I’m Not Lonely, I’m Single.

You break up. You get nostalgic. You “talk”. You kiss. You start seeing each other again. You fight. You run into each other at a party. You sleep together. You call each other at 1am. You “talk”. You stop sleeping together. You drunk text. You sleep together.

Okay, I think you get it. Maybe this type of pattern was just the unhealthiness of my ex boyfriend and I, but I’m pretty sure at least a few of you could relate. But what have all those games and messing around done to me? Well, they broke my heart, of course. But something positively profound came from it.

Now, I could tell you things like “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” or “with mistakes come lessons” but that’s not what this is about. Yes, all of that may be true, but something happens to your inner self when you finally find that balance between loneliness and codependence.

It’s called being single.

I came out of an, to put it the nice way, on and off two year relationship about three weeks back. The reason I’m saying I’m out of it and not just in yet another “off” phase is because I took a second to look at me rather than him.

Feeling lonely isn’t staying in by yourself on a Saturday night watching The Americans til 3am; feeling lonely is when you’re in bed with the man you love and he spends the entire night sleeping with his back toward you. Being codependent isn’t checking in with your partner to see how their day was; being codependent is not being able to go to class because you can’t go to a place without your partner.

Being single is the perfect balance.

It may have taken me 730 days and another boy to figure it out, but I did it. Now, this may seem contradictory when I say “another boy” yet quite the contrary. The sneaking around and late night booty calls could only be hidden for so long, and when the overly harsh criticisms of our friends starting pouring in, we both knew that was it. But who told those friends was the mystery. I could go on about the details of our fight and whose arguments were whose, but frankly I don’t care enough to tell you. And that should say a lot. The point is that we fought because our friends got involved and since we’re in the same friend group, high school petty drama began. Once again, no need to bore you with the details, but that’s when the switch went off. A big switch that lit up the whole room.

I was free.

I was free to do what I want and be who I want. If this kid wanted to try to control who I saw and what I did, let him think he can. But that’s where the motivation lies. I am a very empathetic person to the point where grudges are something I have never been able to hold, but with maturity comes responsibility and I’m responsible for me. Whoever wants to enable his immaturity, more power to you, but me? I’m me, and I am going to do whatever will make me genuinely happy.

You may be thinking, “spiteful”, which is why I used the word “genuinely”. I can be happy making my ex boyfriend jealous or being closer to his friends than he is, but why would I continue to live my life surrounded around him? I took that step that would probably get me yelled at by him and all my friends, but three years in the making told me otherwise.

Yes, I had sex with his fraternity brother but no, it was not out of spite. Sexual tension is real ladies and gentlemen, even when you are in love with someone else and in a committed relationship. Whether or not you act on it defines who you are. I did not act on it. Neither of us did. Well…. Okay, maybe he did a time or two but I don’t think he meant it due to his inability to focus on an object (alcohol). But I shot him down each and every time like the great girlfriend I am. But this time I was no ones girlfriend, just a girl with needs who wanted to see what college had to offer.

“We’ve waited three years for this; I can’t believe this is actually happening!” (Sexual tension is real kids!). This was for me. This was something I wanted to do for a while; and yeah sure, maybe my ex boyfriend finding out wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world but that’s not because of spite, which I didn’t realize until the next day.

My heart has never felt so free before in my life. And sadly, I mean that literally. Once again, I’m not going to vent the specifics to you. But what I do want you all to know is that being single has made me the happiest I’ve been in a long while.

Constantly worrying about where or what someone so close to you is doing every minute of every day, making sure you’re not hurting anyone’s feelings by doing something you want to do, having the consistent battle of whether to trust an untrustworthy person… The list could go on and on, but as much joy as all that negativity brought, I NEVER had time to find myself and do things for me. This may seem a bit broad, but living with someone for a year and a half in college hinders your ability to do things on your own. (We didn’t actually live together but I only slept in my own bed by myself about once every two months — and that’s being generous). We’ve been each other’s booty calls for about nine months now because I was too scared to let go and not live my life for another person.

Now, I am living my life the way I wanna live it in a way that puts me first. The old me would have gone out of my way to study at the same library as he did at the same time as he did or go to the same bar on the same nights that he did; but the new me can do my homework in the comfort of my own futon and try a new bar every weekend with my best friends. Sure, I sit here writing this on a Thursday night while all my friends are out thinking about how much I miss the man I love or loved (still unsure), but that doesn’t mean shit to me anymore.

I don’t sit anymore here feeling sorry for myself and throwing a pity party, I sit here now Netflix and chilling with my favorite beer because it’s the most relaxing thing of my week. I don’t sit here anymore stalking his social media accounts, I sit here now emailing my best friend in Morocco. I stopped planning my life around him and instead got a internship, a certificate in clinical psychology, a UTA position, and a volunteer position all while looking at grad school programs.

THIS is what being single is.

THIS is what living life for myself is.

I hope you all take after my example and start doing you. It is the only thing that will change your life for the better. (Unless you’re into drugs or something then that’s not good and you probably should stop doing you — but you get my point). I have never been more comfortable in my own skin and I haven’t had this bad of acne since freshman year of high school! (Sadly true). But the best part is, dreaming about him calling me asking to get back together or even me meeting a new guy and falling in love at first sight is not something I want right now. I don’t want to have to worry about anyone but myself, cause face it honey, I’m a lot of work.

And that, right there, is when you know you’re single and not lonely.