I’ve always craved a hefty amount of alone time. I ducked out of sleepovers early, usually complaining of a stomach ache or some other sort of ailment to justify why I called my mom to pick me up. It’s not that I wasn’t enjoying myself, I was, but I’d reach my limit. My energy would feel depleted and I’d know what I needed. I needed a break from people.
It’s not uncommon for those in my life to be confused by my talkative nature but undeniable introverted tendencies. It’s weird to them, how I can be “on” one minute, and secretly dying to go home the next. It’s always been a struggle – not wanting to hurt people’s feelings. Even the person I love the most is someone I need breaks from. And to borrow the oldest line in the book, it’s not them, it’s me. Because it is.
It’s how I recharge. It’s the way I can collect my thoughts, my bursts of creative ideas. As an only child, I learned to enjoy my own company early on. I’ve never lost that ability. It’s something I feel lucky to have. I like who I am. I like sitting with just me.
But I’m also a big, ooey-gooey, hopeless romantic who would, to quote Meat Loaf, do anything for love. I would! Really! It’s an unpopular thing to say, but I consider myself to be a much better girlfriend than I am friend. I put everything into my romantic partnerships. I love to support who I’m with, to be the one cheering in the front row. Basically, I’m in love with love.
And so enters this strange dichotomy: my desire for partnership and love of solitude.
As a result, being single has never been scary to me.
Sure, there have been undeniably lonely moments. There have been times I’ve been nostalgic for relationships I once had, times I’ve questioned if I will have that again. I’ve ached for a pal to love and cherish and experience life with.
But I don’t fear a life on my own. I don’t see it as a failure. I see it as a beautiful opportunity to be with myself, to grow into who I will become. I get to have my space and remember how glorious that can be.
That doesn’t mean I’ve stopped wanting love. That doesn’t mean my fluttery heart has turned cold. That doesn’t mean I’ll ever give up on the thought of someone wonderful coming along.
For now, it’s me. And for now, that’s all I could ever need.