November 20, 2016

3 Things You Learn About Yourself When You’re Single

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Anthony Tori
Anthony Tori

I would be lying if I said it didn’t get to me at times. That is silly because it is a basic human desire so to pretend like it is not there is not only absurd, but incredibly dishonest. Sometimes it keeps me up at night, sometimes it makes me retreat into myself. Most times it just makes me feel incomplete, but that is also absurd.

We all want to feel connected, to feel like we belong to someone. We want someone to come home to and to go out with. We want someone to share our lives with. We want to feel like our lives matter to another person on a deeper level than just friendship. The absence of that can be overwhelming sometimes. It makes us question ourselves and can cause us to constantly reevaluate ourselves, if we let it.

Being single is not something to take lightly. It hurts and it is hard and it can be lonelier than anything we have ever experienced.

And for those of us in a prolonged season of this state, it causes us to question the very fabric of our being. But despite all of those things, it can also be one of the most stimulating seasons we have. It can allow us to roam and discover things about ourselves we never would have been able to otherwise. Let me share a few reminders I received in my latest bout of singleness.

1. I Am Not Alone

Just because I am single does not mean I am alone. So many times we put so much emphasis on being single that we forget we have a wild world of people all around us. It is easy when I see a couple at dinner or see my friends who are dating to feel like I am missing out on something, to feel like there is some integral part of my life I have yet to achieve. But just because I don’t have a significant other doesn’t mean I don’t have people around me to share my life with and create memories with.

I have an incredible circle of friends. I have an even more incredible family. Being single allows me to do things like go to breakfast with my grandfather or go have a drink with a friend that I haven’t seen in a while without worrying about someone waiting for me to come home. It means I can go out with my friends until all hours of the night. I can connect with my community in a unique way that I can’t while in a relationship. I may not be part of a couple, but that does not mean I do not belong.

2. I Have a Purpose

We wrap so much of ourselves in relationships that sometimes it easy to feel like without having someone to take care of that we don’t have a reason to be here. It is easy to feel like until we find our “other half” that we have not found our direction. With so much of our society entranced in the fairy tell story or the happily ever after, sometimes it is hard to feel like we will ever have that without another person. That could not be further from the truth.

If you are alive, there is a reason. There is someone for you to affect or to share life with. We all bring something to the table; we are a diverse puzzle of talents and ambitions. I write (obviously). A mentor of mine works with teenagers. A friend uses Snapchat and YouTube to spread positivity. No matter, what your passion or desire, being single does not invalidate that. You are as invaluable a piece of the puzzle outside of a relationship as you are in one.

3. I Am Free

Cliché as it may be, I will never has a little responsibility in my life as I do when I am single. Being single means I do not have to worry about the well-being of a significant other. Being single means that I can be selfish with my time, my finances, and my energy. No other time in my life will I be able to determine where those things go like I can when I am single.

When I am single I can go. I can travel. I can wander and explore. If I want to pick up and go for a couple of days, I can. I can save money if I want; I can spend money if I want. I can go to concerts on a whim or drive to California. I can go to that festival or fly to see that old friend with no one to answer to but myself. I can fully embrace the freedom this season offers. I am the master of my own destiny.

Do I want to stay single forever? Of course not, but I am reminded, “…to everything a season.” I know in time I will find my forever person and then will I begin my life of creating stories and sharing moments with them, but for now that is not where I am at. Just because I am single does not mean I am in a bad place and that is the reminder I needed. TC mark

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