Why It Doesn’t Matter How Long You’re Single

The single lifestyle is not for the faint of heart. It requires nerves of steel, bravery, optimism and a Netflix subscription. Whether you’ve been solo for a while, you’re bound to start feeling like enough is enough already. You lament the fact that you can’t meet a nice guy and wonder what’s wrong with you. Of course, you’re totally cool the way you are. Here’s the truth: it doesn’t matter how long you’ve been single.

Slow and steady wins the race. You can fall for someone super fast and have the passion and connection crash and burn faster than a Taylor Swift song becomes a hit. When you’ve been single for a while, you don’t rush into new relationships and make sure it feels real before committing.

It’s not a Facebook competition. Your self-worth and identity really have nothing to do with whether your profile picture is of your sparkly ring finger. You know that you’re just fine rolling solo and if it takes you six months or a year or two to meet your person, that’s completely OK.

You’re totally normal. If you have single friends (and you probably do), you know they’ve also been single for a few years. No one can jump from relationship to relationship unless they’re a celebrity or just plain crazy. Whenever you start thinking you’ve been solo for way too long, just remember that you’re completely normal.

Rome wasn’t built in a day. When you think about it, building a life with someone is not super easy. It’s actually a pretty big deal and takes a lot of work. Why do we think that love is supposed to come easily to us? You’re still doing the necessary work even if you’re alone – you’re becoming who you’re meant to be, and that will make your future relationship so much more enjoyable and less stressful.

Everyone is different. Some of us have had a ton of serious relationships, while others have had only one. Some have never fallen in love and others only have a bunch of hook-ups to their name. We’re all different and so it really doesn’t matter what your own love story is. All that matters is that you keep trying to write the next chapter.

This time is super important. Your 20s are definitely your most crucial decade. If you find your life difficult – between finding out who you are, navigating tricky friendships, and oh yeah, dealing with your career – it wouldn’t be any easier if you had a boyfriend this entire time. Having this time to yourself is really important, and so there’s no reason to wish you hadn’t been single at all.

Love has no rules. When we’re little, we believe in the fairy tale vision of love that’s really more of a lie than anything else. We think we’ll meet the guy we’re supposed to marry ASAP and that everything will be simple after that. But love has no rules and we can’t control anything – your singleness included.

Only you care. It’s easy to think the world revolves around the fact that you’re single but of course that’s not true. Other than some annoying relatives that love to ask why you’re not married yet at Christmas, only you care about your boyfriend-less state.

There’s no reason to freak out. None of the thoughts you have about your single status are actually true. Being single only means you don’t have a boyfriend. It doesn’t mean you’re not trying or going on tons of dates, because you are. It doesn’t mean you’re gross, because you’re not. So make peace with your singledom and you’ll be much better off.

Nothing will matter once you meet Your Person. You know, the one you’ve been waiting for. Your Derek Shepherd (except hopefully he won’t die), your Dawson Leery or Pacey Witter, your Dylan McKay, your Jordan Catalano (please tell me he’s real). Whatever your pop culture heartthrob obsession, you will definitely find your real-life version. When people ask how you and your boyfriend met, they won’t want to know how long you were single before that happened. They won’t care at all, and you won’t either.

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