by Samantha Plotner
On Valentine’s Day single girls like me are supposed to be curled up on our couches, watching some cheesy romantic movie and eating a pint of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream. Most importantly we have to be despairing over the fact that we don’t have a significant other to send us roses and take us out to dinner. The thing is, that’s not me. This isn’t because my single status has made me bitter or jaded. In reality, I’m likely one of the most hopeless romantics you’ll ever meet. But I also have no qualms about being single on Valentine’s Day, or any other day for that matter.
I wasn’t always this way. Back in high school I saw being single as a bad thing that I had to try ardently to fix. At first it was fun, picking apart conversations and gossip with my friends but then it just got exhausting. It is rough to want to be with someone who doesn’t want to be with you and trying to let someone down gently is no picnic either. The effort I was expending just wasn’t worth it. If someone wants to be with you, they’re going to make the effort to be with you. If they don’t, nothing will change that and chances are it has very little to do with you. It was liberating to realize that being single wasn’t some awful thing that was wrong with me. It was an opportunity to really get to know myself. While I haven’t figured everything out I’m on the way. Well-meaning adults asking me where I want to be in five years are no longer met with a deer in the headlights look and a non-committal answer. Your twenties are a decade where so much changes. You finish college, start a career, and maybe begin a family. Being single has given me the time to look into my own head and figure out for myself what I want that to be for me. If I were in a relationship it would be hard for me to conceptualize where I want to go independent of the interests of the guy I was with. I have more time to spend with my friends, explore the city, and devote to extracurricular activities, like this blog.
I’m building a full life for myself in a city I adore, surrounded by people and things that inspire me every day. When the right guy comes along, I’ll make room for a relationship. I would rather be alone than be with a guy I didn’t have real feelings for or with one who didn’t have real feelings for me. Until then I’ll probably keep spending Valentine’s Day just like I spent this one, calling my parents and sisters and possibly buying some dark chocolate. One thing is for sure. I won’t be crying into a pint of Ben and Jerry’s over my single status.
Samantha is a sophomore at Barnard College and Co-Editor-in-Chief of The Nine Ways of Knowing.