If anyone knows about being single for a hella long time, it's ya girl. I'm 21 and I've yet to be in a relationship. I know, gasp.
For many twenty-somethings, that isn't a reality because most people have at least dated in their teen years, but this didn't happen for me, oddly enough.
Sometimes I honestly think to myself WTF happened for me to have stayed single for this long. I guess it's a mixture of circumstance, timing and the fact I've always been my own person when it comes to making decisions that are right for me, being the old soul I am.
I just wasn't interested in dating and getting caught up in who liked me when I was in high school and my younger years.
I remember being asked out to a dance by a guy in elementary school and I immediately turned him down with my head held high.
Even from a young age, I've had a strong sense of what I want and I haven't been the type to date just because everyone else is doing it.
Some would call me a late bloomer and I'll take that, but the reality is everyone truly does have different life experiences at different times and this is especially true when it comes to love.
Now that I'm in college however, the feeling of wanting to be in a relationship is ever so real. I have friends who have been single as well and are like-minded people, so when I hear they are suddenly in a relationship, I can't help but feel slightly jealous.
Why hasn't love happened for me yet... and will it ever happen?
These are the painful thoughts that go through my mind every so often when I'm in a state of just feeling extremely lonely and wishing I had someone by my side.
But the more time I spend single, the more I truly know I need this time to figure out who I am.
Here are five things I've learned about myself after being single for so long.
1. I have the ability to conquer challenges on my own.
The first time a challenge comes into our lives, our first instinct is to reach out to someone, whether it be a friend, a family member, or of course, a SO.
But when you are single, you learn how to go through challenging situations alone.
I had a retail job recently that really challenged me in terms of dealing with difficult people and a busy work environment and let me tell you, I cannot count the number of moments where I thought I wouldn't get through it.
But guess what? I did, and it strengthened the hell out of me to the point where I'm confident going into any other job that falls into my lap.
I just got offered another job, FYI. So yes, you really are stronger than you think.
2. I don't truly love myself, but I'm working on it.
I often like to observe people when I'm out and about, and I notice just how much we like being on our phones when we are in public.
I'm slightly socially anxious, so I do this as well. If you feel awkward when you're out, taking out your phone and texting seems like the safer option.
But what I've realized is we equate being alone with feeling lonely, so we avoid ever being in tune with ourselves at all and when we finally do get the chance, it's like we are with a stranger.
The more I've been by myself, the more I realize just how much work I need to do when it comes to my self esteem.
Like ya girl needs to get it together... especially as a twenty-something.
This is such a monumental time in our lives, so taking some time to really know who you are is a must.
3. I've accepted the flaws in me.
I may not be there all the way just yet, but for the most part, I don't mind embracing my inner (and sometimes outer on a bad day) ugly.
As humans, we often feel we need to be perfect at all times. The evidence is on social media. Rarely will you ever see posts on your timeline that don't show the "perfect" aspects of everyone's lives.
But being single definitely teaches you all that is just a facade. The true, authentic you is far from perfect and it's OK to learn to accept this. It will take time, but you will get there.
4. I'm a more interesting person.
Girl, whoever gets the pleasure of dating me will be blessed.
I sing, I'm funny as hell, I write and I'm independent. But I would not have been able to brush up on these qualities if I haven't spent the amount of time that I have alone.
For all of my ladies, get to know what you like. It's annoying as hell when girls define themselves solely by the guy they are with. You need to have an identity of your own. It's sexy and it will draw people to you because you have a lot to offer.
5. My confidence will improve.
Who you are today is not who you will be a year from now or even a month from now.
You may not be where you want to be yet, but you sure as hell aren't who you used to be. Being single is often viewed as a bad thing, but let me tell you, the growth you will attain will trump any insecurities you have had in the past.
It's only a season and you'll find a new you on the other side.