For some reason the word “single” has become synonymous with lonely or sad or even incomplete. While committed relationships can allow you to experience a wide range of emotions and explore not just your own soul but that of another person as well, there are a number of great things about being single. Here are a few:

1. You can take breaks from people. Indefinitely
Maybe it’s just me, but when I’m in a long-term committed relationship my partner gets on my nerves about 30% of the time. And it’s not just minor irritation. It’s fantasizing-about-shoving-a-pencil-in-his-eye-if-he-keeps-chewing-with-his-mouth-open irritation. Anyone with me? The point is when you love someone and have committed to be with and there for him or her, you agree to look past those things that don’t really have to do with your feelings or the joy the relationship brings. That doesn’t mean, however, that those minor things don’t grate at your nerves and cause you to grind your teeth at night. A single person can say, “Look, if you’re gonna chew your food like a troglodyte I’d just rather have dinner with someone else.” Bitchy? Sure. But, you have no obligation to this person, and if you are somewhat indifferent as to whether or not he calls again, why sit there and be irritated? You also may just be in a place where you don’t feel like being bothered by anyone. The person in a committed relationship is bound to cause quite a stir if she says “I just don’t feel like being bothered for the next 3 weeks.” That sounds like break-up talk, whether it is or not.

2. You can experiment
Many women, Black women in particular, are fiercely loyal to the men they perceive to be their “natural partners:” typically Black men. If you find yourself single and a little bit tired of what seems like the same dating patterns, you can go out and try new things. Maybe you have developed a picture of what it is you want in a partner but realize that some of those requirements are arbitrary. Why not go out on a date with a white guy if you never have? Try dating someone several inches shorter than you. Give that stable and friendly blue-collar guy that’s always flirting with you a shot. Instead of actively seeking “the one” (which so many of us do), go with the flow and see what life puts in front of you.

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