While I love going home for the holidays to visit my family, the vacation that feels more important to me is my annual trip to our lake home for the Fourth of July. That little place, just a few steps from the shore, is a place where I was introduced so many new things: shaved my legs for the first time, kissed a guy for the first time, lost my virginity — to name a few. That being said — when it comes time to book that ticket and pack my bags, a part of me is always sad that another year has passed and I’m still single.
Going back there feels more like going home than any childhood home I grew up in, and even though it’s so special to me, I’ve never brought a guy home to see it. It’s kind of crazy to me but it also makes it that much more sacred: whenever I do bring someone home, it’ll mean so much and (hopefully) he’ll be the only one I ever share it with.
Though most of the time I handle my anxiety around my lack of relationship status pretty well, I admittedly get a little down when the Fourth of July rolls around. Except something was different this year. I realized how much I have to cherish (and frankly, need to savor) while I’m spending these years single. Here’s just a few to remember the next time you’re worried about not having a partner yet:
1. You Get Time With Your Parents Alone
Or other loved ones. Under the hot North Carolina sun, my parents and I sat in our bathing suits, playing cards on our boat, listening to oldies and chatting away. It was in that moment that I looked at them, my sweet mom and dad who have been married for 30 years and counting, and realized that when I do have a partner, I won’t get to be selfish with my parents. Sure, they’ll always be my family, but there will be at time when grandchildren splash around and a partner joins the card game.
2. You Can Make Your Own Choices On Vacations
This year alone, I’ve traveled to Portugal, Spain, Boston, North Carolina, Georgia, and South Carolina, with trips to Miami and the coast all planned, too. When it comes to my vacation time, it’s all mine (as longs as my boss gives it the A-OK), so booking a trip on a whim doesn’t seem like a big choice for me. Once I’m part of a pair, I can’t just pick-up and go when I please.
3. You Have Holidays With Your Family
We watched the fireworks on the Fourth with some family friends who were sad because their children had opted to spend the holiday with their in-laws instead. Though part of me already understood that one day, I wouldn’t be able to force my spouse to head down to NC for every holiday, I never realized how sad that would make me. Splitting time between two families is a real reality — and a tough one.
4. You Can Spend Your Money How You Please
As a successful, independent adult, I’m not only able — but thrilled! — to spend my earnings however I like. While I save and invest, I also splurge on things that one day, I will want to use toward buying a house, paying for college for my children, and I don’t know — groceries?
5. You Can Have A Quiet Home To Yourself
Many of my friends in relationships (and OK, my mom, too) —always talk about those few precious hours where their partners are out of their hair, not asking about dinner or the plans for the weekend or blowing up their phones. Sometimes I kind of hate the vast amount of alone time I have, but when I think of never having it, it makes me a little anxious. There’s something to be said about having a second to simply, just be.
6. You Get To Sleep Alone
Truth be told, I’ve never been able to happily share a bed with another person. I’ve always been a middle-of-the-bed, sprawl-out-my-legs kind of girl, and when someone is in my space, I feel restless and kind of annoyed. Cuddling is awesome and all… but so is a great night’s sleep uninterrupted by a snoring bed buddy.
7. You Don't Have To Compromise
While friendships certainly require meeting your pals in the middle of the road, relationships really require a lot more adjusting and sacrifices. It’s healthy for both parties to bend a little, but when you’re single — you get to live each day and each choice, however you like. No amendments needed.
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