Nothing I’m about to say is revolutionary. It’s all very basic—common sense for your heart. But it’s important nonetheless: There’s no shame in waiting.
So stay single until you find a relationship worth fighting for. This relationship exists. It might find you when you’re 16, 22, 34, or 57. It might knock on your door at 25, and then disappear awhile before it reemerges when you’re 29. It might arrive cloaked in uncertainty or shrouded in logistical difficulties. It might look nothing like what you expected it to.
But something in your gut will tell you to give it a chance—to pursue it in spite of whatever doubts you might have. And you won’t regret it.
Until then, don’t bother trying your hardest to make anything less resemble long-term happiness. Don’t bother smiling your way through yet another dreary dinner date because you’re aching to be in a relationship. Don’t pretend that you find someone’s flaws totally endearing when in fact they make you cringe with discomfort. Don’t compromise over and over again just to keep some fuzzy version of lasting love alive.
Stay single instead.
Stay single until you find someone who makes you think and feel all of those sickeningly romantic things you never imagined you were capable of experiencing. Someone who makes you do those super cheesy things you used to mock other couples for while secretly pining for whatever they had.
Stay single until you find someone you can fall in love with just a little bit more every day. Someone you’re crazy delighted to wake up next to, even when they smell a little too ripe and they’re plagued by particularly pungent dragon breath.
Stay single until you find someone whose aura automatically energizes you. Someone who, just by being him or herself, motivates you to be a better you. Even when they’re far away, the very idea of this person and the special bond you share will bring you unfettered joy, triggering good vibes you can spread to the surrounding world.
Stay single until you meet someone you want to be with as much as possible. Someone who inspires you to play hooky from work and to cancel plans with friends and family without a shred of guilt because something in your heart tells you it’s worth investing in this relationship.
Stay single until you experience the special brand of comfort that accompanies reassurance from someone who genuinely cares. Someone who, with a few simple words of encouragement, can turn your day around instantly and make you see things in a different light.
Stay single until you meet your match. Someone who’s unwilling to let you get away with being anything other than your best self. Someone who pushes you to do better, think harder, and reach higher.
Stay single until you’re in a relationship with someone you can fight with without that signifying the end of your world. Someone who drives you insane, but never to the point that you can imagine life without them. Someone you can rely on to stick around, even when shit gets tough and you kind of want to stab each other’s eyeballs out. Someone who gets that perfection is a myth and real life involves mishaps, misunderstandings, and miscommunications. Someone you can watch walk out the door, knowing they’ll return because your relationship is stronger than any temporary problem you’re facing together.
Stay single until you find the kind of balance with another human being that’s impossible to manufacture because it is founded in pure, unadulterated love. One hundred percent authentic admiration and mutual respect.
Stay single until you find someone whose very presence is a bandaid for your soul.
Until you find a relationship just like this—wait. If you don’t, you’ll miss out on the type of relationship you deserve by settling for anything less.