For too long, I ran away from being single like it was the plague. I wanted nothing to do with being by myself and I’d take any old person to distract me. After a while, this pattern became too painful to keep up and I decided to embrace the single life. Spoiler: I love it. What was I running from? I’m awesome and so is this life of mine.
I was afraid I’d be unhappy alone, but all I had to do was stop resisting. The fear of being single was way bigger than the actual threat. Isn’t that how it often goes? I was running from what I thought was a monster that would swallow me alive. In reality, my own avoidant behavior was the monster. When I finally hit the brakes to experience being alone, I realized that the single life wasn’t so scary after all.
Acceptance is a beautiful thing. When I stopped running from the monster I thought that being single was, I grew in acceptance. I stopped flailing so much and I realized that my peace of mind was equivalent to how much I stopped struggling against reality. Sure, I could spend hours a day on a dating app trying to find “The One,” or I could realize that I’d been doing that for a decade with terrible results. I chose to just give it up and see what being single had to offer. This acceptance brought me so much joy.
I stopped thinking that people could fix me. One of the biggest reasons I avoided being single was because I thought that another person could fix me. These weren’t my exact thoughts; it was more like, “Everything will be better when I finally find the right person,” or “I’ll be happy when I’m in a nice relationship.” The root of this thinking, though, was that I thought I wasn’t okay alone.
I’m doing a ton of soul-searching. It’s really easy to get complacent in a relationship, especially in a toxic one. Now that I’m single, I have a drive to better myself. I’m taking an honest look at my patterns through therapy, mental health groups, and 12-step meetings. I also have communities for my hobbies. I take all of these actions because I know I’m happiest when I’m doing hard work on myself.
I’m so freakin’ productive. Don’t get me wrong, relationships are beautiful. There’s nothing quite like falling in love with another human. Still, when I fall in love, I sometimes fall off the face of the earth. I want to be cuddling with and hanging out with my partner as much as possible. This is all sweet, but when I’m not doing that, I have ridiculous amounts of time to enjoy the hell out of my life. I’m a better worker, I’m pursuing new endeavors, and I’m being creative. When I don’t have to share my energy so much with another human, it’s mine to use how I’d like.
It’s dignifying to choose to be with no one rather than someone who’s wrong for me. I really used to try to make a relationship work with whatever bozo crossed my path. It didn’t matter if they were good for me or not, I still tried to make it work. Obviously, this pattern stopped working and now I’ve found there’s a huge freedom that comes from not settling for someone who isn’t a good fit. I don’t have to fear being alone anymore. I can say “no” to incompatible partners and I can be alone with my dignity intact. It’s a beautiful thing.
I make choices that aren’t biased. Being in a relationship inevitably means having to consider another person. As I’m single, I can make decisions about my job, where I’d like to live, and what I do without really having to consider someone else’s feelings. I can listen to my gut without the waters being muddied by feelings or thoughts of another person.
Self-love is real and a huge part of my daily life. There’s an epidemic in the Western world of women who don’t know how to love themselves. It’s like we were never taught how to be gentle, loving, and kind to the most important person in our lives — us. I’ve learned that no matter what’s happening in my life, I need boatloads of self-love to keep me afloat. My daily practice of self-love includes meditation, prayer, staying connected to good people, and taking good care of my body, mind, and spirit.
If and when I do partner up, I have a ton to offer. Look, I’m not a bitter single woman who’s been wronged too many times (although some days my attitude is that sour). On the whole, I’m just content with where I am. I’ve made peace with the single life. This doesn’t mean I never want a partner. On the contrary, I’d absolutely love to have a partner. If and when a lovely match makes their way into my life, I’ll be ready. I won’t have baggage overflowing all over the place or crazy entanglements that I haven’t sorted out. Instead, I’ll have my act together and I’ll make an exceptional partner.
Life is all about perspective, glass half full kinda thing. There are a gazillion experiences in my life that I could be bitter about. I mean my laundry list of mental health diagnoses would overwhelm anyone. Further, my history of disastrous relationships and experience of trauma would be enough to make people throw in the relationship towel for good. Still, I am not bitter. Actually, I’m quite hopeful. I think it’s tremendously important to take anything in life that is given to us and to flip it on its head. I’m a pro at turning the worst of situations into blessings. I’ll continue to do this whether I’m single or coupled.
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