Contributing writer Kimberly Couzens submitted this post as a Reader Submission for Gurl. We love hearing your stories! If you’d like to submit your writing to Gurl, please send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If there’s one thing I’m not looking forward to during the holidays, it’s being asked repeatedly if I’m “seeing anyone special.” When I say that I’m not, the reaction is usually one of surprise or disappointment, like I’ve just told the person that I have a disease.
I hate these reactions, because the truth is, I’m a little insecure about not having a boyfriend. It’s not even like I’ve never had one because I have. I’ve had two serious boyfriends: one in high school and one in college. I’m not against relationships, but I haven’t met the right person, so I’ve been single for several years.
It bothers me that some people think being single is a problem that must be “fixed.” They’ll say something like, “I’m sure you’ll meet someone soon,” or “Have you tried online dating?” (I have and it was weird) What am I supposed to say in response to that? It’s awkward.
It’s weird when people I don’t know assume I have a boyfriend, because, of course, all young women should, and do, have boyfriends. More than once, I’ve been shopping for a gift for my brother or a guy friend and the salesperson has said, “Your boyfriend is going to love this.” At that point, I’m not sure whether I should clarify that no, this gift is not for my boyfriend, because I don’t have one.
The constant reminder that I’m not in a relationship makes me feel insecure, like there is something wrong with me for not having a boyfriend. But it’s not like you can just go to the store and pick one out! Some girls seem to go right from one boyfriend to the other. I’ve always wondered what it is they have that I don’t, but deep down, I don’t think I’m jealous of girls who are in relationships.
I’ve been single for so long that I’m comfortable with it most of the time. I’m used to spending a lot of time with girlfriends, managing my own money and wearing whatever I want around the house. I’m also used to buying groceries for one, going to parties without a date and celebrating platonic love on Valentine’s Day. I’ve learned that being single has some major perks. Anyone who has a friend with a boyfriend has felt the pain of having to listen to boyfriend drama over and over again. When you’re not in a relationship, you can enjoy the ability to go where you want, with whom you want, and not have to answer to anybody. You can spend all the time you want with your girlfriends, or pets, but most importantly, on the activities that are the most important to you. I know more than a few people who might be much happier if they took some time to be on their own.
Sure, it’s possible to balance your time between a boyfriend, family and friends, but flying solo means more time to dedicate to the things you enjoy. One of my favorite hobbies is shopping and every time I’m at the mall I see sad-looking boyfriends waiting for the ladies in their lives to finish shopping. (Seriously, when are stores going to figure out that they should build a miserable-boyfriend section with comfy couches and TVs showing football games?)
The way I see it, the best thing anyone can do for a future relationship is to spend as much time as possible on the things she enjoys and be as happy as she can be with her life the way it is now. Hobbies and interests are what make a person interesting, not boyfriend-hunting.
I think purposefully looking for a boyfriend is the wrong approach. Close relationships, like with best friends, develop over time. They can’t be forced. That’s not to say that I’m not open to the idea of having a boyfriend; I would be willing to make compromises in my life for the right guy. But until I meet someone great, I’m not buying into the idea that a girl is somehow less of a person unless she’s one-half of a couple.
Are you single? Do you ever feel this way? Can you relate to what Kimberly is saying? What do you think about not having a boyfriend? Tell us in the comments.