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  • Grace

10 Things That Matter More Than Having A Boyfriend - Lifestyle Tips for Single Black Women

Cuffing season is well underway. It feels like everyone except for you has found someone to snuggle up with on these cold winter nights, including your crazy next door neighbor and your unlucky-in-love best friend. You’re lonely and desperate—at this point you’ll take anybody. Well, I’m about to convince you that you’re going to be totally fine on your own. Yes, you read that correctly. You can be entirely happy on your own. That’s because there are a million things that matter more than whether or not you have a bae by your side, and you’ve got all of them.

Bossing Up and Achieving Your Dreams and Aspirations

Nothing is more empowering than having a goal, working towards it and achieving it. There is something unique that only you can bring to the world and half the fun is figuring out what it is and showing it off to everyone! Have dreams to become the next big comedian? Start by honing your skills at a local comedy club or some open-mic night events. The important thing is to never let your fear of failure stop you from dreaming big. The recipe for achieving great things in life is actually pretty simple: all you need is a dream, perseverance and some smaller, achievable step-by-step goals.

Building A Sisterhood of Badass Professional Women Like Yourself

Try getting through the rest of your life without a bestie to share your deepest, darkest secrets with. It’s just not doable! The saying “sisters before misters” rings especially true this time of year, when it seems like everybody’s in a relationship but you. But there’s no reason to be down. Friendships are ridiculously underrated in western culture, but that doesn’t mean they’re any less significant than romantic relationships. Just like we celebrate Valentine’s Day for couples, there should also be a national holiday for those special friends who help make your life a little bit easier and a lot more fun. This season, take the time to appreciate the friends you do have and don’t forget to shower them with lots of love!

Traveling Abroad and Making Unforgettable, Instagram-Worthy Memories

Nevermind having a boyfriend – travel is the way to go! You can always settle down and have a family later, but you’ll never be as young as you are now. Get out into the world and travel while you’re healthy, not when you’re 40-something with an aching body and 3 kids. Travel exposes you to a variety of different foods, languages, cultures and gives you the opportunity to make friends all around the world! In the future, when you look back on your college years, you’ll have long forgotten your on-and-off college boyfriend. What you will remember, however, is the life-changing trip you took to Fiji or that time you went shark-cave diving in Australia.

Becoming A Pro At One (or Several) of Your Hobbies

The benefits of having a hobby are endless. I’m a personal testament to the fact that developing your interests and talents can help keep you young, sexy and stress-free. This past year, I’ve been working really hard to make sure my happiness isn’t all wrapped up in a guy because happiness shouldn’t depend only on the people in your life, but on your skills, interests, goals and aspirations too. Now I can honestly say that I’d much rather spend an afternoon playing the ukulele or bungee jumping, instead of staying home and wishing for a boyfriend or pining over a guy.

Being Your Smarty-Pants Self and Learning New Things

Being single leaves you with loads of free time to challenge your mind and develop new skills. The most successful people in life are those who have taken the time to master a few really important skills. While being in a relationship doesn’t mean you can’t learn new things, it does mean that you’ll have less time to devote to learning Swahili or to learning how to knit and crochet (which are both insanely fun!).

Your Family (Even If They Drive You Insane Sometimes)

Growing up, my parents always stressed how important family was. Even more so than friends and boyfriends, family was the most important thing and to this day, it has remained my first priority above anything else. They may drive you crazy, but as Jim Butcher once said, “There’s nothing that makes you more insane than family. Or more happy. Or more exasperated. Or more…secure.”

Your Dog (or Cat)

Pets are truly family and there are a million reasons why having a dog is better than having a boyfriend. Dogs are always excited to see you when you come home, they love to give sloppy, affectionate kisses, and they have hilarious, goofy personalities that will forever keep you laughing. They never get an attitude and you don’t have to worry about whether or not they’ll leave you for the next pretty girl they see. Their love is unconditional and there’s only one drawback to having a pet: their lifespans are so short.

The Way You Treat People

Your character means way more than who you’re dating or who you’re friends with. Rather than focusing on whether or not you’re in a relationship, use your time to focus on your character. Do you treat everyone kindly? Do you judge people by their past, or help them develop their future? Do you build others up or tear them down? It’s important to be generous, kind and helpful, because you never know when it might be you who needs the favor. Even if you never need anything in return, help out of the goodness of your heart.

Whether You’re Healthy and Alive!

Whenever you feel down in the dumps about not having a boyfriend, make a list of all the things you’re grateful for. You’ll find that you have way more things to be thankful for than you realized, including your health. You may not always be this young and spry, so use your free time to give back to your community by volunteering or serving at your local food bank or animal shelter. Being thankful for the little things will make you feel tons better.

Your Safety

Don’t risk being in a relationship with someone you don’t feel comfortable with, or someone who physically, emotionally or mentally abuses you. You should never feel pressured to give up your personality, hopes or dreams for your partner. A little compromise is good, but if you find yourself constantly having to sacrifice for the sake of your partner, you may just be in a toxic relationship. In that case, it might be time to end the relationship and live the single life for a while. Your safety is important, even if it means being single for a bit (or a long while). Choose yourself first.

No matter what your great-aunt says, there’s no need to stress over whether or not you have a boyfriend. It’s 2018; girls are autonomous and independent. Relationships are only icing on the cake—and you’re a triple layered chocolate cake.

"Grace is a freelance writer and blogger from Canada. Her work has been featured on HerCampus, 21Ninety, Read Unwritten. She is a voracious reader, a dog-lover and a self-professed pop culture junkie. Her other hobbies include watching sappy romantic comedies, consuming too many strawberry-filled doughnuts and people-watching. Grace currently attends university, where she is working towards a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Pre-Law."

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