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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.

32 comments:

Anonymous said...

That was brilliant.
Exactly my situation, and i feel the same way although no one ever believes me.
Relationships are messy, who needs them?

Jessi Haish said...

Thank you!!! I'm glad you understand :)

Melissa Blake said...

AMEN, sister!!!!!!!

Chrissy said...

Awesome post. There's nothing wrong with being single or in a relationship as long as you are happy. Being in a relationship certainly doesn't mean you are happy and there is something to be said for knowing who you are and what makes you happy as an awesomely solo individual. :)

Wild and Precious said...

hi Jessi, saw your comment on Melissa's blog and just wanted to stop by to say hi.

have a great night!

Jessi Haish said...

Thank you, thank you! Great to hear from all of you :D

SofĂ­a said...

great post, I don't know how I get here but I loved it. kisses !! :)

Strawberry said...

You seem wise beyond your years. I'm liking your blog, keep it up!

Anonymous said...

I am in the same boat. 19, and no major relationships. Sure I dated but it never got serious. Sometimes I hated it so much, even sometimes now. But it did teach me self confidence, self reliance, and above all patience!

Jessi Haish said...

You guys are amazing! Thank you so much! :)

JCee said...

Jessi you took the words right out of my mouth ... i feel the exact same way ... I'm 23 been single all my life but thats because Im not willing to just settle for anything, while it annoys me sometimes i beleive it has made me a much more well rounded person who is comfortable in her own shoes

claire=) said...

I've been single since I was born, too. Haha. Single for 18 years. Being single never made me insecure of my friends who were into relationships. There's nothing to be jealous with them, right? Relationships would just mess up with my priorities right now. There's a right time for everything. And I think I've got to finish college first before I dig into the confusing world of relationships. (Well, I've got a year to go. Haha.)

Great post. I love it. :D

Sarah Certa said...

I agree with Chrissy--there is nothing wrong with being single or being in a relationship, as long as you are happy. My future husband and I have been together since high school, and I couldn't be happier, but I do think there is a common misconception out there that if you don't "find" someone, you are not complete. Especially for women. I am reminded of a Gloria Steinem quote: "A woman without a man is like a fish without a bicycle." :)

Jessi Haish said...

Exactly!!! I have some super intelligent followers :) Lovin' the comments!

The One and Only Roxie said...

Jessi I feel just like this!

In my case I'm almost 23, and in my culture, that's getting a little old to be single. I (and my family) always thought I'd be married by now. But I realized, even though my friends are getting into serious relationships and getting married, I've still got time for adventures! I've got opportunities to go try to ask for directions in a foreign country, get advanced degrees, be silly, and LIVE! Singleness is a fantastic thing. I too have seen the girls who just CAN'T function without boyfriends in their lives. Us single girls need to be the shining example!!

Holly Go Freely said...

Loved this! I felt the same way in high school (and today!) and you're absolutely right--it's a great feeling to know that you can look to yourself for support. You are your own best friend, after all. :-D

P.S. I'm new to blogspot and now I'm following your blog. hope you don't mind!

Vaishali Ahuja said...

Very true indeed! One can be equally happy without being in any relationship.. It's good to lean on "Yourself" and everybody should learn this at some point of life...
You have learnt it pretty early in your age.
Really liked your post!

ForEverDancing said...

Nice!!! Made me realize a thing or two!

ChickLitGirl said...

That is seriously inspiring. I want to be that girl, yet im in this really screwed up thing atm, and it takes away a good part of me all the time.
I want to be like you.

ButtonPom said...

This post made me smile, I'd never thought about it that way. Thankyou :)

Rosella Eleanor LaFevre said...

Wow, Jessi, you seem to be my soul sister. Although I've had some boyfriends (only one so far was for me "serious" and that lasted less than three months), I was largely single and as a student at an all-girls high school, it was even harder to find boys to take to dances. As a result, I took a girlfriend to Junior Prom and filmed my Senior Prom with video crew. And you know, sometimes it sucked. I definitely hated that even my friend found a boy to dance with during the 'slow jam.' But I accomplished things that I might never have if I'd been distracted by boys (I too was my high school paper's editor in chief). Amen!

(If you're ever looking for reading material, I think you'd like my blog! Perhaps we could link to each other's blogs!)

Cat said...

I randomly stumbled across your blog through my "blogs you might like" list on my homepage (kudos on being tech savy enough to make that happen!). I am different from you in many, many ways, but I am beyond impressed by your blog, your writing, and your ability not only to articulate yourself, but to speak from the soul.

I wish I was as cool as you when I was nineteen! Best of luck on your journey and I will be following your blog.

Cat said...

I randomly stumbled across your blog through my "blogs you might like" list on my homepage (kudos on being tech savy enough to make that happen!). I am different from you in many, many ways, but I am beyond impressed by your blog, your writing, and your ability not only to articulate yourself, but to speak from the soul.

I wish I was as cool as you when I was nineteen! Best of luck on your journey and I will be following your blog.

Erin said...

Very nice blog. I liked this post it was a very cool realization you had. For much of it I can relate.

Anonymous said...

You've got talent girl! I hope this takes you somewhere.

Hannah E. said...

Truly can say that relationships suck sometimes. I've been creeping your blog all day - I like what you have. And all the pictures are amazing. Do you use a website, or do you take some of them? (:

starry_eyed said...

I really liked this post. When you're single people look at you pityingly as if life is less interesting for people who arent in a relationship. I think both being single and being in a relationship has its own merits & demerits and all I can say is the cliched "To each his/her own" :)

Renee said...

Jessie,
I love the way you are looking at things, because when i was in high school i never had a boyfriend either. You should be able to explore things in life and never ever 'settle' for anything. you will someday find your prince, but don't rush it girl! 25 is still WAY young to be thinking marriage! So much life to live!

red 'n white said...

glad to know I ain't the only one

GreekGoddessCindy said...

that was really nice. im really proud of you, and i dont even know you!. im 22 years old, and i know excatly how you felt while in high school. but for me, it was the opposite. I ALWAYS had a boyfreind (but not because i was looking for one or feel that i always had to have one). But i have learned alot for being in relationships. having boyfriends in h.s. taught me what kind of guys to stay away from, and which guys are good. ive been single since i was 17. I know now ecxatly what kind of guy is worth it. Immature relationships does help & teach u how 2 hv productive ones once an adult. Good for YOU

clickclack said...

This was actualyl so inspirational and I have a massive amount of respect for you. You're right, at out age so many people focus on having a "long-term relationship" when actually, you should be devoting time to life long friends, amazign experiences and learning from mistakes. Fantastic post.

Love a fellow spinster.
x

Molly said...

I love this post.
So inspiring to every single girl out there...

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