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Opinion: Spending the summer single is good for self-improvement, friendships

Have a problem with love or life in general? Send Ogonna your questions at askogonna@gmail.com and get them answered here in her column. You can also tweet her at @askogonna.


Reader: What’s your advice on being single?

Ogonna: I don’t know about you, but seeing fancy pictures of summer weddings and cute dates can remind a girl of her tragic love life — or in my case, a lack of any love life to begin with. I’ve realized that being single in summer can be the worst of times or the best of times, but it’s up to us to make that decision.

Some people say being single is a time to be selfish. I’d like to say being single is a time to be self-focused. Look at the goals you are setting for yourself and think of how much more time you have to work towards achieving them. Not that being in a relationship can’t be a source of encouragement for setting goals, but maybe the timing isn’t right for you because you have other things to accomplish.

They say that who you are alone is only amplified when you’re in a relationship. Insecurities, strengths, personality and mannerisms are all heightened when you have another person’s characteristics to balance as well. Take the time you have before you meet the love of your life (or week) to grow and develop into the type of person you would want to date. If you’re not happy with who you are alone, how can you expect another person to be? If you want to be in a healthy spot in your life when you’re in a relationship, start now. Don’t change yourself in order to get another person, but change what you want to see in yourself. When you attract another person, it will be because you are unapologetically yourself.

Besides taking the time to build self confidence, have fun! I personally don’t think we as a generation date enough. I don’t mean hooking up or meeting at parties. If that’s your thing, go for it. But I’m talking about old school dating with a modern twist. Going out just the two of you, to a place or activity both of you enjoy and just having fun. That means living in that moment, paying attention to your date’s words and not your phone, and trying to form a real connection with that person. Of course, the night could spark some magic. The start of a new relationship could begin with a kiss goodnight, but it could also just be one really nice night out that you enjoyed. Can’t two people just go out and have fun anymore without it being such a big deal? Either way, being single means you are at liberty to decide how much or how little you want to date, and I think that’s a beautiful thing.

Lastly, look to your friends for true companionship. I honestly believe my closest friends are meant to be my true life partners. I don’t have to think twice about what I’m wearing or what I say. I am free to be a goofball and a mess and my truest self around them. While I hope this will also be the case when I’m in a relationship too, for the time being, I am happy being single with my friends, family and Netflix. They know the real me and accept me for who I am (especially Netflix).

If you got that summertime sadness that Lana Del Rey sings so highly of, know you’re not the only one. It’s okay to sulk from time to time. We all get that way. But don’t let the fact that you don’t have a significant other determine your happiness. Be wild, be free, be everything you want to be. Sooner or later, you’ll find someone who enjoys every piece of you for just being you.

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