When I was younger, I was almost certain that by thirty I would already be married and maybe even have a child or two. I thought that I would at least have a serious boyfriend, with the intention to marry. Even the thought of still being single at thirty had me terrified, thinking about how “humiliating” it is and what will others think?
But alas, here I am at thirty, and it is my fourth singleversary – without any status-changes in sight – and I couldn’t imagine myself any other way. I don’t remember the exact date, but it was somewhere during September four years ago, and I was so jaded from my last relationship that I embraced single life with open arms and much eagerness. However, I still didn’t believe that it would last this long.
As I have written before, single life has taught me so many life lessons and strengthened me in a way that I don’t believe I would have in a relationship. Case in point – I was never this confident and independent during any of my relationships. Perhaps it was partially because they weren’t the right ones for me, and the relationships were not all that healthy, but I do believe that there is nothing quite like a relationship with myself to help develop my self love and worth.
As daunting and scary as it was to enter single life, and as much as I feared I would never find another man – I grew to truly love it and I don’t think I have ever been happier. I have grown so comfortable in my own skin and company, so independent, that now the idea of entering a relationship is what’s daunting to me.
Any time I tried to date someone, and they got too close, I immediately became protective of my space and felt like it was being invaded. I love having my quiet mornings with my coffee, having my own bed I could spread out in, and not having to share my down time with anyone else but myself. I can no longer imagine sharing my life with someone, and perhaps it is because I have yet to find the right man, but for now I am really good with that.
So to celebrate my four years of being single, I have come up with four revelations / life lessons I have learned from single life, and I hope that you all also get to learn from them, and that they help you find the strength you need to overcome your struggles.
1. People who want to be in your life, will find a way to do so. People who let you chase them, and don’t put in any effort, are not worth you heartache and pain. I used to chase men and even just friends, so I wouldn’t be alone, because I thought I needed them in my life. But with time I realized that it just cost me even more wasted energy and pain, and I learned how to value my own self worth.
2. Spending time with yourself is the best – and probably the only – way to really learn to love yourself and your own company. You cannot truly take care of yourself and be comfortable in your skin through others, especially not by comparison. Doing the things you love and spending time in your own company, embracing yourself with all of your quirks, scars and habits – is the best way to feel whole. Single life enhances your independence and decision making skills, allowing you to overcome, to manage and get over obstacles and challenges on your own – which is also very empowering.
3. As time passes, I become more and more picky with who I let into my life – both romantically and platonically. On the one hand, it is very limiting and makes it harder to find a relationship, but on the other hand it shows me how strong and comfortable I have become, how I know what I want, what is good for me. I know who and what I am not willing to put up with, and it also sends a message that I will not deal with sh*t I don’t deserve. It may sound presumptuous, but I worked hard to make a good and happy life for myself as a single woman, and if anyone wants in, they will need to have a very special pass to enter.
4. Life goes a long way beyond your relationship status, it has so much more to offer. Even though the right relationship will allow you the freedom you need, it will always constrict it in different ways. Only when I entered a long term single status, and learned to be happy in it, did I realize just how much I have been missing out on while in relationships. All the time I used to spend on maintaining a relationship and growing it, was freed up and I could utilize it not only to spend more time with myself and close friends and family, but also devoting it to gaining new skills, hobbies and work ethics.
Single life has many struggles and obstacles, it is not easy, but when you focus on all of the benefits and positive sides of it, they trump the negative. I found that embracing both the good and the bad, the pros and the cons, has helped me embrace single life better. It thickened my skin and hardened my inner-strength. Life has so many challenges that are never easy, and doing so alone can be even harder. But when you believe in yourself and your abilities, there isn’t much you cannot overcome.
The single woman is a free woman, and being single does not mean being alone – it means being free to have a relationship or not. This can be scary, but it’s also very interesting.Monica Bellucci
Live your life to the fullest, no matter your relationship status.
All the best,