You are working hard to find your place in this world. But despite your accomplishments, it seems like everyone only cares about about one thing: You are single. You are single just like me. As single as one of those Kraft cheese slices. The only exclusive relationship I am currently involved in is with chocolate licorice and Amazon.com.
I have been asked about my relationship status by everyone I come across. Even strangers. The questions are always the same: "Why aren't you dating anyone?" "When are you getting married?" "Would you like to date my nephew?"
I have gone on awkward blind dates and have had small flings here and there, but nothing has stuck for long. I have heard a lot of advice regarding my dating life, such as: "You're too picky" or my personal favorite: "Dumb yourself down, you're intimidating." I have spent hours contemplating those statements — thinking something was wrong with me.
In these past few years, I have learned how to love myself and prepare for a relationship that will come with time. I have discovered what I want in life, and who I want to spend it with. I have found courage and a capacity for love and kindness. In the meantime, instead of ordering my first batch of cats to start my future as a cat lady, I have discovered many beautiful things about being single that I once didn't think were possible.
Prepare for the future
This point of your life is a time to prepare for the future. Everything you come across can shape you into a wonderful, wiser and eligible spouse. And an all-around good person. Your life does not need to come to a standstill when you are on your own. There may be a void in your heart that you long to fill with another person, but until that time comes, fill it with wisdom, experience and learning to love. Even though it sounds cheesy, if you truly learn to love yourself, you will be find true happiness during your time as a single adult. Take time to grow and your future self will be grateful.
There is nothing wrong with you
If you have not found the person you want to spend the rest of your life with yet, you will. Everyone has a different chapter to endure, and everyone reads at their own pace. Do not change who you are, no matter what anyone says. Find your confidence and hold on to it. Embrace the things that make you who you are: Your quirky traits, your sense of humor, your interests. Do not be afraid to show your intelligence and share your true opinions. Be honest with yourself, and with everyone else. Your future spouse will love every aspect about you, even if they don't share all of your interests.
Just because you do not have a significant other does not mean you are alone. Spend time and maintain positive relationships with your family and friends. They will always be there to support you, sticking by your side during your single and married years. It is always good to have wonderful people in your life to lift your spirits, make you laugh and guide you through.
Set goals for yourself
When I graduated from high school, I had no plans for my future other than wanting to get married and enjoy my life with a husband by my side. College was something I thought about, but I was indifferent about pursuing a degree. At 23, I now have a Bachelor's degree, my career is taking off and the amount of growth and maturing I have undergone during the past five years cannot be described in words. I meet goals and then set new ones to keep myself growing. Being single does not mean having to wait for another person to justify how you spend your life. You can achieve anything you put your mind to.
Whatever it takes, find yourself. Travel, meet new people, discover your interests and hobbies, serve others, follow you heart and find true confidence. Embrace the life that has been given to you. Love yourself and become your own best friend. They say cannot fully love another person until you are comfortable in your own skin.
Have faith in timing
Timing is the word that all single people loathe. But there is so much truth in the concept of timing. Relationships come when we least expect them. Many of my friends have been completely adamant against dating, only to find themselves being swept off their feet a few weeks later. When we push for things to happen and don't allow the natural timing of things, they don't always end well. Amazing things happen to those who wait. Be patient. Until your turn for marriage comes, enjoy the moments you have been given. There is no rush.
My teenage self would completely flip her lid if she knew she wouldn't be married at 23. I used to think that being in a relationship was the only thing that would validate me as a true adult. That being single after high school was possibly one of the worst things that could happen to me. I thought my life would come to a standstill until I could find a husband to share all of my experiences with.
How completely wrong I was.
Marriage is one of the most wonderful things in this lifetime, and it lasts for a very a long time. Until your ring finger is occupied, there are so many experiences awaiting you. Being single is not a curse, but can be a privilege. Use the time you have been given to make your mark. Do not lower your standards and do not settle for less than you deserve. Life may not always turn out the way you expect, or go the pace you want it to, but it will turn out better than you ever imagined if you will let it.
Chakell Wardleigh has a Bachelor of Arts in English. She spends her days silently (mostly) correcting others' grammar. She adores all things nerd, such as Harry Potter, Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, Shakespeare, and anything else that whisks her away from reality. She currently works as an editor for the FamilyShare team. You can usually find her with her nose in a book, laughing too loudly, or belting out songs from Hamilton.