As with most facets of life, we typically want what we can’t have: Those in relationships long to live the free, single life, and those in relationships want that 'person' by their side. That’s the human paradox for you. My two cents on this is that sometimes being single or in a relationship may be better for you depending on where you are in life. Right now, I’m single. And I'm loving it because it lets me be totally me, in the sense that I am 100% free. Not that relationships prevent you from being free; I mean this in the sense that what I need in my life right now is to be single. Let me break it down for you.
Life as it Stands: Currently I have a full plate: work, friends, living in a big city and exploring it, hobbies, family, myself. This doesn’t leave a ton of time for the Tinder date of the week - not that I’m interested in that anyway. I lead a fulfilling life that keeps me engaged and looking forward with a positive view. I have 6 trips planned in the next 4 months, so safe to say I will not be getting bored any time soon. A sub-category here in itself is travel, as I can pick where I want to go and nurture the relationships I have with friends and family before we all settle down and have kids.
Rediscovering my Personal Freedom: I’ve always been an independent person, but being single has further enhanced this trait. Particularly in the sense that I am less malleable by others and have time and thought capacity to develop my own perspectives on things. Beyond that, if I want to do something, I enthusiastically do so, or I don’t do it at all - I’ve written about this concept before. I have stumbled upon the joy of doing things alone and being comfortable being alone, without being lonely. I identified with feelings of loneliness when I first became single. I acknowledged how I was feeling and told myself it was valid to feel this way, and kept going. Then simply one day I looked around and realized that I didn't feel lonely anymore.
Loving Myself: Self-love is my favorite type of love right now. For too long I didn’t treat myself with the respect I command from others - not a cool double standard to have. Someone on social media I really appreciate is @avokween, who talks about naming that bitchy voice on your head and calling her out on her shit. Mine’s name is Becky. She’s a huge bitch and never says anything nice to me but still lurks around in my head. We’re working on it. Further, I’ve made myself the priority through cooking, fitness, reading, and my other hobbies. I take the time to do the things I love and learn more about myself while slowly improving.
Moving my Mindset: After reading The Four Agreements coupled with some other good reads and thought-provoking things, I have made it a priority to be positive, optimistic, and to choose happiness. Flipping my mindset is a slow process (as with many good things!), but I have the head space to focus on this right now and it feels great.
This is not a post on dating bashing. I’ve had my fair share of it and think it’s a great teacher in life; being able to walk into a date calm, cool, and collected knowing that it is *just* a date is a great skill to have. Plus, you become a small talk expert. And I’m not bashing relationships either. I am not opposed to either, and if the right man shows up I won’t say no because if he’s ‘right’, I won’t have to compromise on the above things (side note: not that I believe in 'the one' because I'm too damn pragmatic to view it that way.)
I’ve flipped my mindset for now to see the bright side of being single, and I think it’s pretty damn enjoyable. I feel a greater sense of independence which is incredibly important for me - autonomy and freedom are top values of mine and feeling this way is empowering, exciting, and motivating. I like to think that life has it's own way of happening, for the better, and this is where I need to be now.