One Isn’t the Loneliest Number

Christine Hsieh/Photography Intern

Breakups are the worst. The crying, the heartbreak, the exchanging of sweatshirts and toothbrushes left behind in the aftermath.With the memories of your happier times as a couple burned into your brain, it is amazing that we continue to survive our breakups.Then you realize that once again, you are single: numero uno, riding solo, drumming to the beats of your one-man band.

After about a day of declaring to everyone you meet that you are the most independent person on the planet and relationships are just silly, instead you realize surrounding you in every possible square inch of this campus, are couples.

Don’t get me wrong, I love Love. I love the idea of being in love, of soul mates, of romance and of destiny but like any single, practical and independent woman, the second that I begin to be surrounded by couples, I just about want to drop-kick them and their cuddliness.

You see, I’m not normally an angry person, so it came as quite shocking to me when I started developing these feelings.

While in a couple, I could have cared less about the couple behind me nuzzling noses and staring into each other’s eyes while waiting to order at Starbucks. But now, it takes every ounce of my self-control to not whirl around and yell at them to stop it. That gazing into each other’s eyes without blinking will ruin their contact lenses and nuzzling noses will only spread germs. I mean, really couples, give the PDA a break!

But couples are everywhere. They are at the movies, in class together, eating together, standing in line together, on sidewalks, in buses, sitting on benches, running around campus, reading books, going shopping, scuba diving, rock climbing — you name it, they are there. To add to that, they are holding hands throughout all activities together; an act I used to think was impossible in many situations.

How couples still seem to hold hands while taking notes in class is beyond me. It is like the couples of the world have become super-glued together, leaving us singles fighting the urge to run through their linked arms and watch them panic once their cramped little hands have now been freed.

I just can’t shake them. I constantly think that Noah’s Arc is about to arrive and I didn’t get the memo to pair off. Although being in a couple is amazing, I wondered why not being in one made me feel like an outcast from an elite club.

Although I tried to fight such a feeling, I constantly kept thinking that by not counting as two in a couple, instead of being seen as one, I counted for zero.

When we step back from the loathing of couples and their nicknames and matching outfits, we have to ask ourselves, who is really the one making us feel like we don’t count as a number?

Although we wish that we could point the finger at everyone else, like our friends that are in relationships or our exes, the true culprit is ourselves.

I realized that it is okay to be mad because it is very hard to be constantly reminded by others of a relationship that I once had and loved. But at those moments when I feel like I just can’t take anymore, when I feel like the sight of one more couple holding each other outside of class is about to send me over the edge, I have to remind myself that through all the urges to pinch them, being single means that I am learning to better myself for when love does come around.

Being single doesn’t mean that I am outcast or a geek — although at times it might feel like that. Being single means that I am refusing to settle. Being single means that things didn’t work out but I’m not going to give up trying. Being single means that I get to meet lots of new people. Being single means being fabulous all on my own, and, that all sounds pretty wonderful.

Sure, I don’t have an exit buddy to board Noah’s Arc with right this minute but that doesn’t mean that the right animal won’t ever show up; it might just be taking them a little time to get there.