In contrast to my previous post about finding true love, I thought today I’d talk about the reasons I’m just fine being single. I’ve found a lot of people jump into relationships – however serious or not – quite young. And when they do, they don’t really know themselves. They don’t always know what they want, who they really are, or any of that.
Being single for this amount of time has let me be sure of those things. I’m lucky in that I always knew who I was, in a way, because I was always someone who wanted to write, and read, and live in a world of my own imaginings. But to progress through your teenage years without the distraction of relationships, and being able to focus on yourself, has some perks.
For one, my embarrassing moments, embarrassing outfits and bad haircuts can happily fade from existence. Photos still exist, of course, but I had the time to find my style purely based on what I like and what I want, rather than because I was trying to impress someone.
I’ve also spent all the winters with all the leg hibernation. Girls, you understand me. No partner = no shave. It’s great until you reach the point where you start to feel more woolly-mammoth than human, but then you start the process all over again… English winters last long enough!
There are less material aspects to it, though. Without someone there to colour your own perspective of yourself, you learn to appreciate yourself first and foremost. I see people who flit from relationship to relationship, and then suddenly find themselves single and have no idea how to be outside of a couple. They rely on reassurances from someone else, or their self-confidence only comes from compliments. I’ve not had that, so as I’ve grown I’ve become confident in my own skin. I don’t need somebody to tell me I look good in order for me to feel like I do.
If I had to give one piece of advice on relationships to other people, I would say only involve yourself in them when it feels totally right to you. Don’t do it just to say you’ve been in one, don’t do it just because you feel left out, or pressured. I’ve seen people do that, and I’ve seen people date around so much they get hurt by rumours flying around school, and whatever else. I’ve seen people whose only self-respect comes from others. Don’t let that be you – take your teenage years of awkwardness and bumbling, and be selfish. Determine what you want first, and if that’s to be in a relationship, then do it. If not, don’t.