In high school, having a girlfriend or boyfriend is a pretty big deal. Things become Facebook official and Instagram bios change just to let everyone know that you’re both off the market.

The couples walk around holding hands at lunch, cuddling one another. They attend parties as inseparable pairs and most of the time are too busy to socialise with anyone else because they’re so focused on each other.

In high school, there were plenty of times when it felt like I was the odd one out. I just wanted to be in a relationship and experience the cheesy high school romance I saw on Netflix rom-coms.

Turns out that flying solo during those pivotal years of my teenage life was one of the best things that actually happened to me. Here’s why:

1. More time to focus on me

It may sound like the ideal situation to have someone to hang out and talk with 24/7 but it’s not all cruisey. Being in any sort of relationship means giving up time to focus on the other person.

This isn’t all bad, but when you’re already struggling to manage study, assignments, shifts at work and all the other shit of high school–sometimes you run out of any time to just do your own thing.

2. Less high school drama (just a lil)

It’s no secret that being young and in a relationship can be fun, but it also comes with its fair share of drama. High school is usually a blackhole of rumours, gossip and secrets–chuck a relationship into the mix and it only gets worse.

While some of us might live for the drama, most of us are pretty keen to try and avoid it and not having a relationship means you can miss a bit of it.

There’s also the fact that you’re usually spending six years with the same people day in and day out–people are constantly changing, relationships break up and people get together, and when things go bad, there’s no way to escape.

3. No embarrassing photos and captions

Probably the best part about not experiencing a high school relationship was how I didn’t have to worry about deleting certain photos or captions after a savage break up.

While it seemed that Instagram bios and making it Facebook official was the ultimate sign of young love, it’s kinda embarrassing to stumble across sappy captions that read “the perfect one”, only to find out that the couple broke up two days later (which of course is evident by a heartbreaking song lyric in the caption).

If you’re single in high school, just be thankful that these embarrassing posts on social media never happened to you. It’s a good laugh later on, but also super cringey.

Don’t get me wrong, high school relationships can be really important and, I’m not gonna lie, there were times where I wished that my dozens of high school crushes had become something more solid.

Everyone gets a little lonely sometimes, and it’s totally normal to want someone to stick by your side through it all–whether it’s napping together or crying over exams. Especially when all your mates seem to be getting in relationships around you and you’re sitting there wondering why you got left on read again, it can be tough not to feel like you’re missing out on something special.

But, don’t stress too much if you don’t manage to find “the one” in third period English or while you’re sitting in the quad at recess. First kisses, hook ups, “I love you’s” and  everything else in between will happen eventually and there’s honestly no rush to tick all the boxes while you’re still in high school.

If you’re part of the singles club in high school like I was, embrace it. Enjoy the fact that you can do whatever you want with your teenage years without the pressure of being committed to another person and have some damn fun.