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Well What Now?

Single for a year in the eyes of a serial monogamist

I am what some people might call a serial dater.

By that I mean, since my freshman year of high school, I have never really been alone for more than a few weeks at a time. I didn’t seek people, it just always felt convenient. Someone always came forward as soon as my relationship was starting to taper off.

However, before I went to college, my boyfriend of YEARS at that point ended it. For reasons I never fully grasped, I was suddenly alone... something I’d never been. I had to pray for a date to prom. I didn’t have someone checking up on me every morning. This felt like my life was crumbling for a little while. We shared all the same friends, the same passions, the same activities. Everywhere was a reminder of my newly single status... and I hated it.

I hated being single. I love relationships, I love supporting someone, I love caring for someone and knowing they do the same for me. I kept hoping I’d go to college and the problem would solve itself, like it did in high school.

Long story short, I am home from college for the summer, and throughout the year I have not been on one official date... and even the unofficial ones ended in a ghosting, something I was not accustomed to. And for a while, yeah, it bummed me out.

I am the type of person who thrives with a partner. Being part of a pair gives me a sense of security, and anxiety melts away because I know I have that one go-to person any day of the week.

In college in general, finding a close group of friends takes sometime, and everyone feels pretty alone at one point or another... so for someone used to the support of a significant other, this loneliness stung in a particularly poignant way.

But then one day I realized that in order to be ready to receive the love I deserve, I must first give it to myself. A part of me was blaming myself for not finding the right person, wondering what was suddenly wrong with me, questioning if I am deserving at all. I started treating my insecurities like I would treat the insecurities of someone I am with. Telling myself that there’s nothing wrong with me, that I am worthy of love. I allowed myself the space to feel my feelings, as large as they were, but know that I am not my feelings (a mindfulness practice my voice and speech teacher preaches).

I craved a significant other to love me, but all I really needed was to look inside. There was a part of me so willing to give love, so why not to myself?

At the end of the day, being single is just being in a relationship with all the parts of yourself. The dark and the light learning to have a dialogue... after all, communication is key.

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