Image from Pexels

Image from Pexels

As Valentine’s Day approaches, many people will start to become hyper aware of their relationship status. Those in relationships will be busy planning a romantic evening with their significant other. Some in” it’s complicated” situations will wonder whether or not it would be appropriate to do anything at all. Then there’s the singles crowd who may feel that this holiday has nothing in it for them. Well my fellow singles do I have an article for you. I’m here to not only share several reasons why being single during any time of the year is perfectly fine, but also to give you a few ideas for Valentine’s Day.

1. Relationships Require Extreme Time Budgeting

I am sure that by now you know or have met someone who seems to vanish off the face of the earth whenever they enter a relationship. You know…that same friend that resurfaces four months to three years later crying about the break up. Most people would greet this with an eye-roll but singletons, have compassion on this friend. While they were pouring all of their energy into one person that did not work, you were busy expanding your social horizons and participating in amazing events that may only ever happen once in your life.

You spent time fostering friendships that have the potential to last a lifetime. The fact of the matter is that people in relationships have less time for friendships. Sometimes it happens because they are glued to each other all the time, but most times it happens because they are a couple. While some people in committed relationships make time for friends, it is just a lot harder to keep up with everyone when you are pouring a lot of time and energy into one person. College is a great place to network and meet a lot of people who may become lifelong friends. As a single person, it is a lot easier to meet people

2. Relationships Can Leave You Falling into the “We Zone”

When I meet up with my friends with boyfriends and husbands, there are times when I feel like said significant other is practically present due to how much they come up in a given conversation. Some of this is normal because the person you are in a relationship with becomes an increasingly part of your life. However, when every other word out of your friend’s mouth involves the person they are in a relationship with, things get quite awkward quite fast. I have had several conversations that looked something like this:

Me: “Check out this cool papaya.”
Friend 1: “The papaya’s okay but what do you think about this grapefruit?”
Me: “The grapefruit is cool but I prefer the papaya.”
Friend 2: “Brian likes papayas too. Just the other day we bought a dog. Brian is so cute when he plays with the dog.”
Me and Friend 1 “…”

Alright so essentially there are two things wrong with what “Friend 2” did here. The most obvious one is that she derailed the entire conversation and made it about her significant other. But what is far worse is that while the other two people talk about their own preferences, “Friend 2” talks about the preferences of their significant other. When you spend a lot of time around someone it is incredibly easy to become enmeshed. People that are perpetually in relationships or extremely close friendships seem to do this more often. Rather than attach yourself to one person, it is better to meet and befriend several different people during college. Although romantic comedies are entertaining, there is not nor will there ever be one person who can complete you. It is better to put your efforts towards being a whole person by yourself.

3. Relationships Are a LOT of Work

Again, the movies make it look so effortless. Two people have a cute encounter before engaging in a series of hilarious escapades. Then, they fall in love and get married at the end of the movie. Any time spent dating before that point is often skipped so that the audience can enjoy a happy ending. The truth is that being in a relationship with someone is a lot of work. It requires give and take, compromise, respect and love for the other person. Most college students fail to graduate with these qualities, let alone come to college with them. Even if you are prepared to compromise there is a chance that your partner will not be as adept. Unless both people are willing to put in the work a relationship is doomed or worse, miserable for the person doing all of the giving.

4. Most College Students Are Not Ready For A Relationship

No matter how sophisticated college upperclassmen pretend to be, we were high school students less than 3 years ago. Although a lot of people do develop themselves during college, many will not, allowing their high school selves to inhabit a fully grown adult body. The unfortunate fact is, most of your potential dating pool cannot cook for themselves and have only recently learned how to use a washing machine. Navigating the dating scene while learning to balance schoolwork, a job, extracurricular activities, AND general life maintenance skills can be daunting at best.

Valentines Day Suggestions for Singles

As promised, here are some suggestions to make your Valentines Day one to remember.

1. Save money to go on a chocolate run with your roommate on February 15. Stores will practically beg you to buy their excess candy.

2. Make presents or write love letters for all of the people that are important to you. Trust me, it will brighten their day and yours.

3. Having a movie marathon with friends will give you a lot to laugh about.

4. If you can, try going on a trip even if it involves taking a walk off campus. Being away from the microcosm of campus can help clear your mind and give you a fresh perspective.

But, if you take nothing else from this article, keep this in mind. Your relationship status does not define you. Know that you are a person of value with or without a significant other.

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the author

Lauren Collier is a senior at the College of William and Mary studying English and Psychology. She spends her days in the developmental psychology lab researching family behavioral patterns. When she's not in the lab or writing for The Prospect, Lauren is usually cooking up a storm with her roommates or writing poems under the shade of a large tree.

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