Neither College Savings Nor College Friends Can Prevent Singleness; Embrace It

One of my favorite things about the holidays is visiting friends from my hometown and hearing what they have been working on for the past year since I last saw them.  Inevitably, the small talk about little things, the new job, the minor promotion, and the fabulous apartment always arrives at the big kahuna of girl talk: our relationships.  All of my friends from Milwaukee are in serious and very happy relationships.  Each time my girlfriends and I arrive at this topic, the group turns to me and says, “So, Betsy, are there any guys in your life right now?” to which I always respond, “I’m not seeing anyone special.”  My friends, being the sweethearts that they are, say, “Oh, well—you’ll find a great guy eventually,” with that ever-present edge of pity in their voices.  The topic officially shifts from my paid acting gig to how I can use college discounts to get a two for one deal on Ben and Jerry’s ice cream.

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I have noticed an influx of dating advice books and websites each touting their inspirational mantras, step-by-step instructions on how to win a partner, and lists upon lists of white flag warning signs and the best way to navigate the dating world.  Unfortunately, very few of these sources address self-esteem and self-love, or, when they do address it, their jargon sounds like: “In order to have satisfying and healthy relationships with other people, you must first have a satisfying and healthy relationship with yourself.”

While this statement is very true, it makes self-love feel like a key point en route to a desired destination when in reality, loving yourself is the destination.  Be careful of turning self-love into yet another step in finding a partner; I find that this can lead to missing out on an extremely valuable chance to get to know yourself.   A healthy relationship grows from mutual respect and the desire to grow and learn with another person.  You end up cheating yourself when you settle for something that is not right for you just because you want a partner.  Relationships should be optional detours on the road to self-love, not rest areas to cry at because you can’t properly experience the view.  Get back in the car.  Keep driving.  There will be other opportunities.

I have noticed that a few of my single peers have a fear of being alone forever.  I recently went out on a first date with a man who, within the first fifteen minutes, asked me why I was still single, when I was thinking about getting married and how many children I thought I wanted.  He then proceeded to talk about how he wanted children and was looking for a permanent partner.  My friends in relationships talk about how many children they think they want and stress over when their boyfriends will propose.  My single friends troll OkCupid and plan their fantasy weddings on Pinterest.  This is not how to gain self-love.  You will drive yourself crazy trying so hard to get something you do not have.  Be happy about what you have now.  And calm down—you have time.

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I love my single life.  I have all the time in the world to pursue my interests such as my yoga teacher certification, writing my full-length play, auditioning, doing community service and playing Nintendo Wii like a boss.  Self-love is all about accepting exactly where you are in the moment and embracing and celebrating it. I am still single because I want to be. I’m only twenty-four and marriage is not a concept even remotely close to my mind. And, if maternal instinct kicks in, I will happily buy a puppy.



Vive la single life! Treat yourself to a delicious, discounted crêpe at Vive la Crêpe!


Betsy K. NYU.  Like me on Facebook!  Follow me on Twitter!

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