This is my first time being single as an actual adult. When I mean an actual adult I mean out of college and being well...having adult responsibilities.  It's my first time being single at an age where a man can ask "Would you like to go out and get a drink?" It's weird. It's really weird. I decided to try "dating" and what a belly laugh it turned out to be. I got tired of the 11pm booty calls and being stood up a couple or three times. I felt like dating had no meaning expect for bad intentions and a lack of intelligent conversations, it was incredibly sad. Call me old fashioned and high maintenance but I will no longer call it a "date" unless you pick me up at my door, ring the doorbell, take me out somewhere that's not the movies on a first date, and drop me off at my doorstep.

It's gets to a point where you have to look at yourself and say "You deserve the best and won't settle for less!" That's when I made my decision to end dating and completely focus on myself. I am committed to only becoming serious with someone unless I know they are completely right for me and my lifestyle.

To me, being single is finding your independence and your true self. Have the "I'M AN INDEPENDENT WOMAN WHO NEEDS NO MAN" attitude. Because it's true! I don't need a man. Do I want a man? Absolutely. Every girl wants themselves a boyfriend and someone to spend the rest of their life with. As much as it surprises people anymore I do want a husband, kids, and family of my own someday but that card has not been passed to me yet so until then I will enjoy my life being single!

Here are a list of things that I have done while I've been single that have helped my personal growth and become my true and honest self. Which I believe should be your most important focus while being single.

Travel Solo

I cannot stress this enough to try traveling alone. TRAVEL ALL YOU CAN WHILE YOU CAN. My first solo road trip was while I was moving from Vermont to Utah. I planned my routes myself, drove myself, booked places to stay, etc. It was such a great experience to do by myself!

When you travel alone you can explore what you would like and at your own pace. My goal is to take a big solo trip to wherever I'd like to go and explore. I'm really thinking Vancouver, Canada!

Grow your female friendships.

I think when we get older and boys become more serious in our lives, like you know....become your husband. We often forget how much we need each other. I couldn't imagine life without my best girlfriends, no matter how many miles apart we are. Girl time and conversations are the best. Plus they are such a great support system! Even though they are all married or in a relationship they are still there for me 100%.

Get healthy and feel confident for yourself.

You don't need to hit your goal weight and size for anybody else. Get to a place where you feel good about yourself. My goal is to lose 15 pounds by October 1st and thanks to my great girlfriend support system we are doing it together and encouraging each other!

Go eat a meal at a sit down restaurant. DUN DUN DUN.

Why is this such a scary thing? Why do we look at people like they are alone and sad when they are eating by themselves in a restaurant? I went to my first sit down restaurant by myself about a month ago, I was hungry while I was out taking photos in Springdale and I just love breakfast at Oscars so I got the courage to go by myself and it was a lovely time.

Go on a picnic.

Picnics are just so relaxing! I took myself to the park with a cute plaid blanket and a pizza from Pizza Limone and I was just as content and happy as could be. Plug in your headphones and maybe take a snooze on the grass to forget about all of your worries.

Spoil yourself.

I am usually such a stickler when it comes to spending money on myself that's not student loans, bills, and food. I have recently come to the realization that I work hard and I deserve nice things every now and then. Go get a mani/pedi and then buy yourself that Alex and Ani bracelet you've had your eyes and heart set on for the past 3 months.

Fix something.

Recently my car light was bashed during a parking lot accident. I needed red tape to put over it so I wouldn't be ticketed. I headed to AutoZone and went home to fix the thing. I also put a band aid on my cracked bumper. Bada Bing Bada Boom.

Take yourself to the movies and the zoo.

I don't know why going to the movies alone seems like such a sad thing, it's just like eating alone. You can't speak during that time anyway. I really enjoyed going to the movies alone. I was able to sit where I wanted, spread out as much as possible, and I didn't have to share my goodies!

Same thing goes with the zoo. I took myself to the Oregon Zoo while I was in Portland and everybody felt bad that I was going by myself  but it was FREAKING great! I was able to sit and admire otters for an hour without someone telling me "Okay, let's go." Surprisingly enough there were many single adults there as well too. It was a very calming experience actually, plus the Oregon Zoo is beautiful.

Go to Victoria's Secret.

You don't need to have a man to treat yourself to pretty bras and panties. There's nothing that can make you feel more sexy then a new pair of lacies and a new perfume. I recently found my signature scent at VS, it's called Vanilla Lace and it's fabulous.

Find peace with yourself.

I'm a true perfectionist and it's always been difficult for me to find peace with myself and who I truly am. Nobody is perfect, it's clique but it's completely true. You will never find peace and happiness in your mind if you keep questioning your life and comparing it to others. Fine you 100% and be that person!

So don't worry ladies, being single isn't a bad thing & don't let society tell you it is either. It's actually fun and for a lot more reasons then dating.

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Published by Mariah Baumgartle