What do you/did you like about being single? Talk about a time when you were glad you were single.

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That photo was taken circa 2009, when I was single and going to college at Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo.

As I have said before, I am definitely a relationship person. I am much happier when I am monogamous than otherwise. But when I was single I tried to make the most of it. I would go out with my girlfriends and flirt and would try and go on dates and get out there to have some fun.

I was single for about 3 years after I broke up with my first boyfriend. I needed that time to get to know myself as a single adult; I had been with him from when I was 17 to about 20 so I hadn’t been single in college yet. I am so glad that I took my time and took advantage of being on my own to give my confidence a boost. I am very independent so it makes me feel more confident if I feel like I can make it on my own. I am a firm believer in the “I don’t need to be with you, I want to be with you” mindset.

In grad school I definitely got lonely and was ready for a serious relationship. I wasn’t meeting anyone new that I was even a little interested in and that was very frustrating. But having my confident, brilliant, feminist, and fellow single friends around helped a lot. Being single was not always sunshine and beer and dancing, though – it could get really lonely and frustrating, especially since Emily and my sister were both settled down. I really wanted what they had.

After another relationship ended, I had a hard time recovering and remembering how to be my fun and fearless single self, like I was in undergrad. But my sister always reminded me that I had my whole life to find my partner – the time was now to make memories that I will look back on again and again as a source of confidence and remembering who I was on my own. I saw her married with kids and thought, you’re right – this might be the last time I’m single, so I better take advantage of it.

I got on OkCupid and got comfortable (or as comfortable as one can possibly get) going on dates. It was really fun and I felt great knowing that I could jump back on the horse whenever I needed to after all this practice. It made each break up easier, knowing that I had been happy being single before I met them, and that going out there and meeting new people wasn’t that hard.

But my favorite thing about being single was the “epic factor”. I could wake up every day and think, I could meet them today. The person I will be with for the rest of my life. Or, that crazy night out I had could be one of the last awesome single stories I have before I meet my partner. I don’t know, it just made things feel so exciting. Things were undecided. Anything could happen.

I remember talking to Emily all the time about who My Person was going to be. We would joke about how they could be a circus performer or a rich business owner or a hand model. What new fun things would they introduce me to? How would my life change? Being on the brink of that was so exciting.

NEXT WEEK’S PROMPT

What role does art play in your life? What types of art were you exposed to as a child? How do you fit creativity into your life today?