Stop the stigma surrounding staying single

Illustration by Darian Maroney

With Valentine’s Day approaching, there’s a lot of pressure to find that special someone.

Nagging reminders pop up constantly, from all the pink and red that’s slathered everywhere to all the deals on flowers, chocolate and gifts for your partner. And even to friends that all seem to be in relationships.

How could anyone stand to be single during such a time?

It’s the season of love. And it’s everywhere.

Yet, the pressure doesn’t go away once Valentine’s Day does.

It seems all year there are reminders and pressures, especially from friends and family that always ask if there’s a special someone yet. And a mixture of shock and horror crosses their faces when you tell them “no.”

Why is there so much pressure to always be in a committed relationship? Such a stigma attaches itself to someone who is single or just dating around, or perhaps isn’t interested in finding someone.

Just think of all those chick flicks where the entire goal of the movie is for the girl to finally find the guy. And once she does, her life is complete.

These female characters are so unhappy the entire time they’re single. And if they’re not? They just don’t yet know how miserable they really are.

It feels like people are constantly defining others by their relationship status, especially women. It’s like someone’s worth is attached to whether or not someone else likes them.

And if there’s not that special someone? They must be lonely, sexually frustrated or repellent in some way.

Personally, I choose to be single. And I enjoy it.

Actually, I prefer it — especially during college.

As a full-time student with a part-time job, I barely have enough time to get all my work done in a week, let alone the time to maintain a healthy relationship with someone.

In all honesty, I’m selfish right now. I don’t want to compromise my free time. At least the free time that I actually get. Since I have so little of it, I want to spend it how I want.

And if I ever get lonely and want to go out? Well, that’s what my friends are for.

Besides, being single has allowed me to really understand myself, which I think is really important to know before entering a relationship. It sounds cliche, but it’s true.

I’ve had time to really understand what I like and dislike — what I do and don’t want. I know who I am and what my goals are.

I’m happy for those who have found that special someone. I think it’s great.

But being single should not be treated like an affliction that needs to be fixed. Some actually choose to be single, and some just casually date and enjoy it.

They shouldn’t feel defective because of it.

Allison Galbreath can be reached at [email protected] or @agalbreath19 on Twitter.