Being Single in One of the Most Romantic Cities in the World

I’ve never had a boyfriend – unless you count the middle school “relationships” that are cringe-worthy, depthless and filled with sweaty hand holding. Before moving to Charleston, I thought dating was on the back burner for me, out of sight out of mind, but oh how wrong I was.

Travel and Leisure rated Charleston Number 1 on the list of “Best Cities in the World,” but also Number 7 on “Most Romantic Cities in the World” – rated even above Barcelona, Spain (No.13).

A magazine didn’t have to grant this title to Charleston in order for it to be clear. One visit to this coastal city with endless amounts of dim-lit, intimate restaurants and cobblestone streets will make you fall in love in more ways than one.

King Street in the number seven city of love. (Raegan Whiteside)

If the atmosphere of the city wasn’t clear enough, look at the people walking up and down King Street. Couples young and old holding hands with a sparkle of love in their eye, doing the sluggish walk of a pair dragging out their date to extend their time together.

So what’s it like being one of the singles in this city of couples? It’s a mix of emotions and feelings. It can be annoying, depressing, embarrassing, liberating, lonely and yet enjoyable.

I’m sure most people can relate to the annoyance. Having to weave your way through all the couples leisurely walking hand and hand down the streets of downtown or sitting at Starbucks and falling victim to a couple smooching in front of your table are only a couple of examples from a long list of things couples do to irritate us single-folks (or maybe just me).

One of “those” couples. (Photo courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons)

Although, all of this can be depressing and humiliating too. It hurts seeing two people share a connection that you don’t have. You feel compelled to ask yourself, “why don’t I have that connection? What is wrong with me? Will I be that old lady with 10 dogs and my books to keep me company because I can’t find a special someone to fill the position?”

Nonetheless, as I look at the couples around me and am happy they have found love and a connection, I am more happy that I have found it elsewhere. I feel empowered that I don’t need a relationship to be happy, but am proud of the things I decide to include in my life. I have found love in my friends, books, music, the places I go and the strangers I meet. I’m an independent woman living in a beautiful city with all the freedom in the world. Now is the time to (as my Uber driver last weekend said) “smell all the flowers and see which flower you like best, then pick that one” because we are young and free of obligations. So, why shouldn’t us single ladies and gents feel happy?

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