Q: Haley, lately I've been struggling with being single. I feel like I am ready to date but I also feel like I will miss being single if I do find someone. In your opinion, what is better-single or dating? Thanks.
A: Anon, what a classic, essential question. It's definitely something that everyone struggles with at some point, but at the end of the day, the answer is simple: do what you're ready for and only with the right person (if you choose commitment).
Let me explain. First of all, relationship status is a time-and-place-contingent one. For some people, being single is the right choice right now. For some, they are perfect in their relationship. One should really make sure that they are ready to be in a relationship given everything else in their life. That being said, you need to consider school, work, future plans, geography, friends, and, above all, your relationship with yourself. Most people in their teens and early 20s are best off being single in order to become better acquainted with who they are and what they need. However, many people in relationships at this time are in the perfect position because they have perhaps found "the one" already, or at least someone decent who could possibly be the one.
Second, relationship status is also about the other person involved. Do not choose to be in a relationship simply because you need to fill a void or because you see other people happy, etc...only choose commitment with someone whom you honestly think you have a chance at long-term with. Do not get tangled up in someone who's values you disagree with or whom you are incompatible with--breakups can suck, especially after a fostered attachment. Be picky. Only get into a relationship with someone who's excellent.
I know that was long, but it's something that I've found works. The bottom line is that the "better" choice depends on the people involved. I take relationships very seriously, so I don't get into them (or advise getting into them) unless you are willing to be truly committed for a long time (at least!) and accept both the pros and cons of another person. In your case, I say you're not ready, simply by the fact that you say you will "miss being single". Spend some time being single, then, and when you do find the person who makes you never want to miss it again, then maybe you've found someone. :)