Having been single my whole life (we don't need to mention those middle school/early high school days), I've observed a lot of relationships. I've seen so many variations, from my parents being married and in love for 30 years, to short and tense summer "loves." And through my years of observations and experiences around couples, I've mused about what I want in a relationship. And more importantly, what I want in a partner.

I'm passed the immature days of crushes and drama, now transitioning into the reality of life and love. My friends and family are getting married and starting families, effectively experiencing every range of emotions and challenges in their relationships. And, nosy as I can be, I experience them too, in my own way.

What I have come to notice especially, is that everyone has their own taste and attractions. I don't just mean this in the physical sense, but in personality and opinion as well. What seems to work in my friends' relationships, wouldn't fit for me. I'm not saying that I need something better than what they have, just something different.

I have what some would call a strong personality. I think that fits me, in the way that I am grounded in my experiences, passions, opinions, and beliefs. I have focused on my own growth for so long that I feel more attuned to my desires in and for life. Thinking about my interests and goals, and then comparing them to the options and examples I've seen, I consider myself to have high standards.

But, high standards aren't a bad thing. At least, not when you're honest with who you are, what you want, and being open to adapt.

I don't have a perfect guy in mind, and I definitely don't have a checklist. But, I do have self-love and expectations for myself to be happy. In the theme of honesty, I don't think I need a relationship to be happy. That doesn't mean I'm not open to one, I'm just not open to one with just anyone.

I don't want to tell anyone how to live their lives, especially not their love lives. I just want to explain that not being in a relationship, and choosing to not be in a relationship, is not something to be frowned upon. I don't think I'm better than you, I'm simply trying to figure out what's best for me.

I've had the same or been in a similar headspace about dating and relationships for a long time. I didn't see the point in dating in high school because it felt messy and awkward (coming from a small-town perspective). Then in college, no one seemed to want the same things as me. You could chalk this all up to me being picky or claiming "bad-timing," but it has never felt right.

Until I get that feeling, that indescribable sensation that someone has to be a part of my life, I'm okay with waiting. I don't want to make mistakes I've seen, I don't want to date around, and I definitely don't want to waste my time when I can't picture something going anywhere.

It may sound mean or vain or whatever, but I know I'm worth more than the options presented to me. College campuses and college towns now seem to be great for a type of dating and relationships that I'm not into. That's okay with me. I'll keep living my life and working toward my goals, and I hope whoever I end up with is doing the same thing too.