It would be nice to wake up to someone and fall back asleep knowing they’ll still be there and — more importantly — that they’ll stay there. That they’d be there for an infinity of mornings if I wanted, if they were able, if we could. It’s never about practicality anyway. Just what you would do if you could.
That the person I wake up to is the person I fall asleep to, that it’s more than fighting with the pillows for space in bed, that it’s more than waking up to a cat eager to be fed, or to an angry alarm telling me I’m late. It’d be nice to wake up lazy and slow, to coffee already brewed, a warm arm that smirks and pulls you in closer, a confidante to run through the day’s stressors with. We could buy five more minutes, nine more minutes at a time, pulling each other back into bed. And we could start the day together, and get dressed together, and fight for space in front of the bathroom mirror and wolf down a paltry breakfast and complain and anticipate and rally for the day ahead.
It would be nice to have a regular Friday night, a standard Saturday brunch, a regular date for weddings and work functions and holidays at home. It would nice to evade the questions, to sidestep the curious aunts and concerned older relatives, the ones who are “worried” I’ll be “left alone too long,” as if that’s anything to truly fear. As if life isn’t complete, as if it’s not fulfilled any other way, as if their main terror in life is knowing that I’m not alone, that I have someone, that there is someone there for me. They’re coming from a good place — everyone always is, it seems — but to think they’ll rest easier knowing that I’m not navigating the world alone.
It would be nice to discover the world with someone, to send photos and postcards from far-off reaches of the world, to ignore our phones together in parts unknown. Because it seems that a relationship isn’t a relationship without a trip, a vacation, some kind of adventure to cement two people together. Something to immortalize on social media, to imprint in our memories for the random moments we turn to each other and begin with “do you remember that time when…”
It would be nice to meet someone kind, someone special — to see them across the bar or at the coffee shop or at the grocery store or at the park, and realize that right there, that’s someone I want to get to know. It’d be nice to begin the first formative moments and days, the jitters, the nerves, the excitement, the fear. I’d question myself at every turn, second-guess all my texts and bad jokes, wonder if everything I’m saying and doing and wearing and being is off somehow, if I’m not the right person for them and for this as I’d so desperately want to be. And it’d be nice to hear the reassurance that I am, that I’m just as wanted as I am wanting, that someone else is just as nervous, just as unsure. It would be nice to have someone. It would be nicer still to fall in love.
But that’s not all there is to it.
Because as nice as it would be, just having someone for the sake of having something nice is to miss the point of why it’s nice to have them. So you can say you do? Because you’re scared of being alone? Sure, there’s merit and validity in that, but as nice as it would be to not be single, it would also be nice to be taken by someone who makes that exciting. It is the difference between being in a relationship for the sake of the relationship, and being in one because knowing that other person exists in the world means that no one else is ever quite right for you again.
You can live your life and be single. You can be in a relationship and still live your life. One doesn’t lessen or cheapen the other, there is no better or worse. You can still make memories and accomplish great things and travel and explore and discover and learn about yourself on your own. Because you’re never quote alone — you will have your friends and your family and your coworkers and the dozens of strangers you see weekly, the handful of people with whom you interact, the little world you create for yourself. Having someone there to share it with you might be nice, but it doesn’t make anything more complete than it was before. It just means you get to share your dozens of little happinesses with one more person.
Because you can do whatever it is you want to do in a relationship as a single person. And jumping at the very first person who will have you, just because it’d be nicer to be in a relationship than it would be to wait for something that feels right and natural and true, is how a lot of relationships begin, but how even more end.
It would be nice to not be single, but it’s not everything to not be single. Because single or taken — in love or alone – doesn’t necessarily mean you’re lonely. It doesn’t mean you can’t still live your life. And sometimes, while it would be nice to have someone else, it’s also nice to remember that you will always have yourself. And that is, most of all, where you need to start.