You Don’t Have To Be In A Relationship To Be Happy

Stocksnap / Allef Vinicius
Stocksnap / Allef Vinicius

Don’t, for any given reason, let someone tell you that you need to be in a relationship or have a significant other.

Just because you spent last night alone with a bottle of wine does not mean you need to be in a relationship. Just because you showed up to the wedding without a date does not mean you need to be in a relationship. Just because your best friend wants more alone time with their significant other does not mean you need to find yourself one too. These are not reasons, these are excuses.

Yes, there are days when you could do with someone holding your hand, sending you a message or taking you out for dinner, but that does not mean you need a significant other. Sometimes feeling lonely can just mean that you need a friend, not all significant others are friends. No friend is going to cheat on you like a significant other can.

So maybe you’re lonely, but being lonely doesn’t mean being unhappy. Maybe you have a bit too much free time and can’t use all of your unlimited text messages every month, but does that really mean you need someone extra? Has it ever occurred to people who believe that people need to be in relationships to be “whole”, that you can be whole by yourself, and that by being alone you’ll actually get there a lot faster?

Let me break it down, instead of waking up on a Saturday morning going to a restaurant with mediocre food to suit your beloved’s food allergies, you wake up and have brunch with friends, or better yet, have breakfast at home and save some money. Instead of spending the day with your beloved’s interests in mind, you spend them with your own interests in mind – like catching up on movies, doing your washing, going to the gym and reading a book, all without having to consider someone else’s needs. Yes, some might think that they’re completely selfish activities, but those people also believe that you need someone in your life to complete you, and they’ll spend their entire lives looking for that one, which seems a bit more selfish in the grand scheme of things, if you ask me.

Maybe there’s some of you reading this in relationships saying “but it’s not always like that,” and sometimes maybe it isn’t, sometimes after years, you can read in the corner and they can watch the soccer and you can live peacefully doing things that you don’t even need a significant other around for to do, but then that brings the question of what are they really there for? What void are they filling and how are they stopping you from growing?

So maybe for a few months, or even years, you’ll wake up alone and your family will pity you and your friends will cancel plans because “you wouldn’t understand these relationship things,” and eventually you’ll get to help mend your friends’ hearts after their break ups and show them the bright side. But the point is, you know there’s a bright side.

So next time someone tells you that you need to be in a relationship, remind them that the most important relationship is with yourself, first and foremost. You will never love or hate someone, as much as you can love or hate yourself. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

Tamsyn Halm, 22 years old.
History Postgraduate student from Stellenbosch University, South Africa.

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