Behind Closed Doors: Living the single life

As a self-proclaimed serial monogamist, reentering the singles world has been a crazy experience. Tinder is more of a thing than ever, half of my friends are in committed relationships and I haven’t gone out of my way to flirt in an eternity. While I’m relearning the ropes of single life, I decided that it might be wise to share my newest insights with the rest of the singles out there, whether they are newbies or veterans.

I know every tween magazine has told you being single is literally the best thing that has ever happened to you and, wow, it’s just so much fun (trust me, I’ve written those tween articles myself), but Seventeen Magazine isn’t so wrong after all. I know it sounds cliche, but being single is actually a lot more fun than it may seem immediately post-breakup. There’s more time to focus on yourself, your friends and even offering yourself a little extra self-love, if you catch my drift. Personally, I’m a big fan of all the excellent sleep I’ve been getting since I started sleeping solo. My friendships are thriving, I’m getting more involved and I can make fun and flirty decisions guilt-free. Singledom isn’t the scary abyss my fictional hero, Bridget Jones, made it out to be. It’s got a lot more pros than cons, trust me.

I know it sounds cliche, but being single is actually a lot more fun than it may seem immediately post-breakup.

The only bad thing about riding solo a la Jason Derulo? You don’t have a cuddle (and more) buddy for those nights you’re especially interested in physical contact. And to make matters worse, drunken one night stands just aren’t as fun as they seem. Getting busy or cuddling with someone you don’t have any kind of connection with can be awkward and just plain unsatisfying. I have heard from my single and mingling buddies and pals that friends with benefits are the perfect solution to this. It’s the perfect way to satisfy those needs with a partner you not only enjoy the company of, but also have respect for outside the bedroom. But beware; “friendz with benz” can go south — and not in a fun, sexual way — if you don’t set proper boundaries.

I’m not going to lie to you, guys; sometimes being single stresses me out a bit. While flirting on the internet might be as easy as swiping right, it’s not really that easy out in the real world. How does one approach a campus cutie? Do I compliment them on their Swemromas order? Do I just immediately let them know they’re the cutest thing I’ve ever laid eyes on? And most importantly, how do you turn down unwanted advances? These are the questions I’m searching to find the answer to while awkwardly navigating through the world of Netflix and chill.

A lot of people expect college to be a time to find the love of your life, but I don’t think that’s the most realistic expectation. I’m definitely guilty of putting this kind of pressure on myself. My parents met in college, so clearly I should be pursuing my future partner along with my degree. But a friend of mine put things in serious perspective for me the other day. She knows she’s not meant to meet the man of her dreams at the College of William and Mary. This school might be the place for her, but Virginia certainly is not. She knows she’s meant to meet a Boston boy someday, not a Fairfax guy next week.

And if that little piece of wisdom doesn’t resonate with you, remember: college should be about finding yourself, not your fiancée. Take this time to become the person you want to be instead of searching for someone to make you whole. If you do, you’ll find you don’t need someone to complete you. Instead, you just might find someone to complement all the incredible things that make up who you are.

Mallory Walker is a Behind Closed Doors columnist whose “other half” can wait while she enjoys singledom.


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