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Single and Loving It

By Danchai Mekadenaumporn

features columnist

“What’s so great about being single?”

I used to ask myself this when I was in a relationship. My friends would revel in their singleness; they’d tell me that they couldn’t be tied down in a relationship like me. I wondered what they saw in that life and I just told myself that they didn’t know what they were missing.

I think I ask myself that question a lot more these days. I’ve been single for six months, and I’m starting to see what my old self never did. Sure, there were things that were great about being in a relationship. You always had someone to be with on the weekends. You could feel sorry for all those people who envied you because you had such a great girlfriend. You felt like you were more desirable because you were “a forbidden fruit.”

I suppose that I’ve always been a relationship type of guy, but being single has given me an entirely new perspective. If there’s one word that can sum it all up, this is it: freedom.

When you’re single, you have the freedom to do whatever the hell you want whenever the hell you want. There’s a select few of you who are engaged in open relationships or just have really cool girlfriends.

For the rest of you, it’s just another clichÉ: you’re stuck with the ball and chain. You end up making excuses about why you can’t go out with the guys: you have to meet her friends, it’s your two and a half month anniversary, or you’re being forced to go watch the ballet.

As a single man, the only person you are accountable to is yourself. You don’t have to leave the toilet seat down, remember birthdays, holidays, or anniversaries. You don’t have to go shopping for shoes when you’d rather be watching the game and you’re not responsible for taking her out to Top of the Hub for Valentine’s Day.

This might sound really selfish, but being single means that I don’t have to spend money on anyone besides myself. Actually, that’s the point of being single; you can be totally selfish and not have to feel guilty about it. (This is, of course, in the context of being single as opposed to being taken. Laws still apply, so you’re still accountable to society at large.)

Dating is possible again. Yes, when you’re in a relationship you can go on dates. However, once you get comfortable, they cease to be a big deal. The single life allows you to experience everything for the first time, every time. Everything is still new and exciting. You can go on a first date every week; butterflies and goosebumps are still in effect. That tingling feeling after a first kiss, the ambiguity of passing glances, and the entire courting system are back into action.

Of course, you can also feel better about flirting, messing around, hooking up, engaging in play, etc. The guilt is gone, the freshness is here, and you can kiss a new girl every weekend, provided you have that kind of skill. You also don’t have to worry about the upkeep that goes into a relationship.

Have you read any of my other columns? It’s like a full time job trying to make sure two people who are together aren’t constantly at each other’s throats. Eventually people fight. You’ve seen those couples at restaurants, parties, and around campus. They’re giving each other the silent treatment, looks of contempt, or they’re ignoring each other completely. Who wants that kind of stress? Not me, not right now. I’ve got enough work to do as it is.

With all of this evidence, you must be wondering why single people can’t seem to find peace in their solitude. Sometimes people end up truly believing that the “grass is greener.” Others may just fear being alone. There are still others who look for people to complement the qualities they themselves lack.

I think it’s because society drills it into your head that you must be a loser if you can’t find someone to be with. They produce countless movies, books, and songs about falling in love, being in love, and riding off into the sunset to live happily ever after. It’s all pretty sickening.

Don’t misunderstand me -- I’m not bitter about love or relationships, and I don’t hate women. I’m actually waiting around for the right person just like all of you. However, all I’m saying is that if you enjoy the time that you have while you’re single, the time that you spend in a relationship will be that much better.

Now who would argue against that?