Growing up in a typical Nigerian home with pastors as parents, one thing was clear – dating was not allowed. Moving on to boarding school opened my eyes to a whole new reality; girls were dating left, right and centre – even those who were absurdly younger than I was. Although I had decided on my own to put off the idea of dating until I was done with the university, soon the longing to feel among began to grow in me. I wanted to ‘enjoy’ what they seemed to be enjoying.
Being in a relationship is painted in such bright and beautiful colours that being single dull in comparison to it. It is almost as if being single is a curse and something that shouldn’t be heard of. Every day, tons of couples break up because of some of the silliest reasons one can think of. Perhaps, the most surprising thing is the speed at which the same people enter into other relationships as soon as one is over. You cannot help but wonder if there’s a relationship contest going on. Your friends come in, hands laden with gifts and tongues wagging with gist while you sit and stare, wondering if being single (by choice or not) is something you really should be.
Does Social Media Misrepresent Singleness?
And social media has not helped in anyway either. Everywhere you turn – the television, radio and billboards – you hear silent screams encouraging you to just get into a relationship of yours too. Let’s not even talk about the explosive growth of online dating sites in the last couple of years.
Peer pressure and social expectations are not left out as it is not out of place to hear a comment like, “A beautiful girl like you ought not to be single” as if the reward for being considered beautiful is a relationship. Everywhere you turn to being single seems to be reserved for the lonely and sad.
“Is being single really as bad as people make it seem?” you ask yourself as you lay in bed swiping through photos of seemingly happy couples on Instagram. Having been single most of my life and not entering into a relationship until I was done with the university and almost done with my National Youth Service (a mandatory scheme to serve the nation set up by the federal government of Nigeria for graduates that intend to work in Nigeria) I have good news for you – being single isn’t such a bad thing at all and here’s why:
10 Reasons Why Being Single Isn’t Such a Bad Thing
- You have more time for yourself
While your friends are busy sharing their time between them and their significant other you are free to do with your time what you choose to do with it. You don’t have to bother about someone complaining that you never spend enough time with them because you haven’t given anyone that place.
- Self-Discovery is easier achieved when single
Your single days are a time for self-discovery; instead of spending time trying to get to know someone better you can use that time to get to know you. There’s time to learn about the things you love and more than enough time to work on yourself as an individual. You have time to set goals for yourself and achieve them without having to bother about how it’ll sit with someone or how you’ll achieve those goals having a significant other in the picture.
- You get to make your own decisions
Some of the life-changing and major decisions that will determine the course of your life are better taken when single. Career, relationship and even lifestyle decisions are better decided upon without having to look to your significant other to sign the papers. This also works like a filter system since whoever you end up in a relationship with would either have to accommodate your already existing plans, schedule and career preferences or help you refine it for the better.
- You can become more self-reliant
Being in a relationship sometimes means you get comfortable depending on someone else for certain things. Use your single days to gain financial intelligence, establish a business or learn a new skill.
Singleness helps you do things on your own without constituting a nuisance or liability to another. You learn to depend on yourself and trust your own judgment more. This is also the best time to discover talents or unique abilities develop them and fashion out of them some marketable value.
- Inner peace and a stress-free life
The stress that come with some relationships is enough to drain you of all the energy you have in you. Singleness reduces the pressure that comes with being in a relationship until at least you have built enough physical, emotional and psychological strength to take on the relationship challenge. There is no need to sit up late at night being suspicious over one thing or the other; you get plenty of rest of mind.
- You sleep better
From having no obligation to talk to someone till late at night over the phone to not having to lay in bed playing over an argument you had with your partner in your mind, the joys of singlehood are endless.
- You tend to be more social
It’s so much easier to build your social life as a single person than it is to build it as a person in a relationship. You can hang out with friends and make new friends with the opposite sex without putting into consideration the feelings of the one you love. At this time it’s easier to make friends and build meaningful friendships that’ll last a lifetime because you aren’t trying to be careful with your movement so there’s no cause for a misunderstanding with your partner.
- You don’t have to bother about pleasing someone else
You are not a sadist or self-conceited person but in a relationship, you focus a lot on doing things that please the one you’ve given your heart to. When you are single you don’t have to bother about pleasing another. You can do you completely and totally without considering the feelings of a significant other.
- You can avoid settling for a bad match
Because being single allows you time to work on yourself, you are also able to define what you actually want when it’s time to get into a relationship. You have all the time you need to study yourself and study people around you and pick out the characteristics you want in the person you eventually choose to go with. There’s plenty of time to state your requirements for what you want in a partner and be purposeful about getting that person.
- There is time to build yourself in your faith
When you enter into a relationship, you will have to split your time between trying to maintain it and other important activities. Single days are a great time to build yourself up in your faith. Since your mind isn’t focused on ways to please a significant other you have time to focus on pleasing your God. It’s a great and beautiful opportunity to get to learn the basics of your faith and get to build a lasting relationship with God.
Your single days don’t have to be lived in misery and loneliness, they should be a time to cherish and love. Learn to be single on purpose, strive for personal development and ensure that when it is time to hand over your heart to “Novio,” they find you living life intentionally, with utmost clarity and confidence as thick as wool.
If you are single, let’s talk about how you are currently maximizing this great time. If however, you are already in a relationship, do share how you balance life, work and relationship. Hit the comment box and faya on!