Don’t get me wrong, my boyfriend is the most wonderful human being to ever grace my life and I would never want us to break up. Still, sometimes I wish I could experience single life without the necessary heartache. There’s so much I feel like I’m missing out on.
I’ve been in relationships most of my life. I swear I’m the queen of serial monogamy, having hardly been single for three consecutive months since I was 14. Obviously, I love being in relationships but that means I don’t have much experience when it comes to being single. What’s it like to be a totally independent woman? My daydreaming is often preoccupied with this question, and as much as I love my boyfriend, part of me wishes I were single just to know what that life is like.
I feel like I missed out on so much. Because I’ve been in relationships forever, I imagine there are a lot of rites of passage that I missed out on. Living with friends was a big one, and I mourn the fact that I always lived with partners instead of in the big communal sharehouse that I always dreamed about. I don’t think that’s something I can ever get back and it’s hard to undo the decision of moving in with a partner once it’s done. There are some things I just missed out on because I was always tied to a relationship.
Living together amplifies the feeling. Being in a relationship is one thing, living together is quite another. Since my boyfriend and I both work from home, the situation is even more intense. I love living with him but sometimes I feel like I can’t escape my relationship. I daydream about being single because it allows me a temporary break from my 24/7 love life.
We make big decisions together and I struggle with that. Of course, that comes with the territory when you’re in a partnership. We make decisions together because they affect both of us. Sometimes I don’t want to consult someone else before I spend money or move house or go traveling. I know it’s just part of being an adult, but I’m not sure I ever intended on growing up.
I miss my freedom. I know I’m free to live my life the way I want regardless of whether I’m in a relationship or not, but I also know that my actions have consequences. Going out all night and coming home in the early hours of the morning is perfectly fine for someone who’s single. It’s a little harder when you’re coming home to a boyfriend who wonders where you’ve been and why you didn’t call.
Being in a relationship makes it harder to be impulsive. I love to be spontaneous—if life gets too predictable I tend to get antsy. Shaking things up when you’re single is pretty easy —you just go do something unexpected. Being in a relationship seems to dampen my ability to act on impulse since everything I do now affects another human being. I love sharing my life with my boyfriend, but somehow I crave the freedom of just acting impulsively and selfishly when the mood strikes.
I’d like to have more varied sexual experiences. Wouldn’t we all? Don’t get me wrong, my boyfriend and I have an incredible sex life and I wouldn’t give it up for the world. It’s never boring and there are so many things to experience just with him. That said, I’m still curious to discover sex with other people and when I think about being single I wonder about all the new experiences I could be having.
I’m working on ways to deal with all this. The more I think about all the things I’m missing out on, the more I can find ways of implementing them in my life without losing my relationship. Just because I have a boyfriend doesn’t mean I have to lose my independence. I’m still a badass woman, living my own life—I’m just living it alongside the person I love. The more I remember that, the more I’m able to find ways of experiencing the freedom I think I’m missing.
It’s still nice to daydream from time to time. I don’t believe in being guilty of thoughtcrimes so I’m happy to indulge in a little daydreaming every now and then. It reminds me of the choice I have: to stay with my partner or go off into single life. I choose my partner because I love him, and being aware of this choice helps me to appreciate the life we have together (and reminds me that he’s choosing me too). It guards against that all-too-common relationship killer: taking each other for granted.
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