25 Things To Do Before You’re 25: Fall In Love (and, Ironically, 7 Reasons Why I Love Being Single)

Welcome back, explorers!

Time for another post from the list! This one’s a bit unorthodox, but I promise there’s a point to all this. I thought for a long time on how to write this blog. I don’t want to air any dirty laundry, but I still want to talk about the more important (the only one, really, if i’m being honest) relationship in my life. I’ve thought and thought and i’ve decided to form my thoughts on falling in love and relationships into a handy dandy list. Since the internet (and I) love lists.

Now right off the bat, let me just say that i’m not an expert on love or relationships, obviously, nor do I think that I am. I also am aware that there are tons of lists similar to this floating around on the internet. I am still further aware that not everyone is going to agree with what I say here. Not everyone has to. Everyone makes their own choices based on what they feel is best for them, and everyone chooses their own path, and the speed at which they take their journey. Some people are content to put the pedal to the medal on the express way and go speeding right on by, but i’ll tell you right now I’m a much bigger fan of taking the road less traveled and stopping to take in the view. If that doesn’t really sound like something you’re into, then you’ve been warned.

39804_429448013215_537858215_4783489_2398304_n Ahh the road less traveled. She’s a beaut.

I’ve always thought that I’m pretty practical when it comes to men and relationships. When in elementary school, I strongly believed that boys had cooties, as one should. Then in middle school I was WAAAY too awkward and confused about what the hell my body was up to (I’m supposed to shave my legs now? Since when? How? WHHHYY?) to worry about boys. Then in high school when most of my friends were highly concerned about not having boyfriends (god forbid if it was near Valentines Day. UGH.) I was honestly having none of it. Most likely much to the relief of my Pop. You’re welcome by the way, Pop. Don’t get me wrong I noticed guys then. I was voted biggest flirt one year in marching band. A sentence, i’m sure, that is highly humorous for most people to read. Also, i’ve never been sure if that is something that I should be proud of.. or? So…. sorry for that one, Pop. Anyway, I noticed boys, but aside from finding one to escort me to the various high school dances and whatnot, I just never really was that interested. I didn’t really start dating until college.

IMG_0070 College. The good ol’ days with the ol’ house mates.

I casually dated people on and off, a lunch here or a hangout there. Apart from two very short lived relationships I had my sophomore and junior year, it was mostly just causal flirtations and a tryst or two. Until the summer after my junior year when I met the guy who would end up being the only guy in my life (so far, of course) that made me want to be stick around. He was cute, funny, smart, and just as weird as I am. We ended up dating for almost 2 years, with a break in the middle when I went to Switzerland to study abroad and shit hit the fan, but not bad for my first actual relationship. In the end when we broke we just weren’t the same people who met two years before. We wanted different things in life, and had different approaches on how we were going to get there. I have always been a free spirit, and i’ve become quite a wanderer. I get that that can be frustrating for some people, but it’s who I am. If I learned nothing else from that relationship (I learned a lot of things actually. I’ve always been a glass half full kinda gal. I think you can learn something from even the worst of situations.) I learned that just because two people don’t work anymore, it doesn’t make either of them wrong or their relationship bad. I won’t be ashamed of who I am and my flaws and mistakes because that makes me… me. I’m not mad at him, although he may be still mad at me. I don’t know. I’m also no longer going to apologize for breaking things off. It wasn’t working, and the fact that I saw it first just makes it my burden to bear. He’ll always be my first love, but he will also be the first guy who ever made me cry. I will always be thankful for the time we had together because I learned so much about myself and about relationships, but I wouldn’t change the eventual outcome.

IMG_3690 Just me being weird ol’ me. Courtesy of the past experiences that have brought me here.

I think it is really important to be in a serious relationship and to fall in love at some point in your young life. If you don’t, no big. But I really do think you learn a lot about yourself, and what you do and do not like, by being in a relationship. It is especially important for when you get into more serious relationships later on.

But what am I trying to say here? What is the point of all this and that? We all want to find love at some point in our lives. For some people it comes very quickly and they are happy to settle down and start a family right away, hence the ‘peddle to the meddle’ analogy in the beginning. So here’s the point i’m trying to make. As much as I do think relationships can be really good for you and help you grow as a person, i’m also not at all one of those ‘peddle to the meddle’ people. I truly enjoy being single. Sure, some day I would like to get married and have a partner in crime, but that day isn’t right now. I’m still reaching towards my own goals and dreams, and to be completely honest i’m not ready to share that with anyone yet. Some people might call that selfish, immature, fickle. Fine. Call it what you may. I won’t judge you for wanting to settle down early and have 2.5 kids right away, so don’t judge me because I choose to be carefree, remain single and go live in China for a year. Then go backpack southeast Asia and have the freedom to explore the beauty of meeting someone and sharing a beach with them under a Thai moon before they’re gone and become just a hot, beautiful memory. (Also, that didn’t actually happen, but boy do I wish it had.)

IMG_2856 Don’t lie to me, you know you want it too.

Do you see what i’m getting at here? I cherish the long term relationship that I had, but I’m happy it’s over. I think relationships are important, but that doesn’t mean I HAVE to be in one. I want to get married someday, but I love being single right now. And that’s ok! I will wait to meet someone who knows I don’t like grand romantic gestures like giant bouquets of flowers and chocolates, but would rather have him make me a lunch to take to work if he knows i’ll be there all day. I can’t wait to discover the person who can keep up with me when I get my hands dirty gutting a basement and later that night will don a dress for dinner. I can’t wait to find the guy who is intelligent, and confident enough in himself to know that simply because I speak with another man, it does not mean i’m flirting with him. Buck up gents, you’re the one I came here with, not the dude at the bar who asked me my name. I’ll settle down when I meet the man who isn’t going to profess his undying love to me after a week of us dating. I’m happy to wait for this man to come alone, but until then, face it, i’m happy to be single, wait it out, and not waste my time with someone I know isn’t going to be ‘the one’. Unless that someone is Joseph Gordon-Levitt. I’ll waste my time with him any day.
Joseph-Gordon-Levitt-joseph-gordon-levitt-34334848-640-960 AmIRight!?

So with that super long (sorry) intro here are…

7 Reasons Why I Choose to be (& Love Being) Single:

1.) My Calender is Mine and Mine Alone
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In a relationship:
“No, I would absolutely love to go to your friends house and watch you all play video games all day. There is nothing at all that I would rather be doing.”

Single:
Supernatural marathon on Netflix while I work on a new arts & crafts project? Don’t mind if I do. Impromptu girls night out on the town? I don’t have to check anyone else’s calender! Great concert to attend in a different city? Good thing I don’t have to also make sure my SO can go! I have so much time on my hands when i’m not making plans around anyone but myself.

2.) No Drama
IMG_1684 Note: Staged fight.

In a relationship:
“I didn’t text you back because I was in the shower! Also, I’m at work so stop texting me, and before you ask, no i’m not flirting with the new guy. Chill out.” Well now I’m getting yelled at for something I didn’t do. Fantastic.

Single:
….. Nothing. Blissful peace and quiet.

3.) I Can Look The Way I Want
IMG_5390
Wearing anything other than a shapeless shift is clearly the mark of a harlot!

In a relationship:
“You don’t want me to wear yoga pants when I go to the gym because they are too tight… but i’m going to yoga…so..”
“Look at this new white shirt I bought! Isn’t it cute? Well, I guess it is slightly see through because it’s … you know… a white shirt. Well i’m not returning it. Aaaand now we’re fighting.” Please refer to #2.

Single:
I can wear what I want, when I want. I can also do whatever I want to my hair or my body. If I want to get some new ink or dye my hair a funky color I can do so without worrying about whether or not my SO is going to like it. It’s my body, I’m sharing it with you out of the niceness of my heart and i’ll do with it what I please.

4.) I Can Look Out For Number One… All The Time
IMG_3637
This is my bowl of poutine, and you can’t have any of it!

In a relationship:
“I’m sorry ma’am i’m going to have to turn down the job offer because I can’t move to another city. My SO is unwilling to move with me and we will not be able to handle a long distance relationship.”

Single:
You can call it selfish if you want, but when i’m single I don’t have to worry about how my relationship is going to handle being long distance if I get offered a job or another opportunity in a different city. What if I find a great grad school program… but it’s in England? I don’t have to consider not applying because I don’t want to break up or force my significant other to have to move with me. The ability to do things that are best for me and my future is something that I don’t want to take for granted.

5.) Alone Time
IMG_0286
Just me and mother nature.

In a relationship:
“All I just want to do is relax, read a book in peace and quiet and unwind after my long day, but I know it will be a fight if I don’t come sleep over at your place.”

Single:
Sweet, blissful alone time, when and where I want it. No explaining, no excuses, no nonsense just very welcome alone time with me, myself and I.

6.) I don’t have to bother slogging through the vapid and annoying swamp of dating
IMG_1852
Hurry up! It’s almost Valentines Day, there’s gotta be a man in here somewhere!

In the dating world:
No more awkward talks about ending things.
No more 1st dates that end in painfully awkward goodbyes.
No more 2nd or 3rd dates that end in professions of undying love. YOU JUST MET ME! Pump the break a bit will ya? Or better yet, slam on them. That might work better.

Outside the dating world:
Instead of going around and around the endless race track of the dating world, I can live blissfully outside where I don’t have to explain why I don’t want to go on a date. Or why there is no way that you can be in love with me after only our 3rd date. I find it infinitely easier to just sit in the bleachers and watch the races go on until I find that i’m ready to pull on a helmet and speed off towards the finish line. And when that day comes…

7.) I have the Freedom To Do So If I Want
IMG_2409 So many men, so little time.

In a relationship:
Obviously, i’m in a relationship and can’t date other people. That’s called cheating and it isn’t a very nice thing to do.

Single:
Cute guy at the bar wants my number? Sure, why not. I’m single and can say yes or no as I see fit. How about moving forward in a situation that isn’t necessarily a date? Mr. Muscle guy at the gym wants a work out buddy? If you’re in a relationship that is pretty big no-no (unless you have the coolest dude ever). If you aren’t in a relationship, sweat away with Mr. Muscles as you see fit!

If I meet someone who happens to pique my interest I will decide if I want to move farther with them or not. But if I don’t happen to meet anyone who meets my interests then i’m probably not going to date. And you know what’s shocking?! There is nothing wrong with not dating anyone. Believe it or not, having standards is a good thing. Someone once told me I was too picky when it comes to the people I date. I, however, disagree. I’m not picky, I just know what I want and I know when someone isn’t it. I’m not going to date simply so I have a boyfriend. I don’t see the point in dating only to break things off in a few months having wasted their time and mine. I’ve done that and i’ve learned from it. My time is too precious, and so is theirs. This is why i’m perfectly happy with being single.

I know that eventually i’ll find someone who will go backpacking with me and not be repulsed by the relatively low  number of times I shower a  week. I know that someday a person will turn up who won’t judge me for spending my whole day with a scrapbook or my sewing machine cause they have their own hobbies. Eventually i’ll find someone who is willing to clean out my cat’s litter box when it’s trash night and i’m not home yet. I am aware that all of these examples make me sound very much like a cat lady, and so be it. In  the meantime I’m going to live it up while I can. There is a poem called Every Woman Should, the author of which is under debate, but when I stumbled upon it a while back one line stuck with me and continues to resonate.

‘Every woman should have a youth she is content to leave behind, (and) a past juicy enough that she’s looking forward to retelling it in her old age.’

I’m getting there, but i’m still not content enough to leave this youth behind.

Until next time, never forget
Adventure is out there, so never stop exploring.

Thoughts? Comments? Concerns that i’ll die alone surrounded by cats and fabulous shoes? I’m open to all your opinions!

XO,
Cristina

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2 thoughts on “25 Things To Do Before You’re 25: Fall In Love (and, Ironically, 7 Reasons Why I Love Being Single)

  1. Cristina, it’s very insightful! having fun in life is important~while enjoying you also need to develop the skill to get along with the world so that some day you can be a better one when you meet “the one”

    Like

  2. Pingback: 25 Things to Do Before You’re 25 | Pack Up and Go

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