I wanted to share some thoughts with y’all on a topic that used to be so foreign and even scary to me but is now a point of discussion I have since found comfort in over the last couple of years: being single.
Yesterday I shared on my Instagram stories an old blog post I wrote about some funny and cringe-worthy dating stories from a couple years ago, and I got a lot of messages from women telling me how much they relate to those stories and how being single or getting rejected has made them start to doubt their self-worth, shift blame onto themselves, and even question, “Is it me?”
How I WISH I could shake all these women at once and convince them that the problem is not them… it never has been. There are people who are simply NOT meant to stay in your life for long. They are there to teach you something—whether that be about people in general, dating, the world, patience, communication, compatibility, or even something about yourself (like what you will and won’t accept in a partner). Some of these lessons will be more painful than others, but please know this pain is temporary, and you will always come out stronger and wiser at the end of it.
I am a pretty confident person who knows she has a lot to offer, but even I still get rejected. To put it bluntly, it sucks, and of course I get bummed when it was someone I really liked (which happens once—maaaybe twice a year. I don’t vibe with just anyone, y’all). But just because some guys aren’t smart enough to see my worth does not mean I am not enough. I am more than enough and so are you!!!
It took me a long time to realize this, but all the guys I’ve dated that I once viewed as a waste of my time were all really there to teach me something new. Each one of them, no matter how small the lesson. All you can really do is take what you’ve learned in stride, grow from it, move on and say, “thank you, next” (my new anthem, haha).
I have been single for a little over 3 years, but before this, I was pretty much always in a relationship; I found comfort in having someone there to lean on, even if I knew deep down that I was settling and unhappy that the person wasn’t putting in as much effort as I was. I literally stayed in a relationship for over 2 years with someone who lived across the country just because I was scared of being alone. I am not that same girl I was 3 years ago; I’m not afraid to be single anymore because being alone will always be better than settling for less than I deserve—which no one should have to do.
I get it, being single can be lonely and frustrating sometimes, but just know that when you are older, you’ll be so so grateful you had this time to be alone and truly get to know yourself before you committed to someone else.
I have friends who have been in their relationships a long time and told me that, although they love their partner, they wish they had experienced more time in their twenties to be on their own before they had settled down—whether that means living alone, being able to do whatever the hell you want without considering how someone else might feel about it, spontaneous trips with friends or by yourself, spending their money on things that didn’t require a conversation, and many other aspects we overlook.
There are pros and cons to both being single and being in a relationship. Both can be difficult and come with their own set of challenges, and both can be rewarding and fulfilling in different ways. I feel like it’s a “the grass is always greener” type situation, ya know?
But there is so much we take for granted while being single. Social media likes to portray a world where everyone else appears to be happier WITH someone which causes you to play the comparison game—a game where no one wins. You lose sight of everything that’s currently wonderful about your life and focus on this one aspect that society tricks you into thinking is not so great.
Screw that, you don’t need a partner for life to be great; your life is already awesome! Maybe you have an amazing group of friends or family or even pets who love you unconditionally, maybe you’re working hard at your career or furthering your education, or you found a new hobby/side-hustle that brings you immense joy, or a goal you’re actively working toward like something financial or fitness related. Maybe you’ve created a space you’re proud of, or you live in a city that you love. Literally there are so many things to enjoy about life that don’t require a significant other.
The truth is, you can feel just as lonely in a relationship as you can being alone (I know this from experience, maybe you do too?). In a relationship you have to rely on someone else to meet you halfway, but when you’re single… it’s all on you, and in a way, that’s a beautiful thing.
What does it really mean to be single? To me, it means to fully embrace your independence, to discover new depths of loving yourself, to encounter new challenges and opportunities and apply them to your self-growth, and to appreciate this temporary time in your life where you have no one else to worry about but yourself; you are your own responsibility, your own caretaker, your #1 hype woman, your biggest supporter, your own role model, your own hero. You have to make yourself a priority first because if you don’t, who will?
It won’t always be just you though.
One day someone will come along, flip your whole world upside down, and your story will suddenly include someone else. All the bad dates and rejection you went through will all become laughable memories someday, and you’ll finally understand why none of them were ever meant to be.
As soon as you meet your “person” there’s almost no going back—so enjoy this freedom now because someday soon, your life will never be the same.
When that day comes, how are you going to look back on this time of your life when you were younger, more willing, more able, more free time on your hands? Did you spend it feeling sad over people who never mattered in the grand scheme of things, or did you spend it appreciating the life you were cultivating little by little for yourself and living your life for no one else but YOU?
We are given such a small amount of time on this planet when you really think about it.
My wish is that you use it wisely.
My second wish is that I take my own advice.
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