The Last Single Gal
This topic has been weighing on me for a while now. Do prepare yourself for my unfiltered, twenty something, single, yes, SINGLE, give-no-sh*ts opinion on the matter of my relationship status.
As I get older, more and more of my friends are in relationships, getting married and even having kids. Honestly, at 26 I should have probably been more prepared for this scenario. What ended up happening was, when I wasn't looking, literally everyone in my friendship 'inner-circle' had a significant other. And here I was, still single, and being pressured by certain folks to join an online dating app.
Here's the 411 on how I got to be 26 and single (the super abbreviated version):
I was in a serious relationship for six years; from 18 - 24. While all of my friends were in the dating scene, experiencing heartbreak after heartbreak, crying about how the guy won't call them back or after a month he wouldn't be into it anymore, I was in a stable, wonderful, committed relationship. Until I wasn't.
I did everything backwards. I should have been right there with my friends, partying wayyyyy too hard, making stupid decisions, not waking up at home, and all other matters of youthful debauchery. Don't misunderstand, I partied hard and made some questionable choices, but not when it came to my relationship.
I don't regret anything. I know that I am where I am now for a reason (whatever the hell it may be) and that everything happens for the best* (*may the 'best' feel free to come any day now).
So this brings me to today. Single for two (and a half) years and you know what - I DON'T HATE IT.
Since when was being single a bad thing? For real, it's being used like an expletive these days. I'm a college graduate who worked my ass off during university and found a job in my field right out of college (which is super rare these days; counting my blessings on that one, don't worry), I shouldn't have to worry about being single.
I am pretty good with the whole notion of caring for myself alone, not worrying about someone else's wellbeing all the time. When I was in that position, I realized it was a vice of mine - when I care for someone, I worry about them, and if I end up falling in love with them? Well I'm SOL.
But here's what I learned from being single for so long, and what I think every girl in a relationship should take away from my experience (I did the homework for you!):
Don't let yourself morph into the person you're with. At the time, I unknowingly made him and his life more important than me and mine; not cool.
Maintain your friendships with any person that you had in your life prior to your significant other, whether male or female - yes, you CAN have friends of the opposite sex, society be damned!
If something upsets you in your relationship, talk about it. There is nothing worse than having an all out fight over something that would have been minuscule if you had just spoken about it at the time.
These are things I learned the hard way. At the end of my relationship I came to the very grim realization that a lot of my friendships had suffered as a result of neglect. I was very lucky to have been able to repair most of them, but there are those I will never get back. Also, and more importantly, I had to re-evaluate who I was a person, without someone else beside me.
During these single years, I learned so much about who I am, what I like - in life and in a significant other - and what I can handle. I surprised the crap out of myself with the whole 'what I can handle' part. Not gonna lie, there were times I thought I would never recover from that breakup, let alone enjoy being single.
But I did recover. In a way. There's absolutely a scar left from the whole ordeal, but it was a necessary one.
I wouldn't be who I am today if it didn't happen to me (again, I'm sure the universe has a good reason for all of this, which it has yet to share with me).
Enough with the sentimental crap. Here's the deal:
As someone who hasn't found a viable mate for nearly three years, let me tell you - dating sucks, the likelihood of finding someone you are compatible with is not very high, and it doesn't help that I'm a fiercely independent person (thanks to so much 'me' time). That being said, I am also a hopeless romantic (surprise!) and choose to believe that there is someone out there for me (and for you). I just have to put myself out there again (ugh).
Until then... the next time a friend, coworker, or some random acquaintance gives me that 'poor girl she's still single' look, or speaks in a condescending coupled up voice, I will not be responsible for ripping them a new one.