The Unexpectedly Great Things That Happen When You’ve Been Single Your Whole Life

I've been single for a looooong time.

I've never had a steady boyfriend or even brought a guy home to meet my family. I blame the current dating culture of swiping and Tinder.

But blame isn't really the correct word. That indicates I'm unhappy with my situation, and the truth is, I am perfectly content being single.

People might roll their eyes and think, "OK, whatever you need to tell yourself, honey." That's fine, but I truly believe that being single for most of my adult life is shaping me into the person I am meant to be.

I'm not too proud to say I have issues: I'm extremely self-conscious, I worry about everything and I'm simultaneously messy and a neat freak. I also really don't like it when people tell me what to do. These issues are tough enough to work through on my own, so I can't imagine throwing another person into that mix.

With that said, I have become more aware of dealing with these not-so-awesome qualities at my own pace, without input or criticisms from a boyfriend.

Some people are capable of being in a relationship while also bettering themselves — kudos to you! Others, like me, find it most productive to navigate who they are and what they want without a plus-one.

Neither one of these is the superior method, but seeing as I'm part of the "YOLO, I'm going solo!" camp, I'm going to share why being single isn't bad at all and perhaps — dare I say — even good.

The pros of being single aren't exclusively about self-improvement, though. What about the other perks of not being tied down to one person? Here are five more reasons to embrace your single status:

1. You don't have to check in with anyone.

Planning to see a movie, then hitting up happy hour? No problem. Go on with your bad self!

Usually in a relationship, one of you is always checking in on the other's whereabouts. When you're single, there is none of that. You can just go out and let that day take you wherever you want it to, without having to come home to someone.

The only person who might send you that "where are you?" text is your mom, and it's probably because you haven't returned her calls in a week. Beyond that, you can move about freely without leaving a detailed itinerary behind.

2. Your answer is always the right answer.

What are you having for dinner? What's the Netflix binge du jour? Should you splurge on a Rent the Runway membership or save for a down payment on a car?

I think this is one the best parts of being single. Relationships require compromise, and when you're single, you never have to argue over what to watch or what's for dinner because it's only you that matters!

No matter what the question is, your decision on everything in life is final. Savor every minute you are lucky enough to be in this situation.

3. You only have to save your dates.

The only obligations you have are your own. You'll never find yourself begrudgingly attending his company potluck while your girls snag tickets to watch Beyoncé make some sweet, sweet Lemonade.

Want to spend the whole weekend changing up your apartment and hitting up every farmers market within a five-mile radius? No issue there because your nonexistent boyfriend isn't forcing you to go to his second cousin's first birthday party with him.

The calendar is yours to clear, and that is such an amazing feeling.

4. And some of those dates you're saving can literally be "dates."

Obviously, you still go on dates in a relationship, but it's always with the same person.

If you're single, it's probably because you haven't met that person whom you'd want to spend all your time with. Casual dating can be taxing at times, but it's also a great way to meet interesting people. And you never know where you might find that spark.

It's also a low pressure situation because you're not pinning all your hopes on turning every date into your boyfriend.

5. Don't forget about your friends.

People tend to equate being single with being lonely, but that doesn't make sense to me. Are you independent? Yes. Feeling alone? No.

If anything, you have more time to spend with the people in your life who matter most to you, and you can do it on your terms because you don't have to worry about your SO's schedule.

Also, to be clear, this does not make you selfish. It's your current situation, and you're allowed to enjoy it!

So don't fret about being single because your solo days will ensure you are your best self when you are in a relationship. That is, if you happen to find a guy who deserves to get that lucky!