When I am feeling lonely, or sad, or bitter about being on my own, you don’t get to persuade me that being in a relationship won’t make it better. You don’t get to tell me that I need to learn how to be happy on my own before I start looking for happiness in the arms of someone else. Sentiments like “you need to love yourself first” and “you don’t need a man to complete you” are meaningless when they come from someone who has somebody to go home to every night.
People always say these things with the best intentions, but they don’t recognize the hypocrisy in their words. They can’t begin to comprehend the exhaustion that results from restless nights spent avoiding the cold side of the bed when there’s always a warm body lying beside them. It isn’t fair to expect someone to stand on their own two feet when you have the advantage of two hands on your shoulders to keep you steady. You might be familiar with the stumble, but you never have to worry about the fall. And you can’t understand how hard it is to keep picking yourself up off the ground when there’s always someone waiting there to catch you on the way down.
Please don’t tell me that being single in my twenties is like having the golden ticket to freedom. Don’t pretend that you envy me because I don’t have anybody to answer to. Having the independence to do whatever I want, whenever I want doesn’t automatically translate into a life full of adventure. Because when everyone around you is in a committed relationship, you become an extension of that. The ability to go out and live it up without excuses or apologies is useless when everyone else is tied down. When girls’ night out becomes drinks for one, it loses its appeal.
I don’t need to be convinced that the world doesn’t begin and end with a relationship; I am very good at being on my own. I know that my value is not dependent upon someone else’s ability to see it. I know that just because I haven’t found love yet doesn’t mean that I am not worthy of it.
I don’t want a relationship because I think it is going to repair everything in my life that is broken; I already know how to take care of myself. I want is someone who will support me and encourage me. I want to know that there is someone in my corner, ready to back me up when things get too big for me to handle on my own.
I don’t want a relationship because I think it will suddenly shine a light on all of the dark places in my life; I already know where to look to find joy. I want is someone who will add to a life that I already believe is filled with happiness. I want someone to fall so deeply in love with my smile that they would do anything to keep it there.
I don’t want a relationship because I think it will teach me how to love myself; I already know the many things about me that are worth loving. I want someone who will recognize the standards that I set for myself, and will rise above to meet them. I want someone who respects me so much that I’ll never have to question if I’m good enough.