It’s 2017, and being single continues to be seen as an undesirable lifestyle for most individuals. Many people think that if you don’t find a significant other by the time you’re thirty, you’re going to end up alone forever. Or even worse, you will turn into some crazy cat person.

I've had my fair share of serious relationships, exclusiveness, friends with benefits, just friends, and "tings" (thank you Drake for the distinction). I'll admit to being all over the dating spectrum when it comes to relationships. With nearly all my closest friends in serious commitments, there have been times where I've felt pressured to enter into one, even though I thoroughly enjoy being by myself. I realized that this feeling was completely normal, but it was time to change my outlook on being single. 

I started to take charge of my own happiness. I decided to stop trying to mimic the relationships that my friends had, forcing happiness with people I knew weren't good for me, and playing "Marvin's Room" whenever I felt lonely.

Once I changed my outlook, I genuinely started to enjoy spending time alone and thriving off of my own energy.

So why do so many of us have this mentality that being single sucks?

The media constantly bombards us with images of relationships. Whether through romantic comedies, extremely seductive fragrance ads, and alluring song lyrics, we are constantly exposed to images of #relationshipgoals. Nowadays, you can’t even log onto social media platforms without seeing posts of happy couples, engagement announcements, #mcms and #wcws. These depictions are very selective and only show an idealized idea of what a relationship should be. Keep in mind, that relationships are always more complex than what you see through photos or statuses. 

But, to those happy couples who are #relationshipgoals, I applaud you. Being in a relationship is awesome! But it's also important to talk about all of the reasons why being single is great as well. 

Here are a few tips that I used to start making the most of my life as a single gal. 

Start embracing yourself

Being single let's you fully focus on yourself and your life goals. Maybe you yearn to become a yogi, a gourmet chef, or just want to take on a new hobby. If you start pretending that your life partner at the moment is you, (because realistically, your only true life partner is yourself), look out for you and know your worth. Start loving yourself as much as you would love a significant other. Instead of trying to complete the "other half," we need to first complete ourselves.  

Do whatever you want

When you're single, you have a little more leeway to be self indulge in the activities you enjoy. You can make choices freely without really considering anyone else. My favourite activities to indulge in are kickboxing, meditating, and drinking wine. A little egocentric — I know, but when you are young you have the opportunity to focus completely on your self-care. So travel to that one place YOU have always wanted to go, indulge in meals that YOU like, and do all the things that make YOU happy. Besides, it really isn't selfish if there is only you to care for. 

Recognize that you are not alone

Chances are, you have family, friends, co-workers, teachers, role models, pets, and many more individuals that you can focus your attention on. You will have plenty of time to spend with your future S/O. But for now, focus on the individuals that are already in your life. And when you feel alone, reach out to those people.

Inspired by something your professor said? Speak with them after class. Interested in getting involved in a new club or sport? Message a current member. Read an article that caught your attention? Send the writer a message. There are so many opportunities to expand your social circle that don't involve searching for a romantic relationship.

Appreciate what you have

When your only thought at the moment is finding a significant other, it becomes difficult to appreciate everything you already have in your life. When you constantly yearn for something more, you often lose sight of all your blessings. Start showing gratitude for your family, friends, impressive grades, hard-earned job, hidden talents, the food in your fridge, and the roof over your head. Chances are you are taking what you have for granted by constantly searching for something more (like a relationship). 

There is no denying the fact that society places a tremendous amount of importance on being in a relationship. We often lose sight of the fact that it's perfectly okay to be single. Live your life. Have fun. Be happy. I promise that if you start embracing your single self, you will eventually find someone worth holding on to, if you want.