About ten days ago, Thought Catalog posted an entry called “17 Reasons It’s Good You’re Single Right Now.” I thought it was okay. Not terrible, not great, just okay. There were mixed reactions to the list, partially because it offered very wishy-washy main-points that didn’t fit together. Some of them seemed like bad advice to me, because they involved pining over an ex. It didn’t literary say that, but that’s how I interpreted it. A number of people commented that this list only made them more depressed over being single while others said they loved it. I could identify with some things, but I’ve decided to offer my own three reasons that will be more general to anyone, man or woman.
I commented: I am totally #1, 12, 14, 15 and REALLY #17!!! Don’t mind being single AT ALL. That’s part of being young, exploring things and being free from social obligations.
Besides, before I begin my list, the picture they used in the entry was highly distasteful. It was a picture from 27 Dresses, which is a chick-flick about a woman who plans weddings and subs as the maid-of-honor in these weddings while she is pining for her boss. Yes, it’s about a woman who stays in a business that is a constant reminder of her loneliness and for many years she hopes that her boss will love her back, but he has no idea that she has a crush on him, because she doesn’t do or say anything, and when her little sister swoops this man off his feet… Bad example; that character obviously doesn’t like being single.
3 Reasons It’s Good to Be Single
1. Focus on your dreams and future. When you leave the safe, cozy nest of your parents’ house, it’s time to make some serious decisions about your life. Get a job, go to school, develop a social network, shake hands and plan ahead. A relationship would slow you down and/or distract you from what’s important. Not saying that human bonding is not important, but girlfriends and boyfriends will come and go. Don’t waste your youth and energy on something trivial when you could spend your time studying and working. Laying a foundation for your future entails major focus. Too many young people allow their significant others to let them drift away from their priorities, or influence them to make shifty decisions or dismiss school/work assignments.
2. Figure out who you are without letting anyone define you. I bet you’ve heard the expression, “She/he is my better half,” or when someone gets married, they believe they are complete. Or there is someone who adapts their opinions, feelings, political views, social attitudes or even the way they dress to what others tell them. Throughout our childhood and adolescence we’re offered all these options on how to behave and think, but eventually we have to make up our own minds. When you’re in a relationship, it is harder to find your balance, because you’re by definition a girlfriend/boyfriend and they like being with the person you were when you two began dating. Making discoveries about yourself and trying new things might be more difficult when your partner might not possibly support the change in you. If you don’t have any ties to anyone, it will be easier to act on your impulses and instincts, and most certainly you don’t have to make any apologies for who you are.
3. Learn to love yourself truly, deeply and madly. Yesterday my English professor told the entire class that we were all wonderful, good people, whether we had someone for Valentine or not. This counts for the rest of the year, I would add. Many single people will at some point in their life wonder if there is something wrong with them, because they “don’t seem capable” of finding someone to hold their hand. I used to be in this position myself, and wonder why I didn’t have a boyfriend and if there was something repulsive about me. Some are lucky and find someone special early, but most people have to wait, explore, make mistakes and so forth. But you don’t need anyone telling you are awesome. You just are and your time will come, too.
**This blog entry was written for ‘Writing for Mass Media,’ JRN202, at Central Michigan University.