I used to grow up with the idea that I needed a relationship to make me whole. I don’t know if it was seeing my parents together my whole life or romanticizing relationships on TV, but not having a relationship truly scared me.
Society also makes it feel like women have to be in a relationship. That if a woman of a particular age isn’t married, then something must be wrong with them. It almost felt that your worth depended on your relationship status.
In high school, I remember feeling so lonely. I’d watch girls in my classes get into relationship after relationship. They’d get asked out to prom and homecoming, while I was pretty much alone. I didn’t date that much, but when I did, I’d cling onto whatever relationship that was offered to me. It didn’t matter how the guy treated me, I was just happy to not be completely alone.
In college, it got even worse. I would often settle for a “situationship,” which were short lived and in which my feelings were being taken advantage of. I’d compromise my values, put their feelings first, and ignore my boundaries. And honestly speaking, most of the guys I just dated for the potential for what it could be, rather than seeing it for what it was.
What I noticed about all my relationships was that I wasn’t complete on my own. I needed them to validate the feelings I had towards myself. My entire happiness depended on them. As long as they loved me, then I loved me; when they left, I was so quick to blame myself.
But that’s a lot of responsibility to put on another person. People are flawed, and you never know when or if they’re going to leave your life.
After having two failed relationships, I finally took a step back to evaluate what was going wrong. And that’s when I realized that I have to be complete by myself. That a relationship did not define my happiness. And, more importantly, I had to love myself before I could love anyone else.
Being single does not have to be a bad thing. It doesn’t make you undesirable nor do you need it to be whole. As beautiful as relationships may be, they don’t have to be a priority. There is nothing wrong with taking some time out to be by yourself. Because when you get desperate to be in a relationship, you’ll settle for anything, which leads you to very toxic situations.
Take this time to explore who you are, the things that you want in life, and the goals you would like to reach. Spend time with the people who truly love and appreciate you. Travel the world and try new things. Find happiness within yourself and love yourself unconditionally. If someone comes along, then that’s great, but if not, that’s okay too.