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The Benefits of Being Single and Single-Minded: A College Student Shares Her Perspective

There are countless reasons for wanting a boyfriend or girlfriend. Yet a relationship by its very definition means you forsake a certain degree of independence. In these four short years, that can be a crippling thing. The single life isn’t an excuse for scandalous behavior, but it’s not in the way of your collegiate fulfillment, either. I actually think it helps. And, OK, I may be happily dating someone who accepts the strangeness my appearance belies, but I do recognize what I’ve given up to be his other half.

To start, being single means you answer only to yourself, whereas in a relationship, you are no longer solely an individual. You’re one-half of a pair and automatically labeled as so-and-so’s girlfriend or boyfriend. It might be more difficult to retain your sense of individuality (think How I Met Your Mother’s Marshall and Lily). For better or worse, your opinions may converge with your significant other’s after spending so much time together.

You’ll also have to rely only on yourself. Being too dependent on anyone is a lose-lose situation for all parties involved.

You can make choices based exclusively on what would benefit you most when you aren’t emotionally tied to another person. What’s best for your relationship isn’t always what’s best for the individual. Decisions like studying abroad or applying to grad school, and where to live…

Read more: Sarah Ang, USA Today

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