Confessions of a 20-something #16

Graphic Jenny Kwan

It happened again today. I ran into a friend I hadn’t seen in a while, and the first thing they asked me was, of course, if there were any new guys in my life.

Graphic Jenny Kwan

“Well, no,” I start. But before I have a chance to mention how I’m doing well in school, planning an exciting trip or working a new job, I have already received the “Oh, that’s too bad. Someone will come around soon enough, you’ll see” response.

This is becoming a common occurrence: the “good things come to those wait” spiel, as if this bit of unsolicited advice will cure me from the hopelessness I am supposedly feeling from being stuck in singledom.

Well, that is not the case. I am perfectly happy being single. In fact, at this point in time, I think I would rather be single. I’m trying to understand why other people look at it like it’s a problem. They seem to look at “singleness” as if there is something missing — if you are single, you are incomplete. A relationship is the journey, and singleness is perceived as just a minor setback. It’s seen as the temporary stage until you reach the ultimate goal of finding someone to be with, which is followed by an all around better, happier, more fulfilling state — or something like that.

That is not how I see it. I have always been a girl’s girl. It has always been important to me to have friends I can rely on and people who I know will be there for the long haul. How does that Kelly Clarkson lyric go? “Doesn’t mean I’m lonely when I’m alone?” She’s exactly right.

I’m 20-years-old, and I have the opportunity to focus on myself. I have the rest of my life to spend it with someone else. I definitely understand the joy and value that comes from relationships, and I’m happy for anyone who experiences that. What I’m saying is that I don’t define myself by my relationship status. I know of girls (and guys as well) that hop from relationship to fling and back again because they feel their worst and their loneliest when they are single. Singleness has taught me to base my self-worth on myself, rather than in another person.

Valentine’s Day just passed; the day us single girls are supposed to loathe, while we wallow in self-pity with a pint of Häagen-Dazs.

Does being single mean I automatically have to despise Valentine’s Day and roll my eyes at every bouquet and box of chocolates on my Instagram feed? Because honestly, I don’t. No hashtagging “forever alone” over here.

I don’t look at relationships with bitterness or jealousy; I look at them as something I don’t feel I need right now. So, no, I don’t want your pity, I don’t want your pep talks, and I definitely don’t want your set-ups and blind dates. I’m fine. Not the “I’m not actually fine I’m crying inside” fine, but seriously fine.

It’s not like I plan on being single forever, but I like to take things one day at a time. I think singleness has taught me a lot, and I’m still learning from it. Sure, maybe ignorance is bliss, and maybe I don’t know what I’m missing. But what I do know is in this moment, I’m perfectly happy with the way things are.

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