by Kaitlyn Raymundo
Those that know me well know that I am single. Painfully single. Very, incredibly single. In fact, I’m not just single now, I’ve been single my entire life. No boyfriend, ever. You might think that’s weird, and I have too at points. Maybe you think that means I’m this incredible independent woman that don’t need no man and I have thought that at some points as well. The reality is that my feelings about relationships, and myself, change daily, sometimes by the minute or depending on the people I’m with, the conversation we’re having, the cute boy that walks past me at school. And I’m about to be very honest about it all- for myself and for anyone reading this, wherever you are in your love live. Spoiler alert: I’m single and within that I’ve found strength. Here’s how.
I am constantly joking about my single state- I’m weird and boys can’t handle it, why do I attract the weird guys, it’s probably because I show up in workout clothes everyday and have the worst dance moves on the face of this planet. And it’s funny, don’t get me wrong. But sometimes it gets a little too real. In the back of my head there’s always the question- will a guy I like ever like me back? Kind of dramatic I know but I’m in college and it feels like everyone’s dating, getting into long term relationships. They say this is where you find your soulmate for life, right? And yet here I am with not a single potential relationship in sight. Should I be worried? Be doing something differently to make myself, I don’t know, more attractive? All the magazines, media outlets, TV shows, rom-coms make it seem so easy, so essential, to be in a little fairytale romance. And honestly, I have my fits of jealousy when looking at my friends and family, particularly my peers, as they enter into the “happy couple” stage. Because why not me?
But among all of those feelings, there are other, more hopeful ones. My time is spent cultivating amazing friendships with people I believe will be my friends for life-- teammates, roommates, cousins. I’ll be in my pajamas eating Chinese food and laughing my face off at an onscreen comedian on a Saturday night with my favorite people thinking there’s nothing wrong with this. Sometimes I find myself talking to a friend for three hours about everything under the moon, exploring the lessons we’ve learned and uncovering parts of their lives I never knew, despite our storied friendship. Sometimes, actually most of the time, I just enjoy discovering myself without pressure to please someone else, because let’s face it, at twenty years old there’s still so much discovering to do and much more self confidence to build as I chase my best self. Sometimes I look at my workload- the classes, volleyball, internships, jobs, housework, volunteering, hobbies, honor societies, clubs, church, scholarship and study abroad applications, etc etc- and think I’m too busy for a relationship, and in the best possible way because I absolutely love everything I’m involved in and am so grateful to have time to dedicate to cultivate my talents and discover new avenues to put my focus in. That’s not to say that I’m actively trying to deny all potential relationships or that I don’t have time for any more people in my life. There’s just not a void to fill.
And I think that idea is the root of it all. Society tells us that if we aren’t in love with some amazing significant other, we aren’t complete. If we aren’t in a committed relationship, we’ve got leftover love to give. This is where they’re wrong. Each person has their own needs, their own story, their own circumstance and emotions. I, personally, am overwhelmed by the love my family and friends constantly show me and am fulfilled by my ability to participate in these relationships, by my activities and aspirations. There’s no void in my life and one day, whenever that may be, I’m sure I’ll meet someone great as I enter another phase in my life. There’s nothing wrong with those who are already there, either. Most of them were complete before their relationship and I’m sure if asked, would say they have reached a better version of themselves due to their significant other. It takes strength either way, to battle with the stigma of singleness or the expectations of the social media relationship. There’s no easy fix and even with this realization, I have struggled and I’m sure my struggle will continue through each phase of my life. I’ve been lucky enough to bounce back pretty quickly when I think of the things I wrote down in this article, and I hope I can come back here at my low points and feel grateful, feel better. Because when it comes down to it, I’m happy. And I hope anyone reading this, no matter your situation, can find a little comfort in realizing that you can be too. Each of us is beautiful as whoever we want to be and that in itself is profound.
I’m twenty years old. I’m single and I’m ok. In fact, I’m great.