Gift of singleness

Everywhere we go, we are surrounded by depictions of love. Whether it’s in the media we consume or the constant stream of engagement and wedding posts in our social media feeds, we are inadvertently left with the message that we must be in a relationship to find fulfillment.

Each day it seems like another friend posts a photo with a wedding hashtag commemorating their upcoming name change, or a new Ed Sheeran song comes out with the most romantic lyrics, reminding girls of their absent love life.

As if the media and our peers weren’t enough of a reminder of singleness, family members ask with anticipation when a significant other will be joining at the next family event.

All of these reminders add to the pressure on members of the single community that “Mr. Right” has not come along yet.

Every single college student, including myself, knows this struggle all too well; the sting of watching other’s love lives unfold while we are waiting in vain, wondering if we will ever find a significant other.

As a member of the human race, it is our very nature to crave love and desire a sense of belonging to someone else.

According to an article by “Psychology Today” on Roy Baumeister and Mark Leary’s study conducted in 1995, humans “Are ‘naturally driven toward establishing and sustaining belongingness.’”

The belongingness they talk about does not mean physically owning someone but the feeling of complete “That the need to belong is a fundamental human need to form and maintain at least a minimum amount of lasting, positive and significant interpersonal relationship,” Baumeister and Leary said.

It is a fundamental part of human nature to desire to have a significant other and to be accepted.

A lack of belonging, as explained by Baumeister and Leary, increases our chance of physical and mental illness, therefore making us more prone to feeling like we are living less fulfilling lives.

With this being said, the desire to find a significant other is a good thing that can increase the vigor in your life, but becoming obsessive over having a significant other is a dangerous place to be.

When we focus all of our attention on finding our soulmate, we miss the adventure and opportunity we have today during our singleness.

Being a single college student doesn’t necessarily mean a time of loneliness, but instead a time of being able to pour into your friendships, classes and work. You can take the time you need to freely grow and experience life as a young adult without the responsibility of spending a substantial amount of time with a significant other.

There is a time and place for every season in life. For some, the time to be in love and pursue marriage is now, but for others the gift of today is being single. The task at hand is to make the most of who you are at each season you approach in life.

Singleness isn’t a curse that you should fret; it is a beautiful season where you can flourish.