Single and Strong

Sarah Margulis Valentine’s Day used to be in my top two holidays, just behind Halloween. I love the idea of devoting a day to all things sweet and cute. Who doesn’t want to have a Valentine? Emotional intimacy, romantic or platonic, is something we all crave as part of human nature. On a biological level, this makes sense. Humans are more likely to survive in groups than alone. Therefore, for the human race, companionship is a defense mechanism against extinction. That said, this desire isn’t always functional, especially in modern society. Unhealthy relationships continue because of the urge people feel to be in a relationship, any relationship. Psychology shows that frustration is just a surface-level consequence of unhealthy relationships. Unhealthy relationships create feelings of emotional suffocation and bar personal growth. I encourage readers to think about the relationships they’re in and evaluate the motivations behind them. The fact is, relationships based on validation are doomed. Sometimes you’re better off alone. This past summer, I decided to focus exclusively on school and myself. It wasn’t satisfying at first, given that I expected an Elle-Woods-style transformation. I was making progress, but was unaware of it because of its slow pace. I grew more confident. Obviously, my eyes still notice attractive passersby, but I don’t give it much thought. These results made me more determined to continue prioritizing my goals. My grades went up significantly. I reconciled with the reality that some friendships will grow apart. The future feels really bright. I’d still like to have a Valentine, but I know that I don’t need one. It’s okay to be single and normal to feel lonely. Those things shouldn’t define a person. Statistics say I will fall in love, a time I look forward to but am not waiting for. With or without an “other half,” I am whole.            ]]>