Our society places such an importance on finding value in being loved by a significant other. Having someone to claim publicly that you are desired and wanted. It’s in every film. It’s what pulls our heart strings in every commercial. Finding someone to love you is the be-all, end-all.
I say it’s bullshit.
We are all surrounded by people who love us, like really I-hate-my-life-without-you-in-it love us. It might not be romantic love, but friendship love is still love. We don’t need one person who we pine after to verify that we’re amazing. We’re allowed to be valuable and worthy all on our lonesome. Just because no one is texting you and calling you and pursuing you doesn’t mean that you have anything less to offer than if they were.
I’m not someone that dates frequently. I’ve had my share of guy issues and flings just as anyone else. But I’ve also recently ended a friendship with someone who I felt “treated my heart like monkey meat,” to quote Hannah Horvath. And I spent so much time hating him for how he made me feel when, in the end, I realized that I was doing it to myself. I was the one who acted like I didn’t deserve more than that. I went back time and time again to what once was and held on so tightly to the idea that someone wanted me like I should be wanted, even if it was in fleeting moments. I am so proud that I got enough courage to be honest with myself and with him. I am thankful for our tumultuous merry-go-round of emotions. It forced me to demand more, both from myself and from what I want with someone else.
And yet I still sit here today, absolutely terrified that I ruined things with the only person that may ever feel like that about me.
I am frozen in fear that someone else isn’t going to find me valuable and worthy.
And I hate it. I wish I could reprogram my brain and tell it that I’m allowed to be happy alone. That it’s okay to be alone. That you don’t have to grow up to be a princess with a Prince Charming. That being alone and happy is just as valuable, and in some ways even more valuable than being with somebody else. Relationships come and go. The way you feel about yourself is forever.
When I started dating again, I don’t know what it was that made me want to venture in to that messy world again. Intrigue got the best of me, however, and so I dove headfirst, with two dates back to back. I went in with no inhibitions, had nothing to lose—and I had fun. But I also left each date not feeling completely satisfied. Giddy, yes, but satisfied where I wanted the conversation to go on forever? No. I didn’t want to know what they thought of the ways travel changes you, or how they felt about higher consciousness or even the stupid stuff like their favorite color. And I’m debating with myself if I should see them again and continue to try and get to them know them, but you know what? Sometimes leaving it at one date is enough. Sometimes, you shouldn’t settle for things to mature. Sometimes you should want instant, crazy, punchdrunk, at first sight love.
I’ve gotten the butterflies. I’ve come up with elaborate fantasies about the perfect Sunday doing nothing together in bliss. If I’m going to try to make it work with someone, I want to be excited at the sight of his name on my phone. I want to delve into the corners of his mind and get all the gritty details on his outlook on life. I want gut-wrenching, uncontrollable laughter because that’s when I put my guard down.
But a love like that may not happen for me.
And as much as that thought scares the shit out of me in the long run, I’m okay with it for now.
I want to grow closer and closer each day to being perfectly content with that fact. It is my new mantra: I am fine all on my own. I don’t have to have someone constantly trying to contact me for me to feel like I’m worth talking to. (I talk to myself enough. In public. Out loud, no less.)
Going solo should be accepted in society, if not more so than being in a couple. We came in to this world as individual humans with individual thoughts. It should be rare that you find someone special enough that you want to spend all your time with them. Because that time could be spent with friends and movies and books and food. (Not a lot of people’s company are better than nachos.) We are not broken if we’re alone. We should be liberated.
And if and when you find a person that you do want to dive off the deep end with, that jump is scary and noble all on its own. But you shouldn’t want to jump unless you know. Unless it’s in your bones. If the thought that maybe you shouldn’t jump ever crossed your mind, maybe you really shouldn’t. Love is knowing not only that you should, but that it’s the only option there is.