The word single according to Webster means to stand alone, to be “apart.” The word is also related synonymously to outcasted or isolated. All of these terms are negative, and even though Webster claims that single means alone I’m here to tell you that’s rarely what comes to pass.
For most people, it’s embarrassing to have to admit to family or friends that they don’t have a significant other. “I thought you were 25?” “Are you a nun?” “Ohh you’re one of those women...” As if there is some sort of rulebook to be followed as to when you're supposed to have a relationship and what it is to look like. Because of this mindset, and the negative attachment we stick to being single, a majority of people rush themselves (and others) into intimate relationships for the sole reason they feel like they have to, or it’s time, or they’re bored. Why is it that our loneliness drives us to enter into relationships that we would never begin had we been filled with contentment and joy all by ourselves?
It is easy to be in relationships in 2018. We have social media, dating apps, and constant connections to nearly everyone around the world. Your soulmate is nearly one snap, right swipe, or DM away. Of course, because they are attractive and your age, you can’t pass up on the opportunity to be cared for and given attention. I mean, it is what everyone else is getting from their Saturday night half drunk snap exchange. Now, this isn’t an article about relationships being bad by any means. Relationships are what make us human. We need other people. It’s in our DNA to be drawn to others.
However, if relationships are so detrimental to our mental state and the way we live our lives, why do we take them so lightly? Why do we make them so easy to begin, and even end? So often we feel that as soon as we lose someone we really loved, we have to go find someone new to fill the void the previous partner left. It’s a gaping hole for love and acceptance that is being replaced after each heartbreak. Only, we aren’t filling the hole, we are just making it bigger.
Because of the societal pressure to have your person and to have your love story, we begin to force it. We fight tooth and nail to make things work in our lives that honestly, probably aren’t meant to work out. We drop someone and find someone else, we get our heartbroken and move on to the next shoulder to cry on until they eventually decide they too have had enough. Why isn’t it working? How come you’ve tried so many times and you fall short? The answer really is simple. Your relationship isn’t good because your singleness has been short-lived and filled with brokenness and regret.
The single time in your life is just as important (if not more) as your married life. The time you spend to yourself, the things you learn and the way you grow, mold you into the person you are and how you react in relationships. The insecurities you have in your single life, will not go away because your new boyfriend says you are pretty. The bitterness you have from a past betrayal only carries over to your mindset towards your partner. Every single person carries around a type of baggage, and a certain amount of it. Whether yours is daddy issues, or a struggle for acceptance, or even a learning disability, you carry it. The misconception is, you will go into a relationship and release the baggage—things will be better. But the more you enter into relationships, the more the baggage piles up. You’re now on boyfriend number four of the year and suitcase number 12 because you were cheated on, lied to, and betrayed and you never dealt with it in your singleness.
You can never truly love someone with all that you are if you don’t even know who you are outside of someone else. Singleness isn’t a time of loneliness. You are not to be alone. Find your place, find your purpose, most importantly find yourself. This time in your life can potentially form you into the exact person that someone else is looking for. Don’t be so anxious to find them. Wait for your time. The waiting is what shapes us. When you rush it, force it, push it, it’s deformed. It’s defective. It’s inadequate. Be present. Make a new friend. Visit a new place. Learn a new skill. But never let your boredom or your loneliness push you into something you aren’t quite ready for. Your relationship will come, but it will only be as good as you made your singleness.