Well, to start, I got out of a serious relationship in March of 2017. Leaving that chapter behind me was definitely difficult, but very necessary. We had been together for a year and a half, so I wasn’t used to being alone anymore. It was very challenging at times, sometimes scary, and other times just downright lonely. But surprisingly I learned a lot about dating, even though I stayed single. I also learned a lot about myself, and at this point in time, I can confidently say that I am comfortable being single, and it’s not this scary thing that people need to stress about. I was able to do and learn a lot that I wasn’t able to in a relationship.
I am writing this as it comes up to a year exactly of me being single. Truthfully, since I entered the dating world, I’ve never been single this long. I never really liked to be alone, so I was always the girl with a boyfriend. Now I’m quite the opposite. As of right now, I’m nowhere near even thinking about wanting a boyfriend. Not because there are no great guys in my life, but because I know I’m still not ready.
Before my break up, I started noticing things I needed to fix about myself. Nothing cosmetic, or anything like that, but I had sunk into a depression. Also debt. I wasn’t in a good mental place at all. Alongside all of that, I told myself I needed to take a step back and see what I was really looking for in a relationship, and why I wasn’t getting it. In the past year, I’ve tried to get to know a few guys here and there, keeping it very casual and keeping a certain distance, because I knew in the back of my head I wasn’t ready for anything serious just yet. Plus it seemed like every guy I tried to get to know turned out to be a test from the universe or a lesson. I compiled everything I learned into six basic lessons that I will carry with me from now on.
1. You CAN’T fix them.
You may think you can, but you really can’t. Unless they accept help. The guys I was talking to were either alcoholics or liars. Pay attention to how they act in the beginning or how they treat others. Sometimes people act perfectly in the beginning until they know you won’t leave or you both get comfortable. If they have serious issues an aren’t ALREADY seeking help, just know that it’s a problem you will most likely not be able to fix, so don’t waste your time.
2. If you’re not ready for a relationship and they are, don’t bother. (And vice versa.)
Don’t lead people on. And don’t let people lead you on. My advice is to be straightforward from the get-go on what you are and are not looking for. A good friend of mine gave me that advice, and it turned out to really help me in the long run. I saved myself a lot of time that was almost wasted on guys that were never ready to commit.
3. Not everyone is a good person.
Self-explanatory. Some people are just plain assholes. Avoid these people.
4. Always trust your gut.
If something seems off about a person that you’re interested in, it’s probably with good reason. Your body can sense vibes from other people, and sometimes your body knows it before your brain does. Listen to your gut.
5. Don’t pursue someone who is clearly emotionally unavailable.
There was a guy I was super interested in, but he was unavailable in every way you could imagine. For some reason, I held out hope. Looking back now, I see it as ridiculous, but hindsight is always 20/20. If you know someone isn’t ready to commit or maybe they’re working on themselves or their career or whatever the case may be, back off. If they aren’t available to you now, maybe they will be in time. Or maybe they’ll stay stuck in their situation for a while. Either way, go about your life and see what happens. Don’t wait around for them.
6. Don’t put your effort into a person or possible relationship if they aren’t.
There’s a saying “if they act like they don’t care about you, believe them.” I can’t even begin to explain how true this is! Or if they only speak to you when it’s convenient for them. I totally get it, people get busy. But if they’re too busy to come talk to you or at least see how your day is going, that’s just a lack of interest. People who are interested will make the time and make sure it’s known that they are interested. You shouldn’t have to beg for someone’s attention.
I don’t know when I will be ready for another relationship. I guess you never really know until the moment actually comes and presents itself to you. What I do know is that I have learned a lot, and I am not stressed about being single. Because of it, I have gotten in touch with who I really am and what I’m really looking for from a relationship.