Single life always seemed to be a transitional state. It was an undesirable in-between. No one wanted to be single – it was just the stop-gap between an old and new relationship. It is like waiting at a bus stop; you hop off the bus and wait a little bit before the next one comes along, and you climb aboard. No one has ever enjoyed waiting at a bus stop. Fact.
The most radical discovery of my teenage years (other than my clit) was that single life was… great? I left a two-year relationship with an incredible guy, knowing that the relationship I was in was no longer working for me in the way I wanted and needed it to. I went from a long-term relationship to being a single eighteen-year-old on a mission to explore my options. And I did… I tried all of the sample foods and then loop around the shop to sneak a few more of the samples. Without even realising it, I had gone from being in one form of relationship to be in a succession of very short-term engagements that were frankly making me very unhappy. I was seeking validation that I was worthy of someone’s affection, attraction and attention. But when the attention you are receiving is for only one (quite terrible) night, the fix ends quickly or sometimes never hits you at all.
Going to university, I was lucky to meet my best friends who became the centre of my world. Suddenly, I had this incredible group of women around me and it started to click that I didn’t need to be in a romantic relationship of some kind to feel validation and fulfilled. Friendships are a kind of relationship and my life was now inundated with six incredible new ones (much better than 6 TERRIBLE men chatting me up in clubs…)
Was this revelation completely life-changing? Yes. Did I still make some terrible decisions? Absolutely. There was ‘man-bun boy’ of fresher’s week and some other questionable choices after Sports Nights… But even in these moments I now look back on with fond memories, I wasn’t seeking validation but purely the fun of non-committal sex and the giggles with the girls the next morning as we recounted the tales of the night before.
Ditching boys made me realise a few things (hold your wigs, ladies, because these are pretty radical)…
– My body is amazing and very sexy and doesn’t have to be angled a certain way or completely hairless to be so. It is also deserving of more than I was putting it through.
– My worth isn’t determined by anyone else. I have decided I was born enough and that anything else I do in life that makes me proud of myself is a bonus.
– Being single makes you evaluate what you want from someone who potentially will enter your life romantically. You start to see dickheads everywhere and realise people that you would have paid too much attention to before are not going to make you feel good about yourself.
Being single, and truly embracing that identity, has been one of the biggest life lessons thus far in my minuscule twenty years. Without it, I would not be in the position I am now where I have met someone who I am truly happy with. Moral of the story? Being single isn’t the transitional stage – it is a full one-act play of its own and I was channelling all the main character energy. Take your solo moment on stage and rinse it for all it is worth (while using protection because safe sex is sexy sex).