For most of my adult life, I have dedicated my Sundays to someone – to everyone – but myself. From ages 19 to 28, I was in an eight-year relationship with a man, that I’d spend most of my Sundays with because Saturday nights were normally scheduled for going out with my girlfriends. A few months after that, I found myself in a casual relationship with a man who was only off Sundays – so for months that day was specifically set-aside for him and the cycle just continued. Every time I would be involved with a man, he’d get my weekends until it hit me: How much time am I really reserving for myself?
This fall I decided to take a much needed dating break to recharge and make more time for me. I was starting to feel drained, anxious, and strongly believe in taking breaks every so often – or at least when you feel like you’re over it all.
As the weeks went by, I started dedicating more weekend time to myself. Some Saturdays would be reserved for socializing but most Sunday’s were just for me. It was my day to write, catch up on reading, meal prep while playing jazz music in my kitchen, and to dedicate myself fully to self-love and self-care. Before I knew it, the concept of not dating for a while was becoming more and more appealing. I felt good being alone – too good actually.
Then one day while browsing the internet for story ideas and inspiration, I came across this article in New York magazine’s The Cut called: “What Is a “Super Single?” Am I One? How Do I Know?” The term alone “Super Single” intrigued me, so went I on to read what this was all about.
According to the writer, the term was dubbed in a recent episode of Better Things. The show’s protagonist Sam, refers to this term as someone “who is not in a relationship, but has figured out how to be a self-sustaining ecosystem.” In other words, someone who is not just alone, but knows how to be happy alone. This is someone who isn’t living a single miserable life desperately waiting for “their person” to come alone. Wait a second – I’ve totally become this person!
I’ve been happily single for a while now, but it’s different when you’re single but actually dating or involved with someone, versus single and not dating at all. When you’re single but casually dating, you have someone who hits you up every day, you have someone to have sex and cuddle with, someone to hold hands with (the guys I date love to do this), you have someone to make weekend plans with regardless of how serious the relationship might be. At least that’s been the case for me anyway.
But when you’re single and choose not to date at all, you have to find a way to enrich your life without having to rely on someone else for attention or quality time. You have to find a way to go on adventures on your own and personally, I think that’s a very necessary thing – especially for women. Society has conditioned us for centuries, to believe that we “need” to have a man in order to be happy, sustained, and complete.
I used to get anxiety if I didn’t know by Wednesday what my plans were going to be for that weekend coming up. Just the thought of not being able to get together with friends or do something not alone would stress me out. Now I actually look forward to free weekends. If I don’t have plans with friends, I can work on my writing, I can cook, I can go to the gym, or just chill the eff out. I’ve even become a lot more selective with who I spend my weekends with. If you’re not a close friend or family member – chances are you’ll have to wait for a weeknight to see me because me time and weekends have become pretty darn sacred.
We live in a society that treats single status like a disease, like something to be ashamed of. I still have my moments when I feel that way, especially when my older family members ask me if I have a boyfriend yet, as if it’s the most important accomplishment I can make in life. But the truth is, being alone is actually pretty awesome if you take advantage of it. It’s a good way to not only become more independent and self-sustained, but it in many ways enriches your life. You discover things about yourself you would have never otherwise discovered had you not had the opportunity to be by yourself.
There’s something liberating about no longer having my love life be high up on my priority list. I come first. My career comes first. My writing comes first. My travels come first. My family and friends come first. Don’t get me wrong, my heart will always be open but for now I’m just going to keep doing me because right now I feel good and for once – perfectly balanced.