Dear 100 Hour Board,
What is the point of being single? I'm frustrated. I want to love somebody. I want to kiss someone. I want to cuddle with someone and hold their hands and laugh with them. I want a physical relationship with someone paired with emotional care and concern and connection. And I don't have that. What is the point of being single? It's stupid and totally lacking in kissing. I'm wasting years that could be spent (physically and emotionally) with someone special. I'm constantly getting older and closer to the age that peak fertility drops. What was the point of having gone through puberty and getting a sex drive if I couldn't do anything with it for all these years, and probably still won't for at least a few, if not many, more? I want someone to love and adore with all my heart. What is the point of not having that?
The point is developing yourself. The point is building your personal relationship with God. The point is reaching out to the people around you, and caring for those who might be overlooked. The point is forming deep and lasting relationships with your family and friends. The point is learning to see the world around you in all its amazing majesty and glory. Do you realize what a wonderful world this is, and how easy it is to filled with awe of it? Seriously though, there are so many amazing and wonderful things out there, most of which do not require a significant other.
I get your frustration. I feel it too, sometimes acutely. But here's the thing; I don't really believe frustration will go away with the onset of a relationship, because frustration is just one of the facts of life. If anything, I imagine that being in a relationship--while amazing--will at times engender even more frustration than being single. So really, being single is the perfect time to learn to deal with your frustration.
Yeah single life can feel terrible at times, but that's just because it's life. Life and terrible-ness will continue even after you're in a relationship, so you might as well choose to enjoy the good parts of life right now.
This question hit me because I struggle with it a lot, too. I really crave romantic relationships and having that kind of intimacy with another person, emotionally and physically. Because of a few reasons, I worry that it won't come for a long time, if it happens. It's nice to think "oh, it's fine, that person is out there" but sometimes, I worry that he's not. I think the concern you're hitting on is one that many of us struggle with: we all long for love and can feel unfulfilled when we don't have it in our lives, and we worry that we'll never have that.
What Anathema talks about above is awesome. It's important not to take your single years for granted because this is the only period of your life focused on your own self-development. When long-term relationships come (and marriage or parenthood, if you decide that's right for you), you'll need to live less focused on personal development and more focused on your partner and possibly children. Now is the time to really figure out who you are and focus on becoming a better person, not for your future partner but to become more comfortable with yourself.
In addition, these are years to explore and have exciting experiences that you might not be able to once you're in a long-term relationship. As a single person, you have so much flexibility. If you want to take a few months in the summer on a volunteer trip, you can do so without leaving your significant other behind. If you decide to change careers, you can go back to undergraduate or grad school wherever you're able without considering another person's needs. Even simple things like alone time won't be as plentiful once you're in a long-term relationship. My parents always tell me not to waste my single years because, though they can be lonely, they are years of freedom that you're not going to have later on.
Single life and life in a relationship are both wonderful. They're just different periods of life. You can look at it as wasting these years by being single, but maybe someday in a relationship, you'll miss these days and long for that kind of freedom. I know it sounds really callous to appreciate what you have, and I'm not trying to say that. But just try to focus on self-improvement and important experiences you can have now that might not be possible in committed relationships. That way, once these years are over, you might not look back on them as wasted.
If I may put this in the harshest way possible: if you can't stand being alone with yourself, how can you expect anyone else to want to be with you? I've been around girls that complain all the time about how long they've been single, or how boys never ask them on dates, or any other variation on the theme, and it's pretty unattractive. Like the other writers have said, being single is a great opportunity for personal development. You have a whole lot more time to find things that you enjoy doing, as opposed to spending all your time kissing.
Also, can I just say that there's more to life than kissing? I mean, I've gone almost 24 years without it, and my life has been mostly fulfilling so far.
Everything is going to be okay. The better you can accept yourself for who you are, the more attractive you'll be.
I share so much of your frustration. At times it has seemed so pointless to wallow in loneliness and misery, especially while watching other people be so blissfully happy. I spent so many years thinking it was desperately unfair for me to be wasting the years that could be spent in love. I still don't really understand why so many people have to live with so much pain and frustration. But through that suffering I have come to one important realization about how being single has helped me.
For me, being single has given me a greater capacity to love than I ever anticipated. I'm a naturally cynical person, and I spent most of my teenage years disdainful of human association in general. I didn't appreciate the value of real love and lasting friendship. It wasn't until I left home and went to BYU that I understood how important it is to have love in your life, no matter in what form.
And unfortunately, that lesson came from crippling loneliness. I only grew to appreciate love by lacking it. And likewise, in the following years, I didn't really learn to love until I experienced the feeling of not being able to love anyone. But ever since then, I've had a newfound appreciation for those around me. Instead of looking at someone and seeing their flaws, I see the admirable qualities and reasons that they are wonderful. To be fair, I'm still kind of a misanthrope, and cynical about humanity at large, but it was through being hopelessly single that I learned how to actually love people.
I'm sorry if that sounds convoluted, and I'm sorry if it isn't a helpful sentiment. I really wish I could give you all the answers you deserve, because being without someone to love is probably the most frustrating thing I've ever experienced, and I'm so sorry you've had to deal with it too. But I just wanted to share that I have seen a bright side, and that's being able to love someone truly and deeply. I don't often get the chance to express it, but it actually made me feel a lot better to see how I've changed for the better despite not having the love I crave.