People are shocked to find that I, a single twenty something, do not go on a lot of dates. In fact, I can probably count on one hand the number of dates I’ve been on in the past three years. “You must be so lonely,” I hear all too often. But the fact of the matter is—quite simply—I’m not. Just because you are single doesn’t have to mean that you are also lonely.
You don’t need someone to complete you, or to make your life complete. In fact, the exact opposite is true. Before you can allow someone else to truly, wholly, love you, you need to be able to love yourself first.
A little over two years ago, I was diagnosed with clinical depression. I was living alone, spent most of my time outside of work alone, and never did anything for myself. I told my doctor he was wrong when he told me that my constant tiredness and poor moods were because of depression. But he told me to hear him out and give his plan a shot. If I didn’t feel better within two weeks, I didn’t have to continue. But it wasn’t until after I started treatment that I realized how much I hated to be around myself before. I was moody. I jumped to conclusions. I was cynical. Long story short, I wasn’t a very likable person at all. That’s when I realized that if I didn’t even like myself, how was anyone else supposed to be expected to like me?
You are the only person that is in your presence at all times. Think about how much you like yourself when you’re alone. Do you like the person you are? Or are you too hard on yourself?
We live in a society that likes to believe that if we are single, we are lonely; we are broken. And quite frankly, I find that to be offensive. Single is curling up in your bed, binge watching your favorite show on Netflix, because you can. Lonely is staying in bed for hours because you cannot muster the strength to get up and face other people—or like in my case, face yourself. But I am here to tell you that “single” and “lonely” are not synonymous.
So if you are single, there is absolutely nothing wrong with you. You are not broken. But maybe you’re not where you need to be with yourself first. Rather than focusing on how lonely you may feel, focus on how you are treating yourself and making yourself feel. Do something nice for yourself. Once you let go of any negativity holding you back, new horizons will broaden. And once you like yourself when you’re alone, the possibilities are endless. I promise.
Let go of what is holding you back. Take my hand. The future is ours.