Thought Catalog
March 7, 2017

Here’s What I Learned After A Year Of Being Single

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Martin Miranda

“This is the part where you find out who you are.”

Single.

It’s very sad to admit, but if we’re being honest here, nobody believed me when I first said the words I just don’t want to be with anyone. I mean, I was a known as the relationship girl, the girl who always had a guy, so I couldn’t blame them for not believing me.

I emerged from the pool one hot spring day; feeling relieved having finally told my best friend how I really felt. I lay on across the lounge chair, still dripping from the pool, and glaring at every curve of my body. I thought of the relationship cycle I couldn’t escape from. The stress, the bliss, the anger, the hurt, the happiness, the harsh ending; all took a toll on my mental health. I was done with the vicious cycle, at least for right now.

I made a declaration to finally do this “single life” thing.

For the very first time in my entire existence, I had a plan that didn’t involve someone else.

One whole year, 12 months, 365 days of, pure solitude, and this is what I learned.

Being alone is so important. I had to learn to not only be alone, but to enjoy this time. Being around friends, family, and even the love of your life is amazing, but alone time is so important. I took my broken heart and transformed it into art, into something permanent. I spent this time to sit quietly and listen to my powerful insights. Take this time to get clever with your presence. If you’re newly single, this is something that you will need to get used to, but when you do, I promise you will crave this time.

Love isn’t constrained to only a romantic relationship. I thought I didn’t have an ounce of love left in me, when I was first considered single. I filled myself with so much hate and anger, that I thought love was to blame for my negative emotions. I had to learn that love isn’t to blame, and I also had to learn that love isn’t only found in a romantic relationship. Love is found everywhere. Love can be found in your favorite book, love can be found in your morning run, love can be found in your first sip of coffee, love can be found in your friends, love can be found in your family, and most importantly love can be found in yourself.

Guys will say anything under the sun to get you in bed. It’s actually quite amusing. All guys have their own unique and slick way of getting you to not only come over, but to get you in bed. Growing up, my mom and older sister warned me about these guys. I honestly thought playing games was over at my age, but unfortunately it’s far from over. This is the time you will learn how love the lovers, and play the players. It takes trial and error to differentiate the guys who want to know your heart and the guys that just want to sleep with you. You will reach a point where you’ll know from the scarce beginning. Instincts my love, listen to them.

Netflix and chill solo isn’t so bad. I can honestly say this is one of my favorite parts of being single. Oh, yes. I said that. Not only do you get to choose whatever movie your heart desires, but also get to actually watch it. Don’t act like you weren’t thinking it! Messy bun, no make up, ben and jerry’s (or halo top if you’re calculating your macros), and the whole bed to yourself. Come on, what more could you ask for?

Every day isn’t going to be easy. I had nights that I’d pray I’d wake from what I felt like was a bad dream. I had mornings my heart hurt so bad I didn’t want to get out of bed. Plans I had to cancel because I just wanted to be alone and cry. I learned that this is all normal. We as humans are allowed to take this time to grieve the loss of another, and to feel the bits and pieces of our heart breaking. We grow in times like these, and this is the time we really learn how strong we are.

Life isn’t over. With or without affirmation from a guy I am still me, and there is so much life to be lived. I finally learned that there is way more to life, then finding significant other. I am becoming a better person then I have ever been in the past. Take this season in life to do what you want, travel, and see the world. Fall in love with your city all over again. The world is still spinning and you are still living, so make it worthwhile.

Single has treated me better than any romantic relationship I have ever had. There are finally no boundaries and no rules. I can live under my own terms and for once in my entire life, I call the shots. I am finally the director to my life. Yes, I may be very uncertain of the future, but I honestly have never felt more alive then in this very moment. Mindfulness thinking goes a very long way. Do yourself a huge favor and invest in yourself, trust yourself and love yourself.

Being single is a blessing. This has given me the opportunity to reflect on my past, and to turn every hardship into a lesson. I am constantly learning new pieces of myself that I didn’t even know I had in me. During this time I learned how to weed out the douchelords, and to truly listen to my instincts. Know that you are enough, and with or without a man in your life you are absolutely magical. Patience is key; so take in every single moment of you. Never stop searching for you. TC mark