A few days ago, I was struck by a sentiment that I have often experienced: I hate being single! I’ve been basically single all my life, and it seemed terrible! Why was I so lonely, and why couldn’t a relationship just come my way? And then, I said to myself: but, like, ARE you lonely, and WHY do you want the relationship? And goddammit, at that moment, I realized I had never asked myself these questions, and that maybe, these ideas I had about my “loneliness” weren’t necessarily true.
I realized that the reason I got attached to guys easily wasn’t that I actually liked them at all. I don’t really know most guys I’ve hooked up with at all, so why was I so attached to the idea of a relationship? I realized when asking myself these questions, it was just that—the IDEA of a relationship, but not the person I’d be in it with—that drove me to seek out relationship material. I wanted the cute insta pics, holding hands, being able to say the words “my” and “boyfriend” in the same context, but I hadn’t really thought of anything else. Sure, I’d like to be in a committed, loving relationship with someone, but I realized that I had this with a lot of my close friends (minus, y’know, the physical stuff). I realized that my friendships were full of love, support, moments of being vulnerable with one another, calling each other out on our shit, and, most importantly, having tons of fun together!
It was great to realize this, because I also realized that my values were totally skewed! Being in a relationship was more important than finding an actual human being whose personality I liked and who I got along well with. Also, the way the person looked or what they had (handsome! fairly well dressed! maybe has a nice lakehouse! parents are both lawyers, oh goooodie!) was also more important to me than who they were. Not super cool, right?!? It was NOT super cool, at all. And the moment I realized this, I was able to realize that what I was pursuing wasn’t for the right reasons. I was able to feel empowered as a single lady for the first time in a long time.
I realized I didn’t need a dude to support me when I have incredible friends who are supportive and wonderful, and I have a loving, supportive family who’s got my back. I realized that wanting to take care of someone wasn’t as important as learning to take care of myself first, and I realized that if something challenging came up, it was more beneficial to learn to find solutions myself. Learning to live with yourself and getting to figure yourself out is super important.
All in all, it was AN AWESOME moment. I felt so great—no longer do I feel the need to search everywhere for someone who will date me (PERSON IN KROGER AISLE THREE SHOPPING FOR ASPARAGUS PLS DATE ME is no longer a thought that I focus on, thank god). No longer do I feel like I need to compare myself to people who have guys flock to them, or who are always finding guys to date them, no longer do I feel the need to go out to parties to find a dude to hook up with. All I needed to do was to realize how valuable my wonderful friendships—with both friends and family—are. I realized I had just as much fun (sometimes more) dancing the night away with my friends as I do when hooking up, and I realized that searching for something for so long wasn’t worth it anymore, especially when I have cooler things to focus on, like my classes and going abroad!
Yeah, I’ll still be a hopeless romantic, and cry at Shakespeare in Love, and sing along to love songs, because being a hopeless romantic and a TOTAL sap is a HUGE part of who I am, but I won’t feel some gaping lack of something that can ONLY be filled with a relationship. And that’s such a good feeling.
I hope this empowers someone who reads this. One of my closest friends and her incredibly empowering attitude is what inspired me to write this. Her words of wisdom and candor helped me realize a ton about myself, and I feel a lot better about things now. I hope I can do the same for someone else too.