I’d been single for about two years and damn, I was lonely. I wasn’t interested in getting into a romantic relationship so I decided to make more friends. Here’s why that was the best thing I could’ve done.
I put myself out there. I tried to start friendships with lots of people who seemed interesting. Some were people I met in person and others I met on social media. I was trying to broaden my social horizon and create connections with people, and it was exciting to fill up my social calendar instead of sitting at home every night watching Netflix on my own.
I met some amazing people. Seriously, they were fabulous! Being around them made me realize how much fun I’d been missing out on. It was also cool to finally have people I could chat to about being single. They reminded me why it was actually awesome to be alone.
I realized that I didn’t have to be lonely. Although it was cool to be alone, I didn’t have to be lonely and making new friends taught me that crucial difference. I could have fun and have company whenever I wanted. They were literally a text away.
It was even better than a relationship. There were no pressures or drama. I didn’t have to do much to keep the friendships flowing nicely. I didn’t have to chat to my friends every day unless I wanted to, and I didn’t feel jealous when they were hanging out with other people instead of me in the way I would when I had a romantic partner. These were the blissful kinds of friendships I needed in my life.
I got the best of both worlds. I felt like I could have amazing people in my life and still hold onto my freedom as a single woman. I could travel whenever I want, I could stay indoors and read all weekend without anyone bugging me, and my friends were always around whenever I felt like I wanted to go out and have fun or needed a quick pep talk to boost my spirits. What a fantastic way to have my cake and eat it!
I re-learned the art of having fun. I’d been alone for so long and I think I stopped having fun. Embracing new friendships was a great way to remind myself that there was plenty of it to be had in the world—I just had to open my mind to the possibilities. For example, one friend was into clubbing and it was so much fun climbing back on the partying bandwagon (I hadn’t been on it in years!), while another friend introduced me to some awesome new hobbies that had been out of my comfort zone like horse-riding and making jewelry.
I wouldn’t have done those things with a boyfriend. When I choose someone to date, I try to find someone who’s pretty much the male version of me and who shares many of my interests. I wouldn’t have dated a guy who liked clubbing, for instance, but because friendships aren’t as hectic when it comes to dating expectations—you don’t necessarily search for the same things in a friend that you would in a romantic partner—I could surprise myself by being exposed to lots of new things.
There are many different kinds of love. Making wonderful and supportive friends was a breath of fresh air in my soul. It taught me so much about love. I’d always held onto the idea that love had to be romantic, but that’s total BS! I was in love with my friends because they were such great people and they brought so much value into my life. Around them, I realized that I didn’t need to have a boyfriend in order to give love to others, build soul connections, or feel valuable as a person.
Platonic love is a force to be reckoned with. There’s so much love out there that gives me strength—the love from my family, my friends, and myself. It’s also BS that platonic love is something to be sad about, like when you’re crushing on your co-worker and he’s not interested. In truth, platonic love can be a beautiful thing. By having more friends instead of getting a boyfriend, I could finally realize that non-romantic love is for life. No matter what happens, my friends will always be there.
I stressed much less. Being in a relationship wasn’t always about sunny days. I remember analyzing texts and obsessing over whether or not the guy I was dating me was really in love. It sucked, and those were sure signs that I was in unhealthy relationships. Who needs the drama? The great thing about having friendships instead of a boyfriend was that I didn’t have any of those stressful experiences in my life. Ahh, freedom!
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