with selfishness but this isn’t always the case. Gaining ego strength is developing who you are as a person. And as you take the time to do that, and postpone relationships, you can find what you need and want, which will lead to successful relationships in the future.”
Learning to be on your own and love yourself can be tricky. We too easily believe in the classic fairytale of Happy Ever After (in a perfect relationship). Even if you do want to meet someone eventually, being happy on your own is still an important skill! Celebrate being Single on Valentine’s Day this year!!