Opinion: Being Alone is Nothing to Atone For


Eri Leong

Staff Writer Aubree Campbell enjoys her alone time.

I have had one boyfriend in the 22 years of my life.

The relationship lasted a grand total of six months until I took the initiative and ended it. A vital lesson was learned from the experience. I was simply not ready for a relationship. But then I began to think more deeply. I enjoyed his personality, but I didn’t find him attractive, nor did I see a future with him. Six months later, I realize that I probably wanted a boyfriend because everyone else had one.

It took a breakup for me to learn that being alone is acceptable. And I am in no rush to find a partner.

Apparently, many others have a similar stance as 31% of U.S. adults say they are single, according to Pew Research Center. Single is defined as having not been married, nor living with a partner or in a committed relationship. Of the self-identifying singles, 41% are between the ages of 18-29, Pew reported. It is comforting to know that I am not alone as a single 22-year-old, and others should know that being single is more common than it seems.

People describe me as an independent person who prefers to be alone. While in high school, the majority of my friends had multiple boyfriends. But I paid them no mind. Boys were the least of my worries compared to my education, hobbies, and competitive sports. Therefore, it did not matter whether I was single during a time where many individuals commenced to date. That way of thinking continues to this day.

As a woman in her early 20s, there is much to accomplish. I would like to receive my college education, find and work in a stable occupation, and become self-sufficient, all things that I would like to focus on without distraction. However, with a relationship comes responsibility and unpredictable possibilities such as children. Sorry, but I will not care for and love another person if I can barely take care of myself.

In a moment of weakness due to peer pressure from family and friends, I succumbed to some self-inflicted pressure and decided it was finally time to date someone. I commenced my first relationship at 21. At the time, I was proud to inform others of my boyfriend. Finally, I was up to speed with the self-inflicted time frame placed on myself by myself. After six months, a clean breakup and some self-reflection, I am proud to say, “I love the single pringle life!”

Contrary to my prior belief, relationships do not magically solve your problems. I depended on another for love, for confidence, for comfort. When I learned to rely on myself, I became much more comfortable with remaining single.

My definition of a stable relationship is finding someone who complements you rather than someone to depend on. Although you may be a couple, you remain your own person at the end of the day. With that said, relationships are to be taken seriously. It is a decision to be made when you are ready, not when others believe you to be prepared.

I simply haven’t found an individual with whom I am compatible. I will not commit to a reckless relationship, effectively wasting both my partner’s and my own time. Instead, I would like to be head over heels in love, not settling for someone just to say I’m in a relationship. And for that, I am willing to be patient.