The Pros and Cons of Being Single in your 20s

With some people, being single sometimes has a negative connotation, and in some situations? Sure, that’s fair. Like when you go home with that creepy/not so hot/desperate guy from the bar because, let’s face it, you’ve been on a dry spell and you’re 4 shots deep. Or you consistently have to RSVP for one to every wedding you’re invited to with a plus one because you’re still not in a serious enough relationship to commit to bring a guest, and the person you’ve been non-exclusive with  has also been non-exclusive with several other people.

BUT, aside from the drawbacks of being single, there are a lot of positive aspects as well. Here’s my list:

PROS:

  • Being more independent
    • Not that you can’t be independent with a significant other, it’s just more probable that you have to be independent while single. Actually, it’s kind of forced upon you. Sometimes your friends and family aren’t always around to do certain things and you conform to a lifestyle of only relying on yourself for company or a good time, which can be fundamental for various situations in life. Independence is good.
  • Time with friends
    • Let’s be honest, you’re going to have more time for your friends when you’re single. You’re more than likely more inclined to go out and get drunk with your friends on the weekends, there’s no decision making between his or her group of friends, and when you wake up hungover in the morning, you go get drunk again with your friends. In contrast, when you’re in a relationship, things can be a bit different; the decision to stay in on the weekends is definitely easier because you have someone to stay in with, which is fair, but you also now have two different friend groups and two families to divide free time with, which ultimately decreases the time you would usually dedicate to friends. I’m just gonna say it- I think people have more of an appreciation for their friends when you’re single.
  • Your focus is sharpened
    • Your focus on things in general, but also your focus on you and only you, is sharpened to the clearest point. You have yourself to look out for, so your discovery of self-love reaches its highest point, which is daunting. You have more time to focus on being a better version of yourself, more focus on your career and goals, and more focus on anything, really. Relationships can sometimes be distracting between jealousies and disagreements, and being single allows you to be more selfish which I think is more than acceptable in your 20s.
  • Meeting and experiencing new or different people
    • Of course you can meet new people while in a relationship, but you have to admit it’s more difficult. There are boundaries and lines you have to be conscious of, certain plans you can’t commit to, and there’s an awareness of which conversations are acceptable or not. It’s much easier to meet new people when single. Also, being able to experience new people, not just  strictly in a sexual way, but in a friendly manner, is definitely rewarding and beneficial in early adulthood.
  • No bullshit
    • There’s no perfect relationship, that’s common knowledge. But sometimes while listening to my friends bitch about the dumb things their boyfriends did or didn’t do, said or didn’t say, all I can think is “wow, I’m so glad I don’t have to deal with this bullshit.”

With all that being said, I’m sure there are a lot of people thinking I have it all wrong, especially those in relationships, but let me stop you there. There are also a lot of cons to this lifestyles as well.

Cons:

  • Not having plans
    • When you’re only other single friend has plans without you, you may as well just stay on your couch all night, find something to watch on Netflix, and order a pizza because more than likely, you won’t have any other plans. All your other friends are either staying in with their boyfriends or going out with their friends or families. Buzz kill.
  • Constantly dodging questions regarding your relationship status
    • “So, are you dating anyone?” No, mom, and the answer hasn’t changed since you last asked me just a few short weeks ago. Maybe it’s a generational thing since most of our parents were probably married, or at least dating each other at our age, that they find it so abnormal when we’re not on the verge of marriage and babies. But yeah, the question get very old, very quick.
  • Dry spells
    • As nice as it is to have the ability to spontaneously make out with different people, the opportunity doesn’t always occur and there are periods of time when you almost convince yourself you’re a virgin because it’s been so long since you’ve had sex. Inappropriate? Sure. False? Hell no.
  • Wanting to go out but also wanting to stay in
    • It’s so hard to force yourself to sit in on a Friday or Saturday night if you’re not working or have no one else to spend the night with. Sometimes, there’s nothing I want more than to just stay in and watch TV or read, but then the creeping voice inside my head that calls me a loser speaks up and I force myself to go out because society makes me feel pressured to do so. But, when you have a significant other, you can silence these pressures and have someone to cuddle up on the couch with.
  • ‘Ms. Megan Keough accepts with pleasure.. and I’ll take the chicken’
    • As I touched on briefly in my opening, it does become a tad depressing when you have no one to bring as your date to a wedding when you’re invited with a guest. I don’t want to bring just anyone and I won’t, but I guess it would be nice to be able to invite someone so I could get both the fish and the chicken. And also not be the reason there’s an odd number of people at the table…

So, there’s a lot of ifs and buts, pros and cons, and probably a lot of arguments surrounding these points. But either way, cheers to all you single people and cheers to all of you in relationships!

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Seeking Silver Linings

 

As a post grad, there aren’t many things that come easy. However, there are moments of most days that can be seen as small wins. Someone brings in lunch for the office, you won $5 on a scratch off, you got over 100 likes on an Instagram, etc.

Some of these things could be perceived as shallow and meaningless, but I see them as silver linings.

Waking up early at the crack of dawn five days a week is not my idea of fun in any way. I unfortunately look like I’m still rolling out of bed to get to class most days I go to work just because I value those 10 extra minutes of sleep I should be using towards fixing my hair. But at the end of the day, 90% of my day is spent staring at two computer screens, and I don’t think they mind what I look like. I’m not saying I look like a total slob, but I could definitely look better. But those extra ten minutes of Z’s? Small silver lining.

I commute to Jersey for work, which has it’s pros and cons, but the most obvious con is traffic. Going to work, traffic isn’t terrible, but going home is a nightmare. For anyone that drives to work, I know you understand. However, there are those days that maybe you leave a few minutes earlier than usual, or even a few minutes later, and you overpass all of the rush hour traffic. Bliss. Or, another silver lining of the day.

Among these other silver linings could include things like the people at Dunkin perfecting your iced coffee with the right amount of cream and the right amount of sugar, gas going down 2 cents, avocados being on sale, your parents not questioning your every move on occasional days, realizing you have enough money left over after bills and factoring in weekend expenses to get your nails done, etc.

Even when you’re having a bad day, it’s always nice to take into perspective the good things that happened too, no matter how small they are.

With each new season comes new opportunity, potential, and excitement. Today is the first day of Spring, and unfortunately a Monday, but that doesn’t mean it has to be dreadful. Grab a coffee, do some online shopping, get your nails done, watch a feel good movie, treat yourself to a dinner out- whatever! Then, reflect on your day to appreciate the silver linings that happened, and then just maybe, you can say you had an okay day. Happy Spring, post-grads!

Note: NOT thinking of what you were doing a year ago at college (slumming it, drinking, easier life) every continuous day, WILL make it easier to realize your days aren’t so bad.