After my first big breakup earlier this year, I’ve come to realize people often paint the image of singlehood as being either the best days of your life, or the absolute worst.
To many, it seems being single must either be the grandest of adventures or the most miserable and trying of times.
In reality, this is totally fictitious.
Con: Your pocket money may be on the rise, but you know exactly why.
It’s because you’re single and lonely, and have no one to go out with in order to spend that money. Having this increase in savings is just a brutal reminder that you’re currently alone.
Pro: You have tons of savings. Do something with that!
With the influx of money accumulated from my job and no regular dates to pitch in for, I can’t help but imagine all of the things I could do with these savings.
I can now confidently say it looks like I’ll be going to Europe next year.
Con: When you are single, there is a crushing sense of loneliness you encounter. This isn’t to say your friends are irrelevant or don't help in counteracting the weight of the solitude that is provoked by being single.
The truth of the matter is, it isn’t the same because it’s not the same type of relationship as one with mutual sexual attraction.
Personally, the worst aspect for me at first was acknowledging I had lost a friend. He was someone I loved and trusted.
Pro: One less friend or companion means one less person to have disagreements with.
Although it’s inevitable for people in any type of relationship to fail to see eye-to-eye at every moment, you don’t have to ever fear you’ll have that one fight that will end your relationship.
Why? Because that relationship doesn’t exist anymore.
Another plus is you have your closest friends for companionship, and this time, being single allows you to appreciate them more than ever.
3. The desire to date:
Con: How are all my friends either in solid relationships or tearing up the dating scene? I don’t even want to date, as I fear I’ll just fall for someone who will break my heart again.
Or worse, I'm scared I’ll never find someone who makes me feel the way I used to feel.
Is there something wrong with me, or is this feeling normal?
Pro: I can date different guys and see what I want.
I have the freedom to do that. In fact, there’s something emotionally satiating about talking to guy after guy on dating apps, and then ceasing all conversation the moment you get bored.
There are no explanations, no guilt and no ramifications.
4. Going on dates:
Con: The truth of the matter is, if you want another boyfriend or girlfriend at any point in your future, you’ll have to start dating again.
This is especially difficult if you currently feel like you’ll never get around to desiring such a thing, or if you believe no one will ever be capable of loving you for all that you are.
Pro: I can acknowledge I’ve become the biggest drama queen (in the history of like, ever), and I shouldn’t be thinking about falling in love with someone right off the bat anyway.
This is the perfect time to go on dates and find out both what I want and what I need. It’s a good feeling to not take it all so seriously, and just focus on having a good time in the moment.
You can have non-committal fun on dates without becoming physically involved with someone too, which can be great for your self-esteem.
5. Empty time:
Con: You have way more time on your hands than you did when you were in a relationship, and those giant gaps in your schedule are not always being spent as productively as they should be.
For the longest time, I filled these spots with drinking or going out partying, which led to the inevitable development of some bad habits.
Let’s just say my wine drinking capabilities have improved dramatically in the past few months.
Pro: This is the perfect opportunity to focus on your work, your education and yourself.
This is the time to explore new and healthy hobbies, and to experience every bit of life you possibly can.
In truth, I wouldn’t be working as much as I currently do if I were in a relationship.
In fact, I would be delegating most of my free time to completing as much school work as possible, so I could have all the remaining time to spend stress-free and work-free with my boyfriend.
6. That lingerie situation that’s piling up in your closet:
Con: Maybe you haven’t felt sexy in a long time.
That red push-up corset with the black lace is still sitting in its box from just before your breakup, and all your other lingerie that cost you way too much money is folded neatly beneath it.
Pro: Who doesn’t get excited about having an excuse to not have to match your bra to your panties? Not to mention, thongs aren’t exactly healthy to be wearing day in and day out.
Just remember: It’s okay to match for yourself.
7. Body image:
Con: It’s so easy to become depressed when you’re single, particularly right after you’ve gone through a breakup.
I felt dejected and ugly, and I had no one to tell me I was beautiful anymore. The night my boyfriend and I broke up, I sat up sobbing all night with my best friend, while eating an entire tub of ice cream.
Then, I had a pile of eggs (and more ice cream on the side) for breakfast.
That incited a two-week purge of unwavering misery, perforated only by the moments I was able to distract myself with junk food.
Who is that sumo wrestler waddling through the house with a box of tissues under her arm? Oh wait, that’s me.
I gained 7 lbs.
Pro: Two weeks after wallowing in self-pity, I decided the least I could do was start exercising to burn off the fat that was quite literally growing on me.
One hour of aerobics daily not only boosted my adrenaline, but also slowly morphed my body into something I truly loved. I felt physically better than I had in years, and also felt like I was on the road to emotional recuperation.
Sometimes, this inspired me to work out twice in a day, because who doesn't want to look and feel great all day?
I lost 19 lbs in two weeks.
Con: Personally, I can’t imagine having sex with someone I’m not in love with.
To me, that aspect is so vital to the act, I would find it pointless to have sex under any other circumstances.
Pro: You don’t have to shave regularly because of the lack of sex, which is 100 percent the silver lining.
Everyone still needs that human connection every once in a while. But if you wait until someone deserves it, it becomes that much better.
Con: You no longer have that ability to say you’re in a serious long-term relationship.
Basically, you’re lacking a fundamental part of typical adult life.
Pro: You have the total satisfaction of being able to go out and do as you please, on a whim.
Maybe you’ll make some mistakes against your morality. Maybe you’ll go get wasted and make out with every guy in sight.
Maybe you’ll go against the code of young adulthood and do the complete opposite instead. Maybe you’ll hop on a plane and escape for a week.
You can do whatever you want. You’re tied down to nothing and no one.
Con: Being single is the worst feeling in the world.
Pro: Being single is the most wonderful feeling in the world.
In all honesty, there are always going to be unfortunate repercussions of being single.
But the truth of the matter is, this is a time for us to flourish and become the best we can be. It is up to the individual person to change his or her mindset and make the most of the situation at hand.
Why not strive to make yourself the best you can be, and use this newfound time to better yourself?
Naturally, I am often overcome (even still) with regret at the end of that chapter of my life, and am familiar with the nagging feeling of missing a part of me that is no more. That’s honestly one of the worst parts of it all.
That being said, these post-relationship days have also been some of my best.
I’ve learned to better myself in the process of dealing with not only my breakup, but being a single 20-something.
Like everything in life, there are pros and cons to our experiences, and being single is no exception.