I try to refrain from giving too much advice online. And by that I mean, I’m a liar. I’ve written over 900 articles online and my inexperienced, flawed perspective has undoubtedly slipped in. I guess that’s what we’re all doing, right? Shouting things that we hope make sense.
There are plenty of subjects I don’t think I can properly weigh in on, like how to run a successful business or travel the world on a budget. Haven’t done either! But you know what the internet thinks I’m an expert on at this point? Being single.
Ahhh yes, my claim to (not real) fame. The love poet who hasn’t been in (genuine, requited) love since 2012. What a fun thing I get to put on my eventual tombstone!
There’s a misconception about me that, truthfully, I’ve done my fair share to perpetuate. People read snapshots of my life – or what they assume my life is – and decide they’ve got it figured out.
Clearly, I’m single and therefore miserable.
I’ve dated intermittently since I was 16. Fell in massive love at 18, and have had dalliances with infatuation throughout my 20s. But being alone, being single, has never been the cause of unhappiness.
I’ve been unhappy for many reasons! Like lack of motivation, for beating myself up over missed opportunities. I’ve been unhappy because I suffer from depression and my brain quite literally likes to fuck me up. I’ve been unhappy because I wasn’t taking care of my health, or fighting with a friend, or simply felt lost like every other adult on the cusp of a quarter life crisis.
But, despite all of it, the source of my unhappiness has never been because I’m not in a relationship.
The thing about loneliness is that it has nothing to do with if you’re coupled off. It’s not about whether or not you’re able to bring a significant other home for the holidays. It’s not even about having a warm body next to yours in bed.
Loneliness has to do with the self. It takes a magnifying glass to anything that hurts and it’s easier to blame Singledom than it is to dig deeper.
Being single doesn’t mean you’ve failed.
It’s not some incurable disease that deems you unlovable or unable to thrive and find enormous amounts of joy. Being single might mean you’re focused on yourself, on enjoying the hell out of life with the one partner you’re guaranteed to always have – you.
It’s natural to crave company and I’ll never deny that being in love with someone is one of the best feelings in the entire world. But so are a lot of other things.
You might find yourself unattached. Maybe the right person hasn’t come along yet. Maybe you’ve discovered how much worse it is to be with someone “just because.” Maybe romantic pursuits have never been a focus.
Someone once told me, “Love blossoms when we stop looking for it.” And I don’t know if that’s true. I told you at the beginning, I’m not exactly Oprah out here with the advice. But I do know that freaking out about something rarely helps. But I guess telling you to not worry isn’t productive either, right?
Maybe I’ll go full-blown generic here and just say, honestly? There are so many amazing things waiting for you. You know that you’re just single, right?
You’re not dead.
So, my suggestion? Stop acting like it. Embrace the single. Embrace life, the good, the bad, the heartache, the thrills. Go out there. Enjoy the hell out of yourself, regardless of who is or isn’t sleeping beside you.
In truth, I’m single af and wouldn’t change it. I’m still learning who I am and what I need — figuring out how to cherish my own company. And shouldn’t that be what it’s all about? Does that somehow mean I’m missing out on something?