I’ve spent much of the last three years single and it’s been a long process of learning to be okay with being by myself. I feel like I’m finally happy and have learned to celebrate singledom. In fact, I love it so much that I have a fear of losing my freedom when falling for someone.
I spent too long avoiding being single.
I think there was about a decade where I wasn’t single for more than a few weeks. I was terrified of being alone, thinking that I’d die if I wasn’t in a relationship with someone. I felt like I needed a person to be anchored to the earth, but really this mindset just resulted in me having a bunch of co-dependent relationships. It was exhausting and traumatizing. When I finally stopped living out this pattern, I found so much freedom in knowing that I’m capable of being alone. I loved it! Now, I find great comfort in being single, so I worry about dating.
My past relationships were less than ideal.
I have a whirlwind of a past in dating. Honestly, I don’t really have any healthy relationships under my belt. I know that it’s possible in my future, but I’m definitely fearful about repeating my old patterns.
Historically, I fall for someone hard and fast regardless of whether or not they’re good for me.
I know my old patterns don’t necessarily determine my future, but I can’t help thinking about them. One of my most significant patterns is meeting someone and barreling into a relationship without pausing to feel out if we’re even a match. Usually, we aren’t, and I used forced physical intimacy to try to change reality. Surprise: this never worked. Now I’m afraid to pursue dating because I fear that I’ll move too quickly. It’s much safer over here in my single-lady bubble.
I struggle with trusting the process.
Cliches like “let go of outcomes” and “trust the process” force me to roll my eyes. I know they’re true and that I should listen to them, but it’s easier said than done. When I’m dating someone, there’s a whole lot of overthinking even in the healthiest of situations. Worrying about outcomes is an inevitable human condition. It ends up being super stressful for me, so I kind of just don’t even want to go there.
I feel like I’ve finally accepted being single.
After many years resisting being single at all costs, I’ve finally grown to not only accept it, but to love it. I’ve really started to feel like I’d be okay and happy if I was never in a relationship again for the rest of my life. This kind of belief provides so much wiggle room that I didn’t have before. It means that I’m totally unwilling to settle because I know that my alone feels really good. I’m afraid that I won’t be able to find someone who’s worth me giving up my solitude.
Heartbreak is devastating.
Let’s be honest — heartbreak totally sucks. No one ever wants to experience that feeling of not being able to breathe, like you’ve been gutted and left to heal alone. It’s awful! In a way, though, heartbreak is inevitable. It even happens in relationships where people don’t break up because we’re humans we disappoint each other. A big part of me still remembers the ache from the last few times I had my heart broken. I’m not roaring to sign-up for more right now.
I like making decisions without having to consult another person.
One of the coolest benefits of being single is that I get to make choices based entirely on how I feel. Sure, I have to make small considerations when it comes to other people, but mostly I just get to consult myself. I don’t have to worry about whether or not an action I do or don’t take will negatively impact my partner. I have a bit of a stubborn streak that enjoys the fact that I can be so independent in my decisions!
Flirting without limit is fun.
I may be single, but I do have a few flirtationships scattered throughout my life. There’s a guy I play hockey with that is keen on giving me attention whenever I seek it and I have a few friends that are flirty. I even keep in touch with some exes right now that I know I’d likely need to cut that out if I started seeing someone. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t flirt with everyone. I just sort of enjoy the harmless banter when I’m single. I wouldn’t feel okay about it if I was in a relationship and I don’t know that I’m ready to give it up.
Being single means that I can work on my stuff in my own time.
I have plenty of character defects that need work. For one, I have a ton of negative automatic thoughts that litter my mind and life. They distort reality and make it hard for me to see the truth. I definitely know I need to work on these (and I am working on them). If I was dating someone, though, the pressure to work on them would be way higher because it’d be affecting another person. Being single means that I control the pressure when it comes to working on myself!
My life is filled with awesomeness.
I have a totally wonderful life. I’ve filled it with hobbies, people, routines, and work that I absolutely adore. I wake up most days excited to be alive and to be me. I’ve shaped my life into this rich experience. I worry that if I introduce another person into the equation, I’ll inevitably have to push other things out of my life. I can only fit so much into one day!
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