Our culture is infatuated with love. Movies show it, books tell about it, music gives soul to it, theatre puts you right there in the midst of it, dance breathes life into it, and the media says you need it. I’ve been in love before. It was everything and more than I could have ever imagined! To find someone that treats you with respect and loves you flaws and all is a treasure to hold on to. Love can lift you up, encourage you, and make you feel like you can climb mountains. Yes, it can be a challenge but it is something worth fighting for. Loving someone gives them the power to hurt or destroy you but trusting them not to. Yet, I am a rare breed. I am almost 30 and have only been in love once. It was after I graduated college and returned home. We dated for nearly two years before he ended it. The relationship we had was everything I had ever hoped for and it destroyed me when it ended. But know what I have realized? Being single is a gift that is often overlooked. Too many times family wants to know if you have a boyfriend or you see couples around you and you feel a slight tinge of jealousy wondering why it can’t be you. The world is constantly telling us that we need to find someone to be complete. But I am complete. I am complete as myself…Bailey. Don’t get me wrong, I so want to find love again, but I want to find the right kind of love. For anyone else that is in the same boat, I encourage you to find the blessings in being single. Throughout high school, I was able to sit back and watch my friends’ relationships and it enabled me to learn through them…about how you should be treated and how you shouldn’t. It began to shape the character qualities and ideals I would want my man to hold someday. And in my time since my breakup? I’ve learned to enjoy the freedom that being single provides. I don’t have to worry about not being home enough or feeling like I’m neglecting my relationship. Instead, I can pretty much come and go as I please. I have been taking this time to travel, see the world, pursue my dreams, try new things. Most importantly, being single gives you lots of time to work on yourself. People come and go throughout our lifetime, but you are stuck with yourself! So get to know and understand what makes you YOU. Allow yourself to make mistakes and to learn from them. Take risks, step out of your comfort zone, and dream big without any other obligations holding you back. Begin to see the single life as a blessing. Something that you might not have for a long time, but something that is so precious. Then once you have learned to love yourself and all the things that make you unique, you will be ready to give the most love in a relationship. Love is something we all crave and need, but learn to love the life you’re living…even if it means you are single. I have and I’ve become a more confident and loving person because of it.