I think the reason most people are in relationships is to not feel alone. You get to experience things with a partner and love each other and stuff. Plus sex.
At least, I think the reason I am somewhat willfully single is that I don’t want to feel alone–and I feel more alone in a relationship than I feel being single.
In one relationship I was at a bad place with my anxiety and I hadn’t figured out how to deal with it yet. I would tell him I was having anxiety and he would say “it’s okay, just relax.” That is not how anxiety works, you can’t turn off the faucet. But I sat next to him, internally miles away, trying to work out all the things I was anxious about. I couldn’t bring it up again because he’d dismissed it with an easy/impossible solution. I knew he had no idea what was going on in my head, it wasn’t his fault, but feeling so misunderstood was bleak as hell.
Feeling alone when you are single is normal, the emotion makes sense. When you feel alone with another person, it’s so much more depressing because the whole point of being with another person is that they are supposed to NOT make you feel alone.
My number one criterion for dating someone now is they can’t make me feel like an alien. I feel like an alien when I talk to someone who doesn’t care about finding meaning in life or being intellectually curious or doesn’t understand why “that’s just the way it is” isn’t a conversation ender. For some reason beyond my comprehension, these are difficult qualities to find. I’m not making a value claim about whether this means people are good or bad, just that I want to relate to someone, if that’s the point of coupling up.
Being in a relationship is kind of making a bet on the future, this is the crowning pinnacle of your life, your teammate and “other half.” It’s bleak to think in those terms, like, if that person doesn’t understand you–that was the best you could hope for, it will never happen.
I’m sure it’s a problem with me, don’t get me wrong. Like, why am I not peeing my pants out of excitement to be in a relationship like everyone else in the world is?
I think I am missing something, a piece of information that everyone knows except for me about how other people increase your happiness. I can easily imagine that being the case, but in reality I’m still fighting to find proof.