As of late, I have been hearing a lot of conversation about relationships. I hear a tidbit here and there, walking to campus, in classes, from my sorority sisters, from my peers, in passerby conversations, all twenty-somethings and all wanting to be in a relationship with someone “before it’s too late.” Too late for what may I ask? So many people it seems are desperately seeking someone to love these days, but out of fear. Fear of being alone for the rest of their lives. Trust me, I understand this place. I have been in and out of that specific place myself.
Actually to be honest, I’m writing this post to conquer my fear, the fear that many of my peers share: never finding anyone and being the crazy [dog] person. Currently single, I have had my ups and downs. I have gone to all levels of single-dom:
- the sad-hide-my-face-under-a-paper-bag-no-one-likes-me-hermit-with-mascara-stained-cry-eyes woman
- the joking-but-not-really-hashtag-forever-alone status
- “I don’t need no man ” independent woman inspirational speaker attitude
- “okay, maybe I should get back out there”
- “nope. nope. bad idea. Men are stupid, I’ll stick to dating myself thank you.”
- the inner-panic-I’m-really-going-to-end-up-alone mindset
- the “I’m being an idiot why do I even want a relationship” feeling
- etc. etc. etc.
So, yes. I’ve been there. I understand. But let me tell you this, it gets better–SURPRISE! No, I am not just saying that because I found a guy (I haven’t. Don’t get excited.) I am saying this because it really does get better.
Being single, I have found myself. I have grown to love and appreciate who I am as an individual and not have to rely on the approval of others. Throughout high school and my early college years, it seemed I could only survive because I had someone to lean on and tell me they love me. I was the most insecure, excuse of an “individual” you could find. It was not until recently in my current state of single-dom, that I have been able unveil myself and learn to love myself for all that I stand for. I used to be so dependent on the love and approval from crushes and boyfriends and friends and peers, etc. that I let them shape who I was at that time. I molded myself to fit the relationship. I wanted to be liked, to be loved, that I often compromised my feelings for the sake of being “the chill girl” or “the preppy drill team girl” when I was actually naïve, insecure girl.
But because of those experiences, the hurt, the heartbreak, the break-ups, the make-ups, the cheaters, the uncommitted, the overcommitted, I was able to find myself.
I used to think I was ready for a relationship again. That is, until I realized that now, I am really ready for a relationship again. And this is why:
- I am confident in my individual self. I love myself. I don’t need someone else to love me, but of course, it’s a warm and fuzzy feeling and would be a nice extra.
- I know what I stand for and what I am passionate about. You like hockey? I like baseball? Ok, minor details, it can still work. I love fitness and eating healthy to improve my life and you eat ramen because you’re lazy and smoke a pack a day? Pass. I work hard to earn an education to someday improve the world and you sit around and complain about how “the man is bringing you down.” Yikes. I don’t do lazy. I don’t do uneducated. It’s about taking the time to figure out your passions and your goals for the future and if your mate’s doesn’t match up at some point… is it really meant to be?
- I know what I am looking for in a relationship and I can communicate that. As much as I want to be the “low maintenance, chill girlfriend,” sometimes it makes me unhappy. I want to be kissed goodbye every time you leave. I want to be introduced to your friends and family because you are proud of me. I want to cuddle and do cute things together. Stargazing with a cup of cocoa in the mountains and thumb-wrestling? Um yes please to that RomCom cliché. I want to go on adventures with you. Let’s road trip. Let’s get lost. Let’s find our way back home. I want you to communicate with me. I want to know your fears and concerns. I want you to show your emotional side. I want to help you. I want to comfort you too. I want to make you smile. I want a rock and a teddy bear, you can be both and still be a man. It’s time to be open about what we want in a relationship. Don’t hide it from anyone out of fear that they aren’t on the same page. If they aren’t on the same page, and not willing to meet you halfway, then ask yourself, will it really make you happy? Is it worth it? Chances are, no. Chances also are that there is someone out there that is on the same page as you.
- Patience, timing and faith. I’m not desperately seeking anyone out. I am in my 20s. I have time to meet people. I have time to date people. The right people. I have faith that if it was/is meant to be, that it will be.
You see? It gets better, just give it time. For now take a deep breath. Enjoy the company around you in the present moment. Don’t be afraid to be alone. Find yourself. Don’t be afraid to fall in love again. Yes, you may get hurt again, but you will never know if you don’t try. Timing is everything. Be patient. Relax.