When you’re in a relationship with someone (and not living together), you get to wake up every day to new text messages. They’re like little presents for you to unwrap as you wipe the hazy sleep from your eyes, presents that were sent from someone who loves you or is learning how to love you. You text them back first thing and hop in the shower. By the time you get out, you’ll have another message waiting for you. You smile. You text back. You tell them how your day is unfolding. It’s like this all the time, every day. When you’re single, you can’t just text your friend “going to get coffee with sam” They’ll respond, “WTF? Why would I give a shit who you’re getting coffee with? Just call me later, loser.” But when you’re seeing someone, you can text them whatever asinine thing you want because they care. They actually care about who you’re getting coffee with right now. It’s insane! Information about you, no matter how big or small, is considered precious to them.
When you’re in a relationship with someone, you’re allowed to really lean on them for emotional support. As sad as it sounds, you can only rely on your friends for so much before they start to feel a little suffocated. They’re not your life partner. They will be there for you, they will listen to you cry, they will text you to see if you’re okay but they won’t take in all of you. There’s a healthy distance there that doesn’t always come with relationships. The line is blurred. Your partner will give you anything you need because they want to see you healthy and they want to see you survive. If you’re happy, they’re happy. There’s an investment in your well-being that is larger than the investment between friends.
When you’re in a relationship, you’re allowed to be the worst version of yourself. You can wear sweats, say no to sex, talk endlessly about your horoscope and mercury being in retrograde. When you’re single, you feel pressure to constantly be on your A-game. All of your senses are heightened. You smell, see, feel everything. You’re ready for every opportunity. It’s exhausting.
When you’re in a relationship everything feels safer. You can be bored on vacation and have sex all day. You can get into a fight with your parents and not be completely destroyed because there’s someone, there’s always someone, to take care of you. You can choke on a sandwich, die, and know that your body won’t be discovered in five days by the landlord.
When you’re in a relationship, you have someone to act as your memory bank. You have a person who remembers where you left your keys, the name of that Italian place where you had that really good fish one night, where you left your favorite sweater, whose birthday it is. It’s like having a second pair of eyes and, I don’t know, it feels nice knowing that someone is paying attention.
When you’re in a relationship, you are doing what we were built to do, which is love. Everyone is at their best when they are loving someone. If you don’t know this already, you will. There’s no way to escape it.