Column: What 20 years of solitude has taught me


Olivia Morgan

I have been single for 20 years.

Okay that’s a lie. It’s been 19 years, 352 days, 14 hours and 32 minutes. But who’s counting?

I feel like I can go ahead and call it unless James Franco responds to those weird e-mails I’ve been sending him.

This may be a surprise to you, but I doubt it. People can usually tell, except for my family members, who insist on asking if I’ve “found anyone” yet.

In preparation for hearing this question in the upcoming holiday season, I’ve prepared a list of valuable things I’ve learned from being single for 20 years.

I don’t settle

I’m pretty confident in myself that if I tried hard enough right now I could probably find myself a boyfriend. College is ripe with the ingredients for young love, especially at Ole Miss where the presence of the “ring-by-spring” mentality is heavily felt.

I’m a young, funny, attractive girl with a good head on her shoulders, and dare I admit it- a capacity to have feelings. This town is full of bars and frat parties and events of the like where young ladies, such as myself, can find a nice red-blooded American boy to match ourselves with.

I’ve just yet to meet one that I especially like, and I’m not giving in until I do.

I may come off sounding a little brattish, and it’s not that I think I’m better than all of the boys at this school, but I’m not going to settle. I’m not one to look over small things, and brush them off as small faults. One time, a boy I was talking to, said that I talked too much and that men would like me more if I would quit ranting about my “feminist bullshit.” I haven’t spoken to him since.

I don’t have time for immaturity. I need to prepare for my future, and not try to raise a man-child.

I have other priorities

I don’t have time for a boyfriend. Seriously. I don’t even have time to get a job (as I consistently tell my mother.)

I’m taking 18 hours right now because I thought that would be a fun idea, kind of like when I tried skiing for the first time. Now I’m plummeting down hill rapidly, and I don’t know how to stop myself. With that said, I barely leave my house except to go to class, the library or Taco Bell. Just ask my roommate who comes in my room all the time and asks me to go out with her. I always say: “I would, but I have homework.”

At this point in life it’s just A’s over Baes.

I physically do not have the time to go out, look for a male, bring him home, and convince him to love me. I requires so much time, work, and makeup, and I just don’t have very much of any of those three right now.

The rare precious time I do find to go out, I want to spend with all my friends, instead of spending all my time with one male human.

I have really great friends

The other day I heard a girl say “go to college to find your bridesmaids, not your groom,” and I really liked the sound of that. My friends are amazing, and reliable, and are always there for me. At the end of the day, I feel like relationships, especially at my age, are highly likely to end quickly and horribly, but friendships can truly last forever.

I love my friends, and if my friends didn’t always have boyfriends, I swear I would never want one. Remember in middle school when every girl in your class had a Vera Bradley purse? (Okay. Was that just a thing at my school?) I thought they were so hideous, but once all my friends had gotten one, I suddenly felt like I needed one as well. I think boyfriends are kind of like that.

As much as I love my friends, they’ve made some poor relationship choices, and I think they could have possibly scared me out of monogamy for a while as well.

I’ve always had that one great friend who got a little too into her boyfriend. The one who has to bring him with her everywhere, act out massive displays of public affection, and then drop off the face of the planet because she has decided to wrap her whole life around him. I’ve seen it happen a million times to the strongest girls I know, and I’m deathly afraid of that ever happening to me.

I never want to be a part of a relationship that distracts me from the wonderful friends I have in my life because I’ve known them longer, and they mean the world to me.

I have a tough skin

To say that I’ve never been in a relationship is not to say that I’ve never felt like I was in love before. I’ve had more than my share of crushes in my younger years, and as you can tell by the fact that I’m still single, none of them quite worked out in my favor.

I’ve felt a lot of heartbreak, and for the longest time, I thought there was something wrong with me, because no one wanted to date me, but I was so wrong (especially since the majority of these boys have a criminal record now.)

After 20 years, I’ve developed a tough, almost heartless demeanor. I learned through all my sad grade school years of unrequited love, that the boys who didn’t like me weren’t trying to hurt me on purpose. I was the one letting their lack of affection hurt me. I don’t let people hurt me anymore. I’ve become independent, and strong.

Most importantly…

I have learned to love myself

I don’t need a boy to read off a laundry list of my good qualities to me, I say them to myself in the mirror each morning.

I don’t need to be told that I look good when I leave the house. Trust me, I know when I do, and I know when I don’t. I’ve made peace with my appearance, with my weight, and almost my hair, even though it has become increasingly uncooperative.

I am steadfast in this love, because I know that I’m never going to break up with myself. I will never fear being alone, because I’ve been alone my whole life. I don’t have to worry about one day being told I’m not good enough and wanting to lay in bed and feel bad about myself, because some small-minded boy is done with me.

I can’t wait to see what the next 20 years have in store.


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