You should be single. The internet is filled with dating bloggers, most of whom are single, jotting down their experiences on match.com, and being set up on bad blind dates. Your local bookstore has its own little section filled with red, pink, and white covers giving you advice on how to make a relationship work. Shit, all your friends are either talking to someone, dating someone seriously, engaged, or already married with their 2.5 kids. It’s almost like everyone is pushing this idea that you have to be in a relationship. As if every date, social interaction, and every summer fling should lead to a full blown serious relationship. And, while I’m not here to argue for or against relationships, I will say there are times we have no business being in one. If any of these signs ring a bell, you should be single.
You Should Be Single If…
1. Your last relationship ended badly.
Though many will argue that it’s possible to go from a toxic relationship to a healthy one soon after, I believe you can’t make the transition without some serious, internal reconstructive work. If you’re holding onto a toxic past, it will seep through the walls of your relationship’s present. Should you stay single forever? No, but you should definitely consider a nice long period of restoration and healing.
2. Your last relationship ended yesterday.
Hey, boyfriend hopper, I’m talking to you. What are you afraid is going to happen in the time you’re between relationships? Jumping from one relationship to another is usually a sign of some deeper shit going on. Put your big girl panties on and deal with whatever you’re trying to numb.
3. There’s a little voice inside your head screaming.
Sometimes, everything points to ‘perfect’. You’re physically and sexually attracted to each other, you love the same things, and your friends even get along. All the dots are lining up, but you can’t help but hear a little voice inside your head telling you to make a run for it. It’s easy to ignore the voice because you have someone who, on paper, is everything everyone would want in a relationship. But, if you have a little bitch inside telling you that you’re not ready or you sense something is wrong, listen. That little bitch knows you better than the self-help books in your local bookstore.
4. You should be single if you have loose ends.
What are you doing starting some ‘thing’ when you didn’t finish the last ‘thing’ you were in? Not only are you setting yourself up for relationship doubt, awkward party encounters, and late night Facebook shady-chatting, but it’s also not fair to the new guy you’re with. You can’t expect a relationship to work if you’re not giving it your all.
5. You have a wandering eye.
College just wasn’t enough for some people. You didn’t get it all out of your system and for whatever reason, you are still curious about being with other people. Maybe you’re considering experimenting with the same sex, or wonder what it’d be like to bang your manager on the counter. Whatever crazy fantasies your little head is conjuring up, there’s a line between innocent curiosity and the real thing that would break you if the opportunity presented itself.
6. You catch yourself being crazy.
There are times we don’t realize we’ve overreacted until after the fact, and then there are times that we know we’re being crazy and we just can’t stop ourselves. You know what that means? It means you shouldn’t be in a relationship because you have issues you need to deal with on your own, first. There’s no reason to bear witness to the emergence of the ugliest version of yourself, simply because you have baggage that needs to be dealt with.
7. You should be single if there are “things”…
…Things you want to do; things that intrigue you; things you want to experience that you may not be allowed to experience while being in a relationship. The problem about being with someone and not letting yourself venture toward temptation is that you will inevitably resent your partner for holding you back. This is what they tell you—live your life, travel, fall in love a bunch of times, and try everything once—before you settle down. Though a lot of things can be done with your significant other, there’s a good number that are meant to be experienced by the individual.
8. You’re only in it because you don’t want to lose him to someone else.
You put up with the abuse, the fighting, the stagnant air of death between you, and why? Because you don’t want him falling in love with someone else? Lying to yourself about the reasons you’re with him means there’s a reason you’re lying about them in the first place. You have no business holding your spot in a line you’re not even sure you want to be in. He deserves someone who’s with him for the right reasons.
9. Your new boyfriend is like your ex.
The moment you start to see an unhealthy pattern in your relationships—it’s time to bolt. If you’re drawn to shitty guys you need to step away and figure out what’s pulling you towards the toxicity. Was there an incident in your past you haven’t dealt with? Did you not get the closure you need?
10. You enjoy freedom.
Don’t get me wrong, you should have freedom and independence when you’re in a relationship. But, if the kind of freedom you crave is deciding to go out at three in the morning or plan an impromptu girls ski trip, then your actions shouldn’t be affecting someone directly. A girl who craves that kind of freedom can really ruin even the coolest, chillest, down-to-earth man. If you want to accept pasties from your best friend at a NY party and run around chanting Sparta, you should know that most men wouldn’t be okay with that.
So yeah, you should be single.
Here’s my point: If you’re emotionally stable, ready for the ride, meet someone who completely steals your every breath, then fuck yes, dive right in. But, don’t do it because—for whatever reason—you feel pressured to. If any of the above signs hit home for you, it probably means you’re not in the relationship for the right reasons and it will bite you in the ass.
There’s nothing wrong with wanting to experience a little bit more life. Maybe kiss a few more people, dance along more roads, or celebrate your birthday in nothing but a thong and pasties. There’s nothing wrong with dating around and not taking things too seriously. There’s also nothing wrong with needing time to heal after a broken heart or knowing that deep inside, being alone for a bit is what you need.
Being single is awesome, and you don’t have to sacrifice intimacy if you choose this route. You’re not missing out on anything by being alone, in fact, it’s a really important part of life. Connecting with the self, and putting yourself first for a bit is only going to make the experience of being with someone else so much more worthwhile—if it’s something that you choose.