Tuesday, March 16, 2010
Things I've Learned From Being Single
I'm nineteen and I've been single for nineteen years. This may sound like a long time, but if you think about it, I just graduated from high school less than a year ago. I used to loathe being single (especially in high school - I still don't understand why everyone HAD to ask someone to Sadie Hawkins) but now I think that one may be the loveliest number. Now, someday I may be charmed by someone and swayed into monogamy, but for now I can fully embrace my singleness (and appreciate it as well!) Being single through my teen years has taught me a lot of things, and looking back, I wouldn't have it any other way.
Not having boyfriends or serious relationships was probably one of the greatest things (it wasn't exactly a decision) to happen to me. Some of my best friends continually have boyfriends: they bounce out of one relationship and fall flawlessly into the next. I gazed on during all of this as it started our freshman year; I witnessed and sometimes envied the fact that they always had
someone to lean on
someone to slow dance with
and someone to cuddle with at cold football games.
I was single however, and learned different lessons. Instead of leaning on someone else, I leaned on MYSELF. I built incredibly tight relationships with my friends for support. The relationships with my best friends as well as my relationship with myself couldn't possibly be as strong as they are now if I had spent a bunch of time leaning on boys. Most of my friendships I made during these times in my teen years are just as strong today.
The awkwardness of high school dances? Sure, I didn't have a boyfriend to dance with every time they played Aerosmith's "I Don't Wanna Miss A Thing" but after the first few dances my freshman year of standing awkwardly in a corner WAITING to be asked (I remember trying to make myself look available) I actually started asking guys myself. The first time I was terrified, but by the end of my sophmore year I was just walking up and putting my hands on their shoulders. I found an immense amount of confidence just because there wasn't a given that I would have someone to dance with. It was almost like a gamble of a game. A challenge, so to speak. Although my confidence may waver from time to time, I'm still honest and open with people today. I may not have school dances to show it, but if I have feelings for someone, I tell them! It may not end well, but I could have always been rejected for slow dances! It's actually a relief to know that they aren't interested in you so you can move on to the other fish in the sea - and hey, if they started "dancing" along with it - right on!
As for the chilly football games? I remember many times when I was the odd girl out, sitting next to a bunch of couples. However, I also managed to have a lot of boys offer their coats to me, in my mind, the next best thing. I could flirt with ALL the guys in the stand if I wanted to (though I probably wouldn't) and I really got into school spirit. I fell in love with my school, and became editor in chief of my high school's paper based on that devotion. That made me realize my passion in life. Boys were always a side order, and why wouldn't they be?
Guys have always been on my mind and I have fallen in and out of wanting/looking for a relationship. But then I look at friends who to this day CAN'T function unless they are in a relationship - - and I find it incredibly crippling. I patiently make the most out of myself before I would put a guy first. I have so many things to accomplish and though I may not always do them the "normal" way, I've learned an immense amount of lessons. Even if I dwelled on crying over not having a prom date, or being ditched by friends who wanted to hang out with their boyfriends, most of the time I came out happy. ALL of the time I survived (for instance, most friends now admit prom was a massive waste of money) and I've benefited from every experience in my life - good or bad. Now that I'm in college I'm ready to press forward, not in search of a husband before I turn twenty-five or even a serious boyfriend, but I continue to press on in my state of blissfulness.
What can I say? I'm happy.