Once the newness of your single life wears off it can start to feel like a punishment. Over the past year I’ve come to terms with the fact that I don’t know how long I will be single. So,instead of viewing it as a prison I see it as a gift. I ask myself how can I use this phase of life as an advantage instead of something to wage war against? Here are a few things I’ve learned along the way.
Get Your Money Right
My friends and I have often discussed what type of house we want to have with our future partner, trips we hope to take and things we want to do for our kids. I guess we got so caught up in romanticizing things that we forgot this stuff ain’t free. Love is not all about the finances, but I know when my time comes I don’t want to be worried about where we are going to stay or the feeling of panic if I get pregnant and my husband and I cannot afford a child. While I’m still single, I have the opportunity to make sure my finances are in order. I’m focused on taking care of myself no matter my relationship status and meeting my future husband half way.
There is nothing wrong with wanting to have nice things with your partner as long as you’re both working towards it. Most women have their wedding planned before even having someone to marry so I see no problem with getting your finances in order as well.
Expand Your Growth
“You should get to know yourself” is a repetitive piece of advice you’ll probably become tired of hearing throughout your single journey, but it holds major weight. Right when I thought I knew everything about myself and relationships this year I encountered some new lessons. I grew up in a strict household so getting my own apartment before marriage has always been a big goal. Now that I have my own place, I’ve learned that I like cleaning up way more than I used to and my home is my peace so I’m very particular about where I live and its layout. While being single, I have also learned to recognize things that help me flourish as well as drain me. This has helped me discern who I should spend time with and what situations I should avoid. I’m happy I’ve learned certain things while single because I see how they could have caused issues had I been in a relationship. Whenever I get into a relationship I still won’t know everything, but I’d like to think the things I’ve learned in this season will help add to the quality of my future relationship.
Create A Dope Life
I’m going to live my best life single or not. That looks like focusing on becoming a financially stable creative, going to exciting events with my friends or alone and spending time with my family. I think sometimes as singles we opt not to do things such as travel or go out to events because we deem them as “relationship activities.” Yes, having a bae to go out with me would be great, but until then I have to live. Now that I have a more active life I have an answer when guys ask me what I like to do for fun. I also have really great stories to share like the time I went mountain hiking and got lost for 2 hours or my experience being nominated for “Best Media Outlet” in a local award show.
Finally creating my own life helps me figure out what type of guy I should date. I love to go out to festivals, live music events, eating — pretty much anything artsy and random. I’ve learned I don’t mesh well with guys who never go out or guys who are always at a wild club or out of control kickbacks. Before I had a life of my own I used to try to mold myself into whatever the guy was into, but that only lead me to feel uncomfortable and not good enough. Now I’m more secure in knowing what I like, what my life is all about and better understand who can rock with me and who can’t.
Bad Days Are Okay
Being single is no different than being in a relationship; there will be ups and downs. There are days when I think about the perks of being single and I’m not only content but relieved to be at this place in my life. There are also days when I’m very sad because I feel lonely, I wonder what’s wrong with me and worry if I’ll always be single. I used to try to push the negative feelings away because I was embarrassed. Society sometimes paints this picture that you should always be okay with being single and when you express that you’re not, your self-love is questioned. I’ve learned that no matter how I’m feeling on any given day I should simply lean into those emotions. I don’t pretend like I never want a relationship when I know that’s not the case. The less I make a big deal about accepting my emotions, good or bad, the easier they are to handle.
Today, I can honestly say now I feel like I’m “doing” my singleness the right way. I no longer sit around with tons of self-help books on relationships hoping to be transformed into the perfect future wife so I can easily be chosen. I also don’t carry the bitter single girl chip on my shoulder that I used to feel for being overlooked. I just make the most of where I am and love myself throughout it all. *Cues Nice For What*.
Brittany Sharnez is the Founder of NegusGraduate.com which is a Black media outlet for college students, graduates, and entrepreneurs. She can be found via Instagram at @brittanysharnez or @negusgraduate.