ART BY TIFFANY CHAN
By COLLEEN GAPUZAN
Oh, wait, you’re single?!
If you are like me, you probably either have friends who are in a relationship or friends who constantly wish they were. As humans, we are ingrained with the incessant need to be loved, accepted and respected. Love is a significant part of being human and allows us to express our true feelings and emotions. Whether or not you are a hopeless romantic, we can all agree that society spends superfluous time on romance. From unrealistic rom-coms, to cliche love song lyrics, to goals-worthy couple photos on Instagram, the constant urge to be in a relationship can ultimately extract young people from their true calling or interfere with their individuality.
With that in mind, as bizarre as it may sound, relinquishing your search for the perfect soulmate and, instead, enjoying the beauty of being single can be immensely beneficial in the long run.
Firstly, even though finding true love might seem like an immediate priority, being single allows individuals to take their time in finding themselves and learning more about who they truly are. Instead of being limited by a significant other, singleness permits people with the unique opportunity to grow as a person by being able to fully explore their strengths and weaknesses.
Another benefit of singleness is about exploring your passion and future. Inevitably, people in relationships may [have to] suppress their ambitious spirits and delay their future to maintain the relationship. However, single people can pursue new opportunities freely and chase their ambitions independently, which enhances personal growth. Essentially, learning how to embrace the solitude by choosing to use the time focusing on growth and maturity will not only be beneficial later on but also prepare you for when you are ready to be committed in a relationship.
In our current generation, more and more people, especially teenagers, are becoming more pressured to be romantically involved with others. Many people jump into a relationship under the assumption that they are supposed to instead of waiting for the right time or the right match. To illustrate, when all your friends ever talk about is crushes and romance, it is nearly impossible to suppress peer pressure. Nonetheless, constantly trying to find love romantically, to the point where the want becomes a need, can be counterproductive. Eventually, we get so caught up in our emotions that it can suddenly turn into a quest for pleasure, rather than raw, unconditional love. While it is tempting to be influenced by modern romance culture, wanting to be in a relationship just for the pleasurable feeling can be a recipe for disaster. However, the way you handle the influences around you and the choices you decide to make can either make or break what’s to follow.
While society has plagued almost every person to feel “lost without love” at some point, people should be cognizant that being in love does not necessarily make them happy. Whether or not we are willing to admit it, the thoughts of going out on dates or engaging in daily Facetime calls can be seen as pure ecstasy. Although these superficial things might play a minor role, the power of having this expectation of the “perfect relationship” can overpower our emotions, leading to ill presumptions of what makes a true, genuine connection valuable.
Substantially, singleness emphasizes the importance of being careful in engaging in sudden relationships. People might be so quick to give their heart away, that they realize the person was nothing remotely close to who they thought they were. When people immediately fall in love with prioritizing desire over sense, it can ultimately cause serious damage in the aftermath, that can result in possible pain and heartache. In essence, just because a person might seem like the “perfect match” or the “love of your life” at the moment, getting to know them over a significant amount of time can unveil who he or she truly is and build a strong foundation for a mature, stable relationship.
Ultimately, being single is a journey of self-discovery that allows you to gain knowledge and wisdom. Maintaining accountability to who you are can help you prepare for future relationships, and allows you to be familiar with what your genuine standards are. Oftentimes, we compromise our standards to remain compatible with someone else, exclaiming “true love” as our main excuse. We fall so deep in love that without knowing it, we have given our heart away to another who clearly does not share the same standards, let alone, personal boundaries. By using singleness as a period to mature mentally and emotionally, we become wiser with our actions and more confident with our judgment and morals.
In summation, the season of singleness can be arduous for many, but utilizing this significant period of time to focus on you and the things that make you happy can undoubtedly benefit you far beyond your initial expectations.
In the end, if all of the hopes and dreams of a single person revolve around being “completed” by finding meaning and fulfillment in another person, newsflash: you might find yourself much better off thriving without them.