I have noticed an abundance of articles lately from single people in their twenties, referencing all the perks of not being in a relationship and concluding how amazing it is to be single.

On the other hand, we have all witnessed the fair share of media that puts pressure on young people to settle down and commit to someone. No doubt all these opinions are valid, and the writers are good intentioned optimists, who are just trying to make the most of their current circumstances.

With that being said, I would like to offer an alternative perspective of the controversial relationship status section on your Facebook page.

Being in a relationship is a big deal, and your decision to be in one should not be taken lightly. Same goes for your decision to get out of one. I think that society is full of pressures, contradictory advice, and people who think that there are universal concepts that apply to all. What works for your high school acquaintance, probably is not the life path that best suits you. I have countless friends that are in relationships; some are healthy, and others are not. I also have single friends with a healthy outlook, and others who are willing to be with anyone who comes along, which typically leads to a series of short and unfulfilling relationships.

The point is, if you are happy, then it doesn’t matter whether you have a significant other or not. So if you are in a relationship that does not fulfill you, but just fills a small portion of a larger void of loneliness, then you should probably exit at the earliest opportunity. Loneliness is something that needs to be conquered individually. If you haven’t learned to be happy with your own company and in your skin, without the assurance of someone to fall back on for confidence, then maybe you should consider why not. A relationship should not be your security blanket to keep you warm through long nights. It should be the result of two independent people sharing their strengths and weaknesses, but whom can stand alone.

I am by no means an expert, but I have found happiness in being single and being part of a couple in my twenties. Furthermore, I have concluded both are necessary lifestyles. That is because I am cognizant of my wants and needs, and I try my best to avoid life’s cliche pitfalls. Such as the “lonely desperate girl who will settle for anything no matter how fleeting the satisfaction may be,” or the “unhappy girl in a relationship constantly convincing herself that it is what she wants, because it is comfortable and familiar, and it could be worse.” There are good and bad ways to be single and in a relationship; having experienced them all, I feel confident that it is primarily about being honest with yourself.

There is no use wasting your life settling in something subpar because of your fear of the unknown. But there is also no use leaving something good, because being single looks like more fun. Being single certainly has it’s perks that can basically be summed up in one word: freedom. However being a part of a healthy relationship has it’s perks as well: cuddling. Just kidding… it’s all much more complex than that, but the perks are irrelevant because they fog our judgement.

Life is difficult and naturally we want to rush to find someone to share that burden, but sometimes that person may be more of a burden than a relief. Being single can be a wonderful learning experience and an opportunity to just be you. Just as falling in love and being with one person, can add a whole different type of opportunities to your life. Hopefully when you make a choice to be in a relationship though, that person compliments your personality and appreciates your quirks, you have mutual respect, you are faithful, and supportive of one another.

At the end of the day, we need each phase to appreciate the other. It all comes down to appreciating the stage you are in, and making sure you are in it for the right reasons.

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About Author

Anna is an optimist with pessimistic tendencies who enjoys making a short story long, her coffee black, and watching Friends re-runs. These days you can catch her in her natural habitats wandering through forest roads in her van, hiking to a waterfall or glacial lake, and learning about off-grid living the hard way. You can also find her on YouTube as Anna French.

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