Despite being in my early 20s, I have yet to be in a relationship. All I've ever known is the single life, and as a result, I've become a strong, independent woman who is proud of what I've accomplished on my own. Yet, despite the joys of being single — getting to sleep on either side of the bed, financial independence, not sharing the bathroom, making whatever you want for dinner, and decorating your place however you want — I've come to realize that it isn't always all it's cracked up to be.
The exhilarating freedom that makes being single so enjoyable sometimes isn't enough to surpass the unexpected disadvantages. And the reality is that sometimes being single just sucks.
Every day I wake up in my bed all by myself, get up, brush my teeth and hair, get dressed, make breakfast, and leave for work. This routine is very similar to that of people in relationships, the difference being that the silence is excruciating, and there's no one to say goodbye to me on my way out the door.
The lack of a close physical and emotional connection with another human being suffocates me sometimes.
It can be hard to sustain my emotional well-being sometimes. Typically the only single person in my friend group, I often find myself being the third wheel when going out. And constantly seeing my Instagram feed flooded with my friends' date-night photos makes me envy what they have: love. The lack of a close physical and emotional connection with another human being suffocates me sometimes.
I try to combat the loneliness by keeping busy 24/7, which has unintentionally caused me to become a workaholic. With no partner to tell me it's time to go to bed every night, I stay up late reading, writing, and occasionally doing a play-by-play commentary of my life. Although these late-night festivities can be fun, I usually regret it in the morning when I wake up exhausted and not in the state of mind to do work.
Not having anyone to talk to about my amazing or horrific day only emphasizes that loneliness. Not being able to explain how someone at Starbucks cut me in line or that my boss complimented my work may not seem like that big of a deal, but it really is. For some reason, being able to talk about my day relaxes me. It makes me not feel so weighed down by responsibility.
Being single also means not being told how beautiful I am every week. Although it's not necessary, it's nice to be pampered with compliments all the time. It heightens my spirit and makes me feel sexier.
One of the most challenging aspects of being single is dealing with family and friends who feel the need to set me up on blind dates. Knowing that I haven't experienced much emotional intimacy myself, they want me to better understand their stories about marriage, parenthood, and sexual adventures. And what better way to do that than help me find a partner to have similar experiences with? Never one to say no to people I love, I often suffer through dry and regrettable dates while mentally planning the remainder of my night once they're over, which typically entails drinking a few glasses of wine while watching Netflix.
And, of course, there's the sexual frustration with being single. Every sex drought feels like an emotional whirlwind. Sometimes it's empowering because I refuse to settle for anything less than what I really want, but not having sex regularly can also make my body feel like it's starving. Certain dry spells make me irritable, grumpy, and overall miserable.
Yes, being single sucks some days. Like most things in life, it has its pros and cons. Some days are absolutely amazing, but there are many times when I feel the loneliness. And while it can be tempting to jump into a relationship that I'm not entirely excited about, I know it would only create more problems. I know that I deserve the best, and while I wait for that to come along, I'll continue to both enjoy and despise the single life (depending on the day).