My Relationship With… Being Single

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I’ll be the first to admit that I’m a bit of a hopeless romantic. Romance is easily my favourite film genre and I’ve seen Love, Rosie and One Day countless times in the last few months alone. The idea of actually being in a relationship, however, pretty much terrifies me.

Growing up, I always felt like there was a big pressure, especially in secondary school, to get a boyfriend. From the age of 12 a lot of people in my year started getting into relationships, some jumping quickly from one to the next, but I was never really that bothered. I got asked out a couple of times during this period, and even went out with a guy for a week when I was about 12, although I don’t think that this counts. Sure, I sometimes thought it would be nice to have a boyfriend, especially when we reached 16 and 17 and it seemed like I was the only person who had never had one. But now having never been in a proper relationship at 22, I don’t actually care.

I have always been the kind of person who genuinely enjoys my own company. While I love spending time with my friends, I also need to be able to retreat and just not spend time with people for several hours, or even a day or two at a time. Therefore, the idea of being in a relationship and spending a lot of time with a person, without getting totally sick of them, is almost laughable sometimes.

I do sometimes think it would be nice to be in a relationship, which is usually when I end up scrolling through Tinder and talking to a guy for several weeks, before I realise that he is definitely not what I want and I have to let him down, ghost him, or, usually, come up with a pretty lame excuse.

Being single or usually being the one to ghost the Tinder boys doesn’t mean I haven’t had my fair share of heartache over the past few years, and this definitely leaves me reluctant to pursue anything with someone. The countless romance movies that I just cannot seem to get enough of have probably given me a slightly idealised image of what a relationship should be like, but I also recognise this. I think still being single at 22 has very much given me the idea that when I do get a boyfriend, hopefully he’ll be it. I know from experience I’m not a casual dater and I just don’t enjoy it all that well. And part of what terrifies me about getting into a relationship is the potential heartbreak, because I do not deal well with that.

Learning to love myself, as cliché as that may sound to some people, is something that I’ve been trying to work on and I feel being single is the best situation to be in for that.

At the end of the day, I am very happy with where I am at. The questions from family every time I come home from university about whether I’m seeing anyone yet don’t bother me. While I’ll joke with my friends that I want a boyfriend and would say yes if the right guy came along, I’m content with being single and with myself. I think it would take a pretty great guy to change that.

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2019/2020 Deputy Editor. I'm a third year English with psychology student with a love for giraffes, travel and tea.

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