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6 Reasons Not to Stress About Being Single

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WOMAN ALIVE
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As a 26-year-old young professional who's been single a decent portion of my life, the topic of companionship has become an all too familiar water cooler discussion. Who's "the one?" Where can I find him? And of course, when is he freaking coming?

With the myth of the professionally single female professional, batting off potential suitors at each promotion, finding love is no easy feat for a career-driven woman on the go. Oh, and heaven forbid you're single, successful and black, well you're dealing with a whole other CNN special.

Everybody needs somebody sometimes, and single or not I think we all can relate to the feeling of wanting to be loved. But just how many times do we need to second that emotion? Somewhere in the midst of lackluster Tinder convos, closeted OKCupid anarchists (yes, this really happened), and man-scooping happy hours disguised as young professionals meet-ups, it hit me. In the time us girls spend looking for so-called love, many times we inadvertently neglect the greatest love of all, ourselves.

Being alone does not mean you have to be lonely. And it certainly doesn't mean you have to spend every waking hour looking for someone to share your alone time with. It simply means you have more time than the paired people of the world to devout to yourself and whatever else you feel like doing. Yes, you're high school clique is now down to two singles and your Facebook newsfeed is clogged with baby photos and engagement rings, but who cares. Pinterest the heck out of your homemade spinach salad, grab a glass of wine, cue the Netflix and call it a day. Until Mr. Right comes along, there's still plenty to smile about. Here are just a few reasons why living the single life ain't so bad:

1. Dates, Dates and More Dates
I equate going on dates with eating at a great buffet restaurant; there are potential items everywhere, you can have as much as you want and best of all, nothing goes home with you. This is one of the few times in your life you can be as big of a man-hopper as you want and not explain a thing to anyone. Part of the fun in being single is being able to test the waters of men before settling on just one.

2. #MarriedPeopleProblems
Don't get me wrong; I think marriage is great and I hope to one day be the Clair to some lucky guy's Cliff Huxtable. However from what I've heard, as thrilling as it is to share every aspect of your life with someone, it can be equally as annoying. From Saturdays afternoons debating paint swatches at the local Home Depot, to spending Memorial Day eating over-cooked chicken while debating who should have won American Idol with your spouse's friends and family, there's no rush to get to the altar, and it's not going anywhere. You only live once so enjoy your solo time while you can.

3. Granny Panties Are Always Welcome
Every day can't be a Vicky Secret's runway show. Besides, no one will see them but you, so who cares if you pair the polka dot green bra with the Angry Bird boy shorts?

4. Self-Grooming Is Optional
So this one depends on just how much you're committed to your singlehood. Take it too far and you're bound to be flying solo for a while. There's no need to sport a bushel under your armpits, but you are allowed to miss a shaving day and hair appointment every once in while.

5. Your Money, Your Rules
Call me crazy, but I'm not quite ready to report to the hubby or part-time boo why I felt the urge to treat myself to a mani-pedi or splurge on a new flat iron. If you're going to waste your money, why not waste it on yourself and at a time when no one needs to know but you? Relationships are expensive and can quickly put a strain on your bank account. Enjoy your financial autonomy while you can and save or spend your pennies without remorse. Bottom line: Your money, your problems.

6. You Have All the Time in the World to Focus on You
Relationships are great, but there's a reason you're not in one right now, and it may not necessarily be a bad thing. Look at it like this: How many times do we have the uninterrupted time to hone in on ourselves and put our own needs first? Once you're in a relationship, you have all the time in the world to focus on another person. Take this time to learn a little more about you: what you hate, what you like, where you're going and how you're going to get there. Cheer up, ladies, Mr. Right is out there and he'll come just when he's supposed to (they don't call him Mr. Right for nothing). But in the meantime, visit someplace exotic, spend a Saturday in your PJs, have an impromptu shopping spree, sleep in the middle of the bed and enjoy you.