It’s a universal truth: change is usually scary. When it comes to relationships, change is even scarier – especially if you’ve become used to the way things are. As for me, I was pretty used to being in a relationship after three and a half years. As it often happens though, change barreled its way into my life and for the last few months, I’ve found myself in quite the unfamiliar position of being single. Even writing that word feels odd because it’s such a foreign concept to me (as I imagine it would be to most girls in my situation), so I’ll just call it the “s” word. I hadn’t qualified as the “s” word since I was in my freshman year of high school, so I can definitely speak from experience when I say that this was certainly a change that fell into the “scary” category.
However, just because something is scary doesn’t mean it’s a wholly bad thing. In fact, change can be a good thing in a multitude of ways. My particular change was a mix of both. Of course I felt sad about my situation, but who wouldn’t? Even though my relationship didn’t end on a bad note, the thought of such a huge chapter of my life ending was still pretty devastating. However, the change I experienced also benefitted me in plenty of ways. I learned that I’m not one half of a whole, but a whole person myself – and I think that’s something everyone should learn in their life. There’s a difference between appreciating the support you get from a significant other and relying on someone else entirely, and it definitely took ignoring my fear and embracing the “s” word to understand that.
Besides the significant, life-altering realizations that can come with a change, I want to talk about the nuances of the “s” word lifestyle that completely caught me off guard. For example, for the first month or so of being the “s” word, I often forgot I was the “s” word in the first place. I still referred to my “boyfriend” (even though I didn’t have one), and I felt unreasonably guilty for merely looking at other guys. I had to remind myself that I didn’t have any reason to feel guilty, and that even though everything about being the “s” word felt unnatural, it was actually my new normal. It’s been a few months now, and I’ve fully accepted and embraced that, but it definitely took some time. That’s the thing, though: it’s okay if it takes some time to get used to a change, especially one as significant as the end of a long-term relationship. I also took full advantage of the amazing friends I have and the support they’ve given me. Not to say that one can’t have a boyfriend and also have close relationships with friends, but in my case, it took becoming the “s” word for me to truly appreciate how unbelievably lucky I am to have the friends I do.
There are plenty of things to be scared of when it comes to change, and when that change means being single for the first time in your young adult life, it can be extra scary. However, hopefully I can serve as an example of how the “s” word isn’t that scary at all. For me, becoming the “s” word opened me up to the importance of self-reliance and to closer relationships with my friends – two things that I’m not sure I would have achieved otherwise. My point is, single is just a word, and even though it may feel weird at first, you should embrace it. It’s really not that scary after all!
– originally posted to Her Campus UCF –