Thanks to social media my time-lines are flooded with selfies of engagements, happy couples, weddings and cute kids on a regular basis. See most women my age are married with multiple kids trying to find a balance between being a mom and a wife. They are juggling the responsibilities and challenges that come with having those two roles along with the many other roles that life brings. As I write this post the most challenging thing on my mind is what I am going to eat tomorrow. My life as it pertains to only me right now is for the most part pretty simple and I like it! I have nothing close to a potential spouse and the thought of having a baby is the furthest thing from my mind. I even have thoughts that maybe marriage and kids might not happen for me and I’m totally fine with that outcome if that’s my fate. Making the decision to commit to another person for the rest of your life is serious business and it’s a job that not everyone can handle. Being from the south and living in the good ole Bible belt where tradition is the norm, many people especially older adults are shocked by my carefree attitude towards being single and childless.
At one point in my life I found myself always being in a relationship and when I wasn’t in one I was searching and longing for the next relationship that I hoped would be the “right” one. The “right one” being that relationship that would get me the ring and a walk down the aisle in my white dress because that’s what I grew up believing was the goal for women and a key to a piece of happiness. As I’ve mentioned before in a previous post (The Coldest Winter Ever: My Battle With Depression), I found myself in a difficult battle with depression over a year ago. One bad life experience after another kept piling up on me until mentally I broke down and had to reach out to a therapist for help. During that time I kind of shut myself off from men because I had too much going on internally and I wasn’t in the right state of mind to develop a relationship with anybody. Truth be told most of my previous relationships had caused me more stress than happiness.
My time of isolation allowed me to take a thorough internal look at myself; the good, the bad, and the ugly and I was able to analyze who I really was. With me always being in a relationship I didn’t know who I was outside of one. When you enter a relationship not knowing who you are it’s easy to get lost in someone else and become what that person feels you should be instead of being who you truly want to be. Surprisingly I found out that I didn’t know myself as well as I thought and I wanted to make some changes. It was also during that time I became more spiritual and I started studying the law of attraction. I reassessed past relationships and the type of person I was in those relationships.
I remember having a conversation about relationships and marriage with a lady about a year ago and her words stuck with me. She said sometimes when we dislike a person it’s because there is something about them that reminds us of ourselves; it’s like looking at your reflection in the mirror. It made me think about the energy I was giving off to people and in exchange what type of relationships/energy I was attracting in my life. Being alone has given me time to reflect on my past and really analyze what I want from a relationship. I questioned what exactly was happiness to me and was I looking for a relationship to bring me happiness? Was I basing my happiness on another person’s standards?
I’m definitely more self aware of who I am now and I’m constantly growing. I feel like I’ve changed for the better being single which I think is amazing because I want to be the greatest version of myself before someone else becomes a part of my life. I don’t necessarily believe another person should complete you or make you whole. I think another person should enhance the good that’s already within you. Since I’ve changed my experiences and the people coming into my life have even changed for the better. I think I’m happier now than I’ve been in a while and I finally feel like I’m living in the moment instead dwelling so much on the past or the future.
Some people look at me almost in pity like being single is a death sentence but I pity a lot of people who are miserable in relationships because they don’t want to be alone or because they feel it’s the right thing to do based on another person’s standards. Many people are out here looking to fill voids and they think a relationship is going to fix their problems. At some point you have to come face to face with yourself and recognize who you are and many don’t know who they are.
One of my college friends who is married gave me some advice about a year ago. She said there are perks to being single and married but once you get married your life changes forever. She said marriage is very challenging at times and it has its ups and downs. She told me to appreciate where I was at that point and to enjoy life as much as I could being single because once you make a lifelong commitment to another person it won’t be about just me anymore. I was in a bad place mentally at that time so it was hard for her words to sink in, but now her words are echoing all throughout my head and I am very much happy as a single woman and just living and enjoying the moments I have by myself. And if I decide to make that decision to get married or just commit to an exclusive relationship again I can say without a doubt I lived and really enjoyed my life as a single woman.
It’s cliche but it’s so true, if you don’t know how to be happy single, you won’t know how to be happy in a relationship. I’m happy and I’m done defining my happiness and living my life by another person’s standards. I’m doing me and loving it! 😉