I NEVER talk about being single on the internet. Honestly, I find it a person’s relationship status dreadfully boring. Someone’s relationship status tells you NOTHING definitive about them. There are so many far more interesting things to talk about! But on this Valentine’s Day week, I want to change the way we think about being single because, honestly, I LOVE it. Rather than viewing single as second-best, I want to share what I love about being single. And if you’re single, please comment one thing you love about it too in the comment box below! (PSA: Nothing in the post is to say being single is better than being in a relationship, just as I would never say being in a relationship is better than being single. Both are equally amazing experiences that offer different gifts that are all good.)

1. I have learned more about myself than ever before.
I’ve been single for years now. During those years I’ve fully realized how much I love British history, that I’m a huge fashion nerd, I don’t love pizza, I love advocacy work, and I want to see all the Wonders of the World by the time I’m 25. For the first time, I’m confident that I know myself better than anyone else knows me. My intuition is my second fluent language. I’ve grown extremely self-aware and am addicted to learning more about myself. I’ve thought through how I want to be treated. The opinions and beliefs I hold dear are purely mine own. Never will I have to wonder who I am outside of a marriage or family. At 24, my experiences have made me confident in knowing who I am, and I think it will be really cool to intentionally bring this whole person into a relationship one day.

2. I am the expert of my own finances.
Money will never be an area for which I’ll have to rely on someone else. I will always have an opinion on budgeting, saving and giving. As a woman, I’m proud to be a part of the wave of females who aren’t content leaving that up to a husband. (Although, I want to be clear that if that is the dynamic in your house or how you wish it to be in your future, that is equally as good. The future is about women having the option without being shoved into a role either way!)

3. I have been able to see what I’m made of.
While having a partner to encourage you through hard times is beautiful, I view it as just as much of a gift to be able to see how I face obstacles on my own. Those who fall in love early don’t get to experience this to the same extent. I have journals upon journals of me managing my pain’s healing and facing fear straight on. Being single has stretched in ways I never thought I would be. I’ve felt pain I would never wish on another. But that also means I’ve become more of a woman than I ever imagined I’d be. In hindsight, I used to expect so little of myself. But today, I surprise myself and surpass my own expectations of what I can handle, what I can come back from, and what I can accomplish in this life. I’m grateful I didn’t get married early on in life because, in my case, I would have settled for a smaller version of myself. I feel so protected by God that life didn’t unfold the way I thought it would so I could grow into the woman I am today.

4. I travel the world on a whim with no hesitation of feeling obligated to another.
I found out in late January that I will be going to India next week. There was a 3.5 week turn around time to get a visa and prepare for a huge international dream trip. And never for a moment was I slowed down to touch base with another person. I had the opportunity, was enlivened by the idea, and in 5 days will be on a jet plane heading to INDIA (Eat, Pray, Love — Hello!). What an honor and what a gift. One day, compromise and consideration of a partner will orchestrate most of my life, and it will be a good thing. However, until then, I’m going to move as fast and freely as I wish.

5. I have a unique collection of crazy experiences and stories.
Moving to Washington, DC without knowing anyone. Seeing most of the Wonders of the World in person. Sitting on the floor in Jordan sipping tea with women Trades of Hope is empowering women,. Spending time messaging women I barely know about business and confidence on Instagram rather than texting a boyfriend. I LOVE how I spend my days. I don’t have time to wish for someone to come into my life because I am intentional about filling my life to the brim with memories I will harbor forever. Basically, I want my kids to hear my stories and think I’m the coolest chick on the planet one day so I’m picking up experiences any where I can.

6. I am the hero of my own story.
The happy ending of my story will never be me meeting someone and falling in love. No way. That’s too easy for me. The happy ending is me feeling so whole in myself that I don’t want another person in my life to escape feelings of loneliness or hide any parts of me I don’t love. Most importantly, I don’t want to cheapen the sacred experience of a relationship by using it as a scapegoat from the discomfort and the extra weight of being single. No freaking way. I am only ever interested in a relationship of two whole, individual lives coming together because they can serve others so much better together than apart.

Friend, being single isn’t the consolation prize to not being in love. It’s a galaxy of crazy, satisfying, hard, beautiful, and wild moments that have been the most fruitful of my life. I am so incredibly proud of those moments. When I decide to enter a relationship one day, I want to be a little bummed that the single season is ending because I enjoyed it so, so thoroughly. What do you enjoy about being single?

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