We all know what being perpetually single means.
A perpetually-single person is someone who is never in a relationship.
This person has managed to skip over the awkward high school romances, and defied expectations by not meeting someone in college. They've always known the single life.
I'll admit it, I'm perpetually single. I have never been in a relationship (because, unfortunately, I've been told having a dream of dating Liam Payne doesn't count), so I know what being perpetually single is like.
I know that it has its ugly parts, its bad parts and its good parts.
Since I'm an eternal optimist and like to end things on a high note, I figured I'd turn the traditional "good, bad and ugly" formula on its head, and present to you all the ugly, bad and good of being perpetually single:
Couples are everywhere, and they constantly remind you that you're single.
You see them holding hands while walking down the street. You see them flashing their engagement rings on Facebook. They're kissing and laughing and being so genuinely and sickeningly sweet.
Feelings of disdain and sadness bubble in your blood. Disdain because, really, do they have to shove their happiness in everyone's faces? And sadness because you realize that you don't have what they do, and you want it.
For a moment, you lose sight of the light at the end of the tunnel. You begin to question whether you will ever find the love those couples have, or if you're just destined to be a crazy old person who owns a ton of pets and whose house the neighborhood children avoid on Halloween (because there are obviously rumors that you're a witch/warlock).
Seeing couples makes you more acutely aware of your singleness and suddenly, being single isn't something that's fun and freeing, but instead perpetually lonely.
You're even jealous of your friends' flirting fails.
You constantly hear your friends' embarrassing flirting fails, and you feel bad for them, but you can't even find someone to flirt with, so they must be doing something right.
When you're perpetually single, there are definitely points in time when you start to wonder whether there's something wrong with you.
Why can't you find someone who is at least a little interested in you? What is it about you that is supposedly so repellent to people? What's even worse is that when you start to ask these questions, people are always so quick to jump up and say, "There's nothing wrong with you!
It's just that people are intimidated by someone who is smart/good-looking/funny/driven/confident/mature/enter-any-other-reassuring-compliment-here."
It's awful. Like, thanks for the compliments, but right now those are not what you want to hear. It just makes you feel like the vegan brownies at a bake sale; everyone knows you'd be good for them, but they don't really want you.
Everyone you know is waiting for you to show up with someone on your arm.
Your family constantly inquires (as casually and nonchalantly as they can) about whether or not you've been hanging out with anyone.
You feel like your friends are trying to see if they have someone to set you up with. You just feel like your nonexistent love life is an empty habitat at a zoo, and people are always checking to see if the panda bears have been brought in yet.
You know they all mean well, but it's kind of annoying. They start to drop subtle hints to you, like when your cousin is getting married, and everyone wants to know if you'll be next (which you obviously won't be because in order for you to be next, the marriage would definitely have to be arranged).
Your mother suddenly begins to refer to what she would do "if" she had grandchildren, and not "when" (calm down Mom, you'll get grandchildren eventually).
When this happens, you can't help but feel a little bit of pressure to find someone before your family or friends sign you up for a five-year subscription to every dating site available (including Farmer's Only *shudder*).
You have good relationship advice for your friends, but they always take it with a grain of salt.
They discount your opinions on the subject of love because you've never been in a relationship, so how would you know things? (Like, seriously? You know things!)
It's obnoxious because you want to help your friends with their personal crises, but you feel like you can't. Your friends give off the vibe that they're not taking you seriously, simply because of your perpetual singleness.
You can make big decisions without having to worry about a significant other.
If you want to pack up and go on a trip, you're the only person who needs to take time off. If you want to move to a new place, you don't have to be concerned about disrupting another person's life.
You can make big life changes, explore the world and go off on your own. Being single means you have so many opportunities in front of you, and you can take any of them you want.
You don't have to be practical if you don't want to. The adventure of life awaits, and you're going to explore it!
You're able to discover who you are without getting lost in someone else.
You're not forming part of your identity through someone else. You're making your own friends, find your own interests and shape your own future.
You have a good enough sense of yourself to know what you want. You know what your interests are. You have shaped yourself independently.
By the time you find someone else, you're mature enough to handle it.
You know it'd be awesome to marry that person, but you also know that you wouldn't be completely lost if things didn't work out.
You've been able to do you, find you and be you.