Today I’m super happy to have my beautiful friend Cassie guest-posting for me. She’s basically my soul mate (no, really, our numerological matchings make us soul mates), and I became friends with her separately from the blog world. I ask her for advice all the time. She’s very sage. Enjoy her wisdom about something very near and dear to my heart – being single.
Hi everyone. I’m Cassie, and if you are a regular reader of Nutty for Life, you’ve probably seen me around these parts. I blog about trying to grow up and be a real adult at Almost Getting it Together, but mostly I talk about healthy recipes, running, traveling and maybe occasionally something else.
In case you don’t know me, I’m 25. So old, I know. I feel like not only are Angela and I friends, but I like to think of myself as her mentor as well. She told me I could write about a recipe, running or life and I thought – why not write about being single? Disclaimer, I’m not currently single, but before I found myself with a really wonderful guy, I was obviously single and I spent a lot of time learning to not only be okay with it, but enjoy it as well.
Being single is a stigma in the United States, or at least it is in West Virginia/Western PA, where I have spent most of my life. Both family and strangers are very quick to ask if you have a boyfriend or girlfriend and often the “no” answer is met with a look of pity.
Being single isn’t a disease, it’s typically a choice, and it’s much more healthy to be single than settling with someone who doesn’t make you happy or being in a destructive relationship. People think having a significant other will always give them something to do, something to look forward to, and therefore, happiness. Yes, the person you are with should increase your happiness, but you should be capable of being happy without them as well. Never depend on another person for your happiness.
I’m not saying being single is easy once you’ve been in a relationship and especially not when you first break-up with someone. Trust me, it’s hard. Sometimes it seemed easier to have someone on the back-burner so I knew that if worse came to worst, I wouldn’t be spending my entire life alone. However, when you are thinking about how insane that back-burner person drives you (please don’t call me dumb nicknames like ‘Little Cass,’ it makes me want to throw up), it’s better to not be stressed out and to be single. You can’t meet someone new if your heart is closed trying to not strangle someone you’re not really into but is in your life.
First, you have to figure out what it is that makes you happy. Personally, I don’t like spending my Friday and Saturday nights out at a crowded bar, fighting for the bartender’s attention for a crappy drink and not being able to even have a conversation, so going out to the bar doesn’t make me happy. I realized I need time alone on the weekends – I like coming home and doing nothing but catching up on blogs and TV on Friday nights. I like to go to bed early so I can wake-up for a long run or go to yoga on Saturday mornings. I stopped feeling like I was supposed to go out every night. Even when I was visiting friends, the last thing I wanted to do was go to the bar. If I’m going to have a drink at night, I would rather it be at a cool cocktail bar or restaurant where I don’t have to hear a Pitbull song and I can have a meaningful conversation with my companions. This is where the stigma comes back – if you’re single, you’re expected to go to the bar and be social and meet guys. Spoiler alert: the chance you are going to meet your future husband at the bar is low.
Second, once you’ve figured out what makes you happy, you now have a lot of extra time to do those things. Traveling makes me happy because not being in Pittsburgh makes me happy. In 2013, I probably took twenty or so trips. Yes, a lot were random weekends visiting my friends who live in different cities and a handful were for work, but now I suddenly had both the time and inclination to travel.
Earlier this year, I wanted to take a solo trip, so I went to Nicaragua by myself. I pushed myself out of my comfort zone and forced myself to make new friends which I would have probably not done with a boyfriend (or at least old Cassie with a boyfriend wouldn’t have done). Go travel, sign-up for a triathlon, take that cooking class you always wanted – once you begin growing as a person, you don’t even have time to worry about being single or what your ex is up to (probably not anything as interesting as you).
Lastly, you can’t be afraid to be alone. Being alone isn’t scary – it’s liberating! Take a book to a restaurant and have a leisurely meal. Can’t find a friend to go to a concert with you? Go by yourself! Once you’ve learned that it’s okay to be alone, more and more opportunities will start opening up to you because you don’t have to wait for someone else to want to do something.
Thanks for posting, Cass! I hope you all loved her advice as much as I did. And if you’re already taken… well, I’m happy for ya!
We’re also linking up with Amanda for Thinking Out Loud today. Thanks for hosting, Amanda!
Questions of the Day:
>>Are you currently single?
>>Do you think being single is a stigma?
>>Are you okay with being alone?
>>Lastly, I want to hear your thoughts!