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Inside Beat

Relationships are overrated: How being single allowed me to discover myself

Change can be difficult, but letting go of relationships that no longer serve you can allow you to rediscover yourself and spark self-growth.  – Photo by Pixabay

When I was younger, I was told that relationships were taboo and that I wasn't allowed to think about being in one.

Back in grade school, the boys used to stand apart from the girls, too scared to talk to them because they had "cooties," with the girls giggling in another corner. It was a time in my life where I could be free without worrying about who was talking behind my back, even though all the girls would because I didn’t hang out with them. 

That was the prime time in my life for being single. I didn’t have to worry at all about the expectations that came along with dating. Sure, every girl wonders who their prince charming was, especially at that age, but Disney movies made everything seem so simple.

In reality, it's just not. 

The summer after my senior year was the best time of my life, and it was due to one boy who made it extremely special. I met my first boyfriend at a restaurant that I was working at for the summer.

But then came college. I had to leave for school in a town that was an hour and a half away, and although we almost did break up, we decided to stick together a little bit longer. From there on out, it became much harder and we fought a lot, and eventually, we split — I had found out that he had been seeing another girl while we were together.

Although the breakup hurt, there were also the silver linings that came along with it. Going into college single allowed me to experience things that I never thought I could.

Being in a relationship takes a lot of time out of your life. Sometimes it can be good, but for me, it affected my relationships with my friends and family.

I think that giving your all to someone is not worth it because, in my personal opinion, it just doesn’t work out in the end. I don’t mean to be a pessimistic person about love, but I think the single life is better. I was spending so much time with my ex that I never got to explore myself. 

Being single has taught me to love myself more as a person. My one piece of advice: Try and explore as much as you can about yourself before you go head first into a new relationship. 

I found time to do things that I didn’t know I had the talent or knowledge to do. I tried some art tutorials and made an art Instagram account.

I also had more time to focus on self-care — I used to love bullet journaling, but I could never do it just because I did not have that much time on my hands with school, my relationship and a job. I also explored my musical skills, and taught myself the guitar again.

For me, I always had an excuse for Valentine's Day, because it was my mother’s birthday, so I never really felt lonely on that day. But for Christmas, New Years and all the other crazy hallmark holidays, I always felt alone. But I realized once I got into dating, it wasn’t all that important to me anymore. 

I had my one experience, and if another one comes along, sure I’ll take on the challenge. But for right now, I’m happy being single. I get to experience self-care, time management and explore new opportunities that I never thought I would be able to do.

To all you other folks out there, take the leap of faith, and do some self-care this time around for this cliché hallmark holiday. Get your nails done, or get yourself a new video game, honestly, anything is better than finding a date on the chaotic holiday that is Valentine’s Day. 

On this day, I can be my seven-year-old self again, by ditching the expectations that I had and creating a better and simpler life without the weight on my shoulders. 

So, shout out to my ex, you made me who I am.

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