Why I Love Being Single

It is understandable that so many people are experiencing loneliness during quarantine, and many have turned to dating websites and apps to find solace. Although I myself have been tempted to do so, I have refrained from it because I have grown elated that I am single during this time.

I recently got out of a period in my life where I was a serial monogamist, as I would get into a new long-term relationship right after getting out of one. I kept this routine up for about six years, and I learned a lot from it. There were lovely times in these relationships, but there were also really troubling times, as I would often choose partners who ended up treating me really poorly. Nonetheless, I stuck around and stayed committed to each partner I had. And I made mistakes in these relationships too. No one is perfect, and I am not exempt from that rule.

I would be really invested in my relationships because I took them very seriously. I loved to have fun in them, but I wanted to make sure my partners knew that I wasn’t playing any games with the relationship. I would be endlessly loyal and give up everything for them. True loyalty is a value I will always live by, but little did I know that giving up everything for someone was not actually loyalty and that it was not going to create a healthy relationship. When I gave up so much for someone, I became upset when they were not willing to give up just as much for me, and I formed a resentment against them. I felt like they weren’t meeting my needs, when in actuality, I was the one who wasn’t meeting my needs.

Retrospectively looking at this stage of serial monogamy made me realize that I was codependent and needed someone always by my side to distract me from my own life. Not only would I get so invested in my relationships, but I would get really invested in the problems my partner had in their personal life. This was so that I would not have to deal with struggles that were going on in my personal life that were unrelated to the relationship. I deeply cared about all the people I have dated, and at the same time, I used those relationships as coping mechanisms and as escapes from my own life. That was neither fair to my partners nor to myself.

I came out of this time period not having had properly dealt with my own personal obstacles, and I had very little concept of who I was as an individual outside of a relationship. Having gone through my most recent breakup in the beginning of 2020, I have had a lot of time, both pre-quarantine and during quarantine, to really focus on both finding and improving myself. I took all the love and energy that I would have given to my partner and have refocused it on myself. I’ve been journaling more and learning what my wants, needs, and passions are. With the help of trusted friends and a therapist, I’ve been working through the traumas I never worked through while in those relationships. I’ve been focusing on my health and wellness. And while this process can be challenging at times, I’m loving every second of it.

Being single affords me the time to get in touch with myself. I am able to focus on myself and my passion projects, both of which I would have previously given up if my partner wanted to see me. I am able to work on taking care of myself and fill my time with things that “fill my cup,” as giving my time so willingly to my partners without consideration for my own needs often emptied “my cup” and made me less able to be the partner and the person I wanted to be. If I couldn’t keep “my cup” full and was always running on empty, how was I supposed to share “my cup” with others? What I needed was a balance: I needed to be an independent individual who shared my life with a partner rather than ran away from life while with them.

While it is true that people successfully do all these things for themselves while in healthy relationships, I was not one of those people who could do that. I needed to be single to realize that I had to learn how to be independent, to take care of myself, and to love myself, because as the incomparable RuPaul says, “If you can’t love yourself, how in the h*ll you gonna love somebody else?” I would like to be in a beautiful, healthy relationship someday. I want to be able to be independent and have an independent partner so that we can come together to love and support each other. But I want to give that love and support to myself first. I want that beautiful relationship with myself first. 

While I want to have a healthy relationship with a partner, I am not putting work into myself with the intent on producing that. I am working on myself because I want to love myself for the sake of loving myself and so that I can live the best life possible and be the best possible version of myself. I want to be genuinely grateful for all the good and bad things that have happened in my life because I will have learned from all those experiences. Because I want all these things and I am working toward achieving them, I rarely feel lonely anymore, as I can keep myself company. I’m also confident that one day I’ll be able to be in a healthy relationship while being in love with both the person I have become and my partner. But for now, my focus remains on learning to love myself and being an independent woman.

If you feel lonely and are considering going on dating apps, first consider forming a healthy relationship with yourself. Embrace who you are and learn to love your own company. Nourish your relationship with yourself because it could turn out to be the most beautiful, rewarding, and fulfilling relationship of your life.

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