Everyone is always talking about how to find a date, how to manage a relationship, how to deal with a break up, and other boring things. Who says you have to be in one? Well, right now, anyways. I’m not saying we should all aim for spending 40+ in a one bedroom with enough cats to match our age. But let’s face it, youth is wasted on the young. Are you dating for fun? Because you want a steady make-out buddy and someone to hold hands with? Or are you dating because you want to get married at 22? If you are, then ignore me. Or don’t, actually. I don’t want you to be rude on account of following my directions.
When I was in college, I opted to skip doing a year abroad because I was so focused on getting this one dream job, that I shoved all my credits into stressful semesters and finished school as early as I could. I never got the job in the end, and while I feel good about having stuck with where my passions were, I feel like a bit of a hypocrite. That job might as well have been someone I dated, and the thing is, I didn’t date anyone in large part because I wanted to keep my freedom. Apparently my freedom to try dating a job, but let’s just focus here, ok?
A significant other, much like a job, ties you down. It can be fulfilling and enriching, to say the least, but it also narrows your possibilities and the direction your life will take. So if you’re feeling down because you wish you had someone to curl up with regularly, I say this: instead of trying to find someone, enjoy yourself and the possibilities your freedom gives you. Maybe this isn’t the time for you to domesticate (to whatever degree, I’m not saying picket fence it up with someone), and you’ll get more out of this time in your life if you go out and do the things you probably won’t be able to later.
So, for you, I give this brief list of things I did because I allowed myself to not be tied down:
- Cross country road trip. Twice, both North and South. Also both coasts, and four times between Texas and California.
- Took a train across the country. I could go on, but the point is: I went a lot of places in a lot of fun ways.
- Lived in an intentional community and made irreplaceable, deep friendships with amazing people while learning how to farm. Also learned that goats are awesome.
- Made a film about my favorite bands in Austin, becoming friends with many of them in the process.
- Went to Edinburgh twice, took many photos, listened to lots of Belle and Sebastian, and made amazing dinners with one of my best friends.
- Lived in a whole lot of cities, hopped around a whole lot more.
- Perfected red velvet cupcakes. I could have done this anyway, but it was still an adventure.
Most importantly, I was able to make my own decisions. When the idea of moving to a new city came up, I had a choice. I wasn’t tied down. Of course, for all I know, you may have a special someone who is full of adventure and would go with you, or you with them. Or you may just prefer the adventure of staying home and trying out new knitting patterns. I say that with no snark, let’s be clear: knitting is most certainly an adventure, and if you don’t think it is, I will fight you to the death (or at least until one of us gets tired).
All I’m saying is, the world is filled with opportunities. Don’t feel that you need to couple up with someone just because it’s something expected, or glorified. Relationships are hard work, and while sharing yourself with another person is a wonderful, rich experience, the opportunity will also arise several years from now. Hopping a plane to Ireland so you can see a Fionn Regan show and run around green hills will not. And the experiences you have while grabbing your life by the horns will change you in ways you can’t even think of now, but will likely influence who you end up with in the long run, and for the better.
It’s OK To Be A Lone Ranger.
Photo found on http://behindthatfairfacade.tumblr.com/