For me, it’s been a long two years. It’s easy to get down on yourself when people around you are in relationship after relationship and getting engaged. I sometimes find myself thinking, “Okay, what am I doing wrong here?” But recently, I’ve learned to appreciate my singlehood in a newfound light.
Being single isn’t a punishment. This doesn’t mean that no one wants to date me and it doesn’t mean that I’m not worthy of a relationship. I wish someone would have told me that it doesn’t mean that I’m ugly or that I’m boring or that I’m putting off some negative “don’t-date-me” vibes into the universe that are cursing me with a slim dating pool. It only means that I haven’t found a person that’s worth of investing my time. It means that I’m valuing myself enough to say, “I’m going to wait to invest in someone that I actually enjoy spending time with.”
I’ve also learned that it’s okay to go one dates. It’s okay to decide that this person isn’t for me. When you’re single for a long time, you start to think, “Maybe I’m being too picky” or “maybe I’m imagining guys that are out of my league.” But maybe, my intuition is only guiding me away from the wrong people to lead me to the right one. I wish someone would have told me that I wasn’t overthinking– it’s okay to turn people down. It’s okay to decide that I can’t see myself with someone. I’ll know when it feels right.
I even forget the times that being single is my own choice. I wish someone would have told me to stop counting all the guys that I’m not dating and count the guys that are more than willing to date me, but that I’m not interested in. “Single” starts to sound like a sad word, like I didn’t chose to be– (she must be alone crying over The Notebook and drinking an entire bottle of red wine– poor thing!) I forget that if I wanted to be in a relationship, I could be in one.
And it’s not all a race to the ring. It’s not about dating as many people as you can before it’s, inevitably, time to settle. It’s okay to swipe right on tinder and figure out who I want to be all on my own before deciding I want to share it with someone else. I wish someone would have reminded me that this is supposed to be fun.
And timing really is everything. Some people are meant to grow and shape themselves around other people through the relationships that they’re in: I wish someone would have told me that it was okay to become who I want to be before I want to share those parts of myself with someone else. I realize in retrospect what a different person I would be if all my desperate, teenage prayers for a hot boyfriend would have been answered. Instead, I spent my time growing into an independent person who is worthy of a real relationship– just not right now.
I wish for a lot of things, but I’ve stopped adding to the ‘ASAP’ list, “hot boyfriend that can play guitar and has nice hair and tells me I’m pretty.” I wouldn’t trade my time of singlehood for anything, because it helped shape me into the person that I’m going to become, and the person that I’ll be in a relationship. It doesn’t mean that I’m too ugly or too picky or too annoying. It only means that I have more to discover about myself before I invest in someone else– and until then, it’s okay if it’s not today.