I’ve Been Single For 5 Years & It’s Getting Depressing

Being single doesn’t mean I’m doing anything wrong, but sometimes it feels that way. I haven’t been in a long-term relationship for over five years and sometimes I get in my head about it. I think about why that may be. In truth, it’s just because my time for a relationship hasn’t come yet.

  1. Logically, I know there’s nothing wrong with me. When I really think about it, I know that I’m not fundamentally broken or anything. There’s nothing wrong with me or any massive improvements I need to make—I’m a lovable person just as I am. Not being in a relationship doesn’t change the fact that I’m a worthwhile human being. On my good days, I believe all of this… or at least can try to tell myself it.
  2. In practice, I feel messed up. On many days, though, I do feel broken. I feel like I’m a huge mess who just doesn’t deserve to have a nice relationship because of the person I am and the mistakes I’ve made. Man, my mind can be really cruel! I’m my own worst critic and I’m a harsh one. It’s hard feeling like there’s something really wrong with me. I’m working on combating these voices in my head but sometimes it feels like an uphill battle.
  3. I’ve had relationships, just shorter ones. It’s not like I haven’t had contact with another person romantically or sexually for five years. I’ve had plenty of encounters. I’ve even had some relationships here and there—they’ve just been super short-lived. I think the longest was a whopping six weeks. This is part of the reason I get so upset about being single for so long because I feel like I can’t hold down a relationship.
  4. Five years is a long time (for me) to not be in an LTR. Some people are in LTRs back to back. I mean, it’s none of my business what other people are doing, but it’s hard not to compare. I’ve just been alone for a lot of the five years and haven’t found the right person to settle down with yet.
  5. About half the time has been by choice. I say I’ve been single for a while, but at least half the time has been an intentional choice. I’ve consciously made the decision to be alone. I’ve had mixed feelings about this, both loving being single and hating it. Sometimes I adore the free time I have to myself and other times all I want to do is fill up that time with another person.
  6. I’ve really needed to be alone at times. There have been a few instances where the right thing to do was to be alone. For example, I was spending hours a day on dating apps and going on multiple first dates a week. I was out of control. When a friend had an intervention with me I realized it was really time to take a deep breath and just be by myself for a while.
  7. I know there’s hope for me. Despite sometimes thinking I’m a piece of dirt, I know there’s hope for me. I love the person I am and I know that someone else will love me too. This is just a phase I have to go through. It’s important to maintain the hope that someday I’ll find the right person and I won’t just be using them to get outside of myself.
  8. But I sometimes still feel hopeless. I may sound like I’m all over the place here, but it’s just not so simple. I have a lot of hope, but sometimes I also have hopelessness. It feels like I’m never going to find the right person or be in a happy relationship. I sometimes see this gap of time I’ve had single as a failure even though that’s not true at all.
  9. I’m putting work into personal growth. I’m spending this time wisely, really working on myself. I’m even in a relationship and sex 12-step program. I’m examining my patterns and trying to build new thought processes and actions around them. I’m bettering myself as a person through school, a sport, and being the best friend/daughter/sister I can be. This will all benefit me when I start seeing someone.
  10. I’m saving myself for the right person. In the past, when I was in a lot of relationships, I was with the wrong people. I dated people who weren’t good for me. Now I know my worth and the value of my time. I refuse to give it to someone who doesn’t deserve it. Instead, I’m staying single because I just haven’t met that special someone yet.
Ginelle has been writing professionally for more than six years and has a bachelor’s degree in digital marketing & design. Her writing has appeared on Birdie, Thought Catalog, Tiny Buddha and more. You can follow her on Instagram @ginelletesta, via her Facebook page, or through her website at ginelletesta.com.