It’s a familiar question: can a single man embrace his bachelor status without being branded a player? The answer? Probably not. While there are men out there adding up the notches on their bedpost and breaking hearts, there are a lot more having a whole lot of fun just being single, independent, and care-free.
Also read: The Single Life: alone is better?
Adrian’s relationship broke down from the strain of long distance, but he can now be reflective on long-term relationships.
“I have always enjoyed the companionship you get from being in a relationship with someone, but I think my last relationship made me realise that you shouldn’t be in one for the sake of it.
“It’s very easy to let a relationship become a habit in the sense that that person becomes so engrained in your life that it’s just the norm for them to be there,” he says.
A second-year student at the University of Lincoln, Adrian is single for the first time at university after his year-and-a-half relationship ended. It is only now that the effects a girlfriend had on his university life have been fully realised.
“The biggest single change is the amount of free time I have now. I’m not saying that having a girlfriend is a chore, but it’s nice to be able to focus entirely on my life here at university without having to worry about emotional ties elsewhere,” he says.
“Since being single I have been able to focus on my friends more, and certain barriers that were there with my female friends are gone, so things like the occasional bit of flirting doesn’t feel guilty anymore,” he says.
“I’ve become very close with some female friends now, without it being questioned or looking suspicious. I value my female friends a lot so it’s been nice to be able to be a better friend to them.”
It seems as though the concept of a serious and long-term relationship can sometimes undermine what being young is all about. The responsibility of a relationship can hinder making the most of the years before the real responsibilities of later life are upon you.
Matt Weeks, another Lincoln student, has never been able to maintain a long-term girlfriend and admits he prefers to be single.
“You have a lot more spare time to do things that maybe you wouldn’t be able to do if you had a girlfriend. Basically, you can be as selfish as you want because you don’t have to consider anyone else,” Weeks says.
Like Adrian, Matt has noticed the effect having a girlfriend has on his relationships with his friends.
“A lot of the time people drop their friends for their girlfriend. I’ve seen it happen before, when someone spends all their time with their other half, and when the relationship ends, he’s left with friends who feel used when he runs back to them.”
Matt thinks being single while you’re young is important, and suits the kind of lifestyle young people should be living.
“When you’re single, you meet a lot more people. With a girlfriend you are more wary of talking to other people, especially girls, even though it could be completely innocent.
“I think single people go out more and generally enjoy it more too, which is what being at university is all about,” he says.
Being a single man doesn’t necessarily have to be about getting drunk and having one night stands. More so, it’s about embracing the opportunities that the freedom of being single gives you – and it all comes down to having a choice.
Not to say that you should deny the opportunity of a great relationship in the name of being young, but certainly be wary of ditching your mates, losing your freedom, and maybe becoming old before your time.
5 reasons why it’s good to be single
• No waiting for her to get ready
• Not having to watch any chick-flicks
• No getting in trouble for talking to girls
• No expensive Valentine’s Days, Christmases, or birthdays
• No ‘that time of the month’ mood swings to handle