Coffee Talk: Why I’m Happy with My Single Life for 4 Years

Washington D.C. Blogger wears the LOFT Spiced Stripe Flounce Shirtdress - Coffee Talk: Why I'm Happy with My Single Life for 4 Years by popular Washington DC blogger Alicia Tenise

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I launched a reader survey last week (by the way, if you haven’t taken it yet, I’d love to hear from you!) The number one thing you guys asked for in the survey? More personal posts. I even had requests to talk about my relationships. Gulp.

If you’ve been following me for a while, you might know that I was the most single of Sallys back when I was living in D.C. I would joke about my disastrous Tinder dates and flops on Bumble. I tried matchmakers, joined a Kickball team in hopes of meeting more people, and put myself out there. And guess what? Despite a countless number of first dates and a handful of second dates, I never found Mr. Right and lived a single life. Of course, as soon as I was gearing up to leave D.C. is when I met my current boyfriend. 

At the time, I was frustrated that no matter what I did, I couldn’t land myself a boyfriend. After all, I was a serial dater in college: I think I only spent 3/4 of a year in undergrad single (oh — and I had to do five years of college too because I transferred schools and switched my major!) However, even though I lived a single life for 4 years, I think that was the best thing that could have happened to me while I was living in D.C. Here’s why.
 
Nespreesso Essenza Mini Espresso Machine, Gold and Marble Tray, Blogger Flatlay - Coffee Talk: Why I'm Happy with My Single Life for 4 Years by popular Washington DC blogger Alicia Tenise

The College vs. Post Grad Transition

I had a boyfriend up until February of my senior year of college. He lived in Philadelphia, and I desperately tried to find a post-grad job there, but I wasn’t lucking out on anything. I ended up having to move back home to the D.C. ‘burbs as quite a few college grads do, and I worked a 5th and final unpaid internship for a month before landing my first big girl job. If I had a boyfriend straight out of college, I would have felt pressured to move wherever they were moving — even if there were no job opportunities that would be a fit. 

D.C. blogger Alicia Tenise in red striped long sleeve drop waist dress - Coffee Talk: Why I'm Happy with My Single Life for 4 Years by popular Washington DC blogger Alicia Tenise

I Had to Put Myself Out There

Even though I grew up in the D.C. area, I essentially had to start over in the friend department when I moved back after graduation. I joined a kickball team. As soon as I met someone I liked, I’d try to make plans to hang out (didn’t work all the time, but it was worth a shot). I cannot tell you how nervous I was to go to my first blog meetup when I moved to D.C., but that first meetup I went to changed my life and introduced me to some key blogger friends and brands in my new(ish) city.

Nespresso Essenza Mini - Coffee Talk: Why I'm Happy with My Single Life for 4 Years by popular Washington DC blogger Alicia Tenise

I Became a Better Friend

The hardest thing about living in D.C. was how transient it is. Most people aren’t “from” D.C. — they move there for a job for a few years and eventually move on to either another big city or go back to their hometowns. I can’t tell you how many going away parties I went to the 3.5 years I lived in the District! However, I valued my friendships as a single lady, and when my good friends moved away, I would make it a point to visit them whenever I could, FaceTime, and stay in touch. It’s tough to lose a good friend, but this was the first time in my life I was able to make “long-distance friendships” work.

Blogger Home Tour - Coffee Talk: Why I'm Happy with My Single Life for 4 Years by popular Washington DC blogger Alicia Tenise

I Figured Out Who I Was

Post-grad single life is weird, y’all. I was funemployed, then underemployed, then laid off, had awful roommates, had my bank account overdraft several times, and was buried in student loans. I was happy. I was sad. I would be depressed and insecure at times. It was the most fun and most stressful time in my life. I had to do a lot of soul-searching in those four years because I wasn’t happy with myself for a long time. Eventually, I learned to love myself, make my own career path, and evolve into a confident young woman. 

Nespresso Espresso Blogger Review - Coffee Talk: Why I'm Happy with My Single Life for 4 Years by popular Washington DC blogger Alicia Tenise

My Blog Wouldn’t Be As Successful

I 100% believe that if I had a serious boyfriend while I lived in D.C., I would not be a full-time blogger right now. Heck, I might not even own a blog at all anymore. The last year I was in D.C., I spent my days at my full-time job out in Tysons, drove an hour into the city for blog events at night, then came home and worked on the next day’s blog post until the wee hours of the morning. I woke up at 7 am on Saturday mornings for photoshoots. I spent Sunday evenings getting my content ready for the week. Any other spare time I had, I spent it with my friends and family. I honestly didn’t have the time for a relationship because I was working on my own empire. And it paid off in the end.

I’m happy that my current boyfriend, and I think we’re a good fit for each other. However, I’m glad I had a few years on my own to become an independent woman, make quality friendships and find my own career. 

What are your thoughts on living a single life for an extended period of time?

Photos by Tom McGovern

 

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12 Comments

  1. Dana Mannarino wrote:

    YAS GURL!
    I loved this post so much — I really think people are brought into your life at the most unexpected times! I love that you managed to grow and find yourself in the time you were single.

    Pink Champagne Problems

    Posted 10.26.17 Reply
  2. This is ALL so true! I was single for a couple years when I moved to my current town and I think that was the best possible thing for me. I ended up meeting my dream guy, but I honestly don’t think I would have been ready for him or our relationship if I had met him the moment I got into town. Being single was the best possible thing for me!

    Posted 10.26.17 Reply
  3. Sharon Glascoe wrote:

    Love this! I was single for a good year after college and it was glorious. I learned so much about myself too. I keep telling my sister to do the same but she is boy-crazy to the max lol. She’ll learn one day…

    Posted 10.26.17 Reply
  4. Kuleigh wrote:

    Knowing who you are is so important! Good for you for focusing on your current goals and navigating the transition to true adulthood first.

    Posted 10.26.17 Reply
  5. Nicole Ntumba wrote:

    #girlboss Props to you for taking advantage of your time to yourself and focusing on what’s important to you as well as becoming such a great woman πŸ™‚

    Posted 10.26.17 Reply
  6. Jenny wrote:

    I learned so much from being single as well! I spent the second half of high school and the first half of college single and it really helped me grow as a person.

    Posted 10.26.17 Reply
  7. Ashley Garza wrote:

    You are such a girl boss!! My husband and I have been together for 10 years and while I didn’t really experience singlehood as an adult, we did long distance for 2 years and I feel like those 2 years of being on my own really helped me grow up! Sending this to my college aged sister to read!!

    Posted 10.26.17 Reply
  8. Elyse George wrote:

    I was single for most of my 20s and looking back it was a major blessing!

    Posted 10.27.17 Reply
  9. Mary Gui wrote:

    i totally agree on your last point, sometimes you have to put your blog first and not have to worry about being in a relationship in order to succeed!
    http://www.layersofchic.com

    Posted 10.27.17 Reply
  10. Brittany Daoud wrote:

    This is such a lovely and real post! I was single most of college, but you’re so right about how weird being a post grad is! I had the hardest time finding a new group of friends, as I moved almost right after graduating college. xo, Brittany | http://www.theblistblog.com

    Posted 10.27.17 Reply
  11. Nia Washington wrote:

    I loved every second of this post! I am 1.5 years out of college, living in NYC and trying to get my wish together. I’ve been searching for my dream partner who will be by my side as a build my empire, but after reading this, you’ve reminded me that curating the life, blogging business and career I want all by myself can be just as satisfying as doing it with a significant other

    Posted 10.30.17 Reply
  12. Girl I couldn’t agree with this more! I wish I’d spent more time in my 20’s single. I think it’s so important to get to know who the heck you even are… let alone who you want to be! You’re a lady boss!

    xx,

    Lacey
    The Glitter Gospel

    Posted 10.31.17 Reply