In December, my on/off relationship of over four years finally came to a permanent end. While I was devastated that this particular relationship was over for good, I very, very quickly realised that I liked being single.
I became much more productive as I wasn't either texting or waiting for a text all day long. I was able to take back full control over my free time again. I became a lot more decisive as I no longer felt like I had to get another person's opinion before making a big decision. Most of all, I was finally able to get to grips with being "Just Emily" again, rather than one half of a couple. I've had a tough few years and it turns that I actually quite like the strong young woman who has emerged from the other side. I want to spend more time getting to know her and I definitely don't want her to disappear into another relationship so soon.
While I see a lot of content about it being OK to be single, I don't ever see anything saying it's OK to want to be single. The focus seems to be on "it's OK to be single now your relationship is over and it's OK that you haven't found the one YET."
Since I've become single, I've had friends trying to rope me into speed dating, or making jokes about giving my details to rich friends. I've had offers to help me set up an online dating profile and worst of all, I've had male friends turn round and announce they want more than friendship when they never even looked twice at me while I was with my ex. Horribly, I've made male friends who can't grasp the fact that my being single doesn't mean I want to be more than friends with them.
My being single is not an invitation to try and get me into bed.
My being single is not a problem to be solved.
While becoming single was not initially my decision, remaining single IS my decision and it's one I want to stick to for a long time to come. While I'm sure some of my friends mean well, I really do wish people would respect that I categorically do not want a boyfriend/fiance/husband right now and nor am I all that interested in casual dating either. In the future I'm sure I will change my mind and begin the search for a new partner but NOT RIGHT NOW.
I am happy with the freedom and independence I have discovered while being single. I love how comfortable I have become in myself and I want to make sure that before I enter into something new, I will be in a good enough place that I won't fall back into the cycle of depending entirely on my significant other as I have done in the past. We're just over halfway through 2016 now and already I've had far more adventures than I would have done had I been in a relationship. I like that I'm rekindling old friendships and making new ones and this year, I'd much, much rather focus on platonic love than romantic love.
If you're desperate for a relationship or you're blissfully happy in the one you're in now and would hate being single, that's fine. But this post isn't about you.
This post goes out to all the women who, like me, really bloody love being single. This one is for the women who, like me, are constantly having to defend the fact that they're single and OK with this. This one is for the poor women who are constantly fending off men who seem to think they have a right to our bodies and time just because another man hasn't "claimed" us. I'm amazed that the automatic assumption when someone is single is that they must want to change that.
It's OK to actively decide to be single. It's OK to NOT be searching for a relationship. You are a valuable human being by yourself.
The Vixen Thinks is an ALMOST weekly feature on this blog. Posts vary in topic, I'll talk about anything I have an opinion on! From blogging to relationships to feminism and anything beyond. If there's anything you'd like me to write about, feel free to get in touch: firstname.lastname@example.org! Thank you!