Serial dater (noun): someone who feels like they always need a boyfriend or girlfriend; a person who cannot be single.

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Everybody knows a serial dater. You’re out with your friends and you see them with their newest partner and you wonder, “hey, wasn’t she with a different guy last time I saw her?” You think back and try to remember a time when they were single, and for some reason you can’t. Maybe the relationships are long term, or even seem to be healthy and happy. Yet there is never a time when this person is on their own. What does it say about someone who is always in a relationship and never single?

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These days, young people are terrified of being alone. What’s worse is many people feel that they cannot survive without someone else, like a boyfriend or girlfriend. Having a relationship goes from being an added life bonus to a life necessity.

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It’s always the same with serial daters. Even their hookups turn into a long-term commitment. The breakup happens, but instead of taking time to try being on their own, they jump into the next relationship as soon as they can. According to the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, many people are kept in bad relationships just because their fear of being alone is too great. 40% of the participants in the study said they were afraid of not having someone in their life long term. Let’s face it, nobody wants to grow old alone with a million cats, but is jumping from relationship to relationship really healthy? Is being constantly tied down to someone really better than being alone? Where is the happy and healthy medium between being single and dating someone?

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When you’re never single, you become a relationship addict. Of course it’s nice to experience a first kiss with someone, to feel butterflies in your stomach when you see them, and to have the status, being able to say “my boyfriend” or “my girlfriend”. Once those feelings die out, the only thing for some people to do is turn to the next possible person and start over again. By doing this, you’re basing your self worth on whether you or not you are in relationship. Relationships usually bring people happiness, but what most relationship addicts don’t realize is that sometimes, you can be just as happy without someone else in your life.

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Just like the serial dater, everybody knows someone who is never in a relationship, and totally rocks it. They can walk into any public place alone and look cooler and happier than anybody else in the room. Although it’s not great to never be in a relationship, being single isn’t synonymous with bad. In fact, 44% of American adults are single. That’s over 100 million people. Some people might say that single is the new taken.

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Serial daters. They’re all around us, whether they’re our friends, our family member, or even ourselves. The scariest part is the risk that serial daters must take to outgrow their constant relationship patterns: trying to be alone. Next time you have the opportunity, see what it’s like to be the one who could care less about relationships, the one who rocks their singleness. Embrace that one person in your life who matters above all else, who is the center of your world, and who is totally fricken awesome: you.

[images sourced via tumblr]