In my early 20s, being single felt like being punished. I constantly felt split in half and like my better half was always MIA. I fought for relationships that I shouldn't have. I wished for boyfriends I didn't need. The fear of not having someone to hold me, to attend a holiday party with, to take home for Thanksgiving, was crippling. I wanted to have a boyfriend to have a boyfriend and to not be single.
That desperation put me in countless unhealthy situations. That desperation gave me a terrible foundation for building self-esteem. I'd watch a romantic movie and be drunk texting all of my exes before the credits rolled, begging for them back, because I felt like I was missing out on love. The whole world around me was paired off, holding hands, watching the sunset. And I was inside, alone, wishing on eyelashes and lightning bolts that I'd find a hand to hold.
A lot of my need to be with someone was just a misguided fear of being alone. I had just left college, was used to a life where I was never alone, and I needed to know that the next phase of my life wouldn't be lonely. I'd date people who I knew I wouldn't marry, I knew we were fundamentally different and probably wasting each other's time, but I was attached to the plans. To the spooning. To the breakfast dates. To the texting. To the fighting and making up. To the distraction. Now in my late 20s, I can't stress enough how much my attitude towards being single has changed. Here are eight reasons:
By your late 20s, you're not scared of anything. You've seen it all, either in your own experience or on television. You're not afraid of the dark, you don't need someone to check for the boogie man and you know there's no such thing as dying alone.
You know how to do things by yourself. You don't need a partner to validate whatever opinion you have by agreeing, or teach you how to do things you could easily learn yourself. You enjoy the fact that you can take care of yourself, it's empowering.
Having Alone Time
Though you may have felt restless in your early 20s, now you appreciate the quiet. After a long day at work, you're happy to come home to peace. You make so much of your time with yourself, it would be hard to trade it in for company.
In your late 20s, you let go of any last lingering insecurities about yourself and your capabilities. If you were unfortunate enough to have a conditioned "savior complex," this is the age you learn to overcome and shed it. You've had so many experiences that have shaped you into the complex woman you are and you needed to be on your own to do it.
Meeting New People
When you're single in your late 20s you're much more comfortable with yourself and other people. You can easily make new friends and you love the freedom of being able to talk to whoever you want and not be responsible for a partner's feelings.
You'll adventure by yourself. And not just for the sake of an Instagram you can post that might make an ex feel jealous. In your late 20s you can actually let loose and have experiences for yourself.
Having casual sex can be very rewarding. Getting to know people in an intimate way teaches you a lot about yourself and what you like. You start to realize that a one night stand is not always a bad thing.
Getting To Know Yourself
In your late 20s you'll use your singledom as a wonderful excuse to get to know yourself. Who you are without a partner. You'll stop walking around feeling split. You'll fill the voids on your own and be a better person because of it.
Images: Giphy, New Line Cinema