Why it's OK to not be in a relationship (and why it's OK to want one, too)

The dating world can bring on some pretty mixed emotions. Whether you're rocking that independent girlie lifestyle or are ready to take on an S.O., there always seems to be a battle between which one is "better" or  "right." The answer? There isn't one!

Dating starts with you—it's all about how you feel and what you want. Wherever you might be at in your love life, we're here to tell you why it's totally OK to thrive without a plus one and why wishing you were #relationshipgoals is fine, too.

Why it's OK to not be in a relationship

More time to explore your interests


We're just gonna say it: Dating is time-consuming. From overthinking the next flirty text to send to your crush to planning out *every* Friday night hangout sesh, having a romantic partner can definitely put a strain on your sched.

Taking on your teenage years sans S.O. gives you much more time to bond with other important people in your life, whether you're brunching with your besties or having a board game night with your parents. Not to mention that you'll have a lot more room in your planner to explore your hobbies and passions. (Photography club, anyone?) 

You are your own priority


While it's a wonderful feeling to give someone else that special standing in your life, the truth is, your relationship with yourself will *always* be the most important one you have. Putting yourself front and center will make it easier to weather anything life throws at you.

Even if you're waiting for the day you can post about your #relationshipstatus (and that day will come, babe!), being single in the meantime gives you the perfect opportunity to develop a great relationship with yourself. From focusing on your self-care this summer to working through mental health, body image or any other challenges, working on accepting yourself unconditionally will pay off big-time when you have that solid foundation of self-love to hold onto as you enter your first relationship.

Why it's OK to want one

Love is everywhere, literally


From love at first sight to even just the word soulmate, we have been learning about love and all the ah-mazing things it can add to our lives since we were little. So ofc it's normal to want that, too! Seeing relationships on social media and on the big screens (bc let's be real—the cutest moments always happen on TSITP regardless of whether you're team Conrad or Jeremiah) can definitely send butterflies to your stomach about the possibility of it being you one day.

And wanting love says good things about you!


Wanting romantic love means you're in touch with your emotions and eager for human connection.

Looking for things you might have in common with another person probably means you're an empathetic person. And wanting to love someone else says that you're kind, caring and dedicated. Having an S.O. in your life is a commitment, but it's one you've already decided you're interested in taking on.

Follow @girlslifemag on TikTok for ALL the relatable content!

Looking for more relationship advice? Look no further...
💘 The shy girl's guide to flirting
💔 4 relationship red flags they might not be the one
💝 The perfect summer date idea based on your love language

Top image: @itsashleykimchi
Slider image: @jordyn_lenae
All GIFs via GIPHY


by Annika Chaves and Ava Slocum | 7/22/2024