I have been single for the last 20 years. In all honesty, that’s my whole life. And you know what? I love it. I really do.
I meet a lot of young people proudly proclaiming their love for individuality apart from a significant other. They proclaim their perceived “happiness” over social media and to their friends. Well, I’m telling you right now: I know you’re not actually happy. If you were actually secure in being single, you wouldn’t feel the need to talk about it all the time. So, here is a way to really be happy “by yourself.”
Throughout high school, my friends resolved that I was an “unmatchable” because I didn’t have much interest in boys. While everyone else was worried about who they would date, I couldn’t care less. It’s not that the idea of a significant other was repulsive to me, it was because I was content with my current singleness. I am still content with my singleness.
First of all, it’s important to realize what it means to be “ready” for a relationship. I don’t care what you say, most 12 to 20-year-olds are not ready for a relationship. There is an important requirement that a person MUST meet in order to have a successful romance, and requirement is knowing yourself and loving yourself.
You have to know and love who you are by yourself before you can know and love who are are with someone else.
Knowing myself took time. It’s still taking time. In high school, I knew I was too young to make a good choice on a boyfriend. I didn’t know myself well enough to be a suitable partner for someone else. I didn’t want my insecurities transferring into a relationship where I would use the other person as a crutch instead of encouraging them and helping them to be the best they can be. Relationships are all about mutual benefit and making each other better people.
If you need another person to nurse your insecurities and make you feel good about yourself, you are not ready for a serious romance.
Secondly, life is about so much more than an end goal of meeting “the one.” It seems the world pushes romantic relationships on us like they’re a cure for death. I mean, come on, I grew watching Disney movies, and the Little Mermaid got married when she was 16 . . . 16!
Guess what? Finding the perfect person is never an end goal, and neither is marriage. Even after the “I do’s” you still have to live with yourself, apply your skills, and figure out life, only you have another person as a distraction now. Okay, okay, that sounded harsh, but I’m being real. It is really important to get your priorities, passions, and skills figured out before you even start to think about sharing your life with someone else.
I’m not saying that you have to have your whole life figured out before participating in a relationship. I’m only saying that you’ll save yourself an enormous amount of pain if you realize from the start that life isn’t about romance. It’s so much more than that. What is “the more?” Well that’s what YOU have to figure out.
Who are you? What makes you valuable and what is life about?
Thirdly, and perhaps my favorite: being single allows you to be more selfless. Think about what would happen if you had used all your time volunteering instead of bouncing from one relationship to another. Most people go into relationships looking to get their needs met. They want a best friend, a companion, someone to take care of them, and someone to gratify their sexual desires. I’m not saying that any of those things are bad, but when these desires become so strong that relationships are a society’s obsession, selfish motives are at play.
Relationships are about compromise. The best way to learn compromise is by giving your time to other people for nothing in return. Learning how to be in a relationship happens outside of a relationship. When you spend your time volunteering and helping strangers at no benefit to yourself, how much more are you learning to love someone who will actually return the favor?
So, the moral here is simple: living a fulfilling and wonderful lifestyle is not dependent on a partner. A person can find immense pleasure in knowing themselves, their passions, and their life purpose, and using that knowledge to help others.
Life is not about selfish pursuit of a partner. No one has ever found lasting pleasure in that notion.