A friend of mine recently asked: are some people just meant to be single?
Being Single To Heal
Sometimes you need to be single to heal from an emotionally unhealthy, abusive, or otherwise emotionally traumatic relationship. Sometimes you need to be single to heal from a relationship that you were not ready to end. When you’re single after a traumatic event you allow yourself time to grieve and determine what you want next in a relationship. Sometimes this grieving period happens within a relationship (some people are “single” long before they leave a relationship) but it never hurts to give yourself time on your own to really recalibrate. Being single can prevent you from jumping into a relationship that may share some of the same troubles your previous relationship had.
Being Single To Grow
Sometimes you need to be single because you’re ready to love, but you’re not ready to co-exist. A relationship requires more than love. It requires traits that allow you and your partner to maintain a healthy connection. If you’re struggling with something difficult, you may benefit from being single while you find your footing. It’s incredible to have someone help us through the day-to-day and elephant sized problems that life throws at us. But it’s not fair to intentionally use a partner as a crutch when we are unwilling to work hard to fix the problem. Give yourself time to grow as a person to figure out how you can be the best partner you can be.
Being Single to Appreciate the Self
I used to know this guy, let’s call him Ted. Ted was a nice person but insecure about is inability to find a functional relationship. Ted would spend a lot of time regurgitating the same tired conversation. “Why doesn’t anyone like me? I’m a good guy, I could be a good boyfriend!” Ted wasn’t a “nice guy.” He didn’t complain that other guys were getting the girls he should have gotten. There wasn’t any benevolent sexism. He wasn’t trying to save women. He just bummed a lot that he wasn’t in a relationship. Ted spent too much time being depressed that he wasn’t dating. In turn, Ted forgot that he was already in a relationship with himself. His constant frustration with the dating world made him an unattractive partner because he wasn’t out there enjoying the life he already had. A relationship can improve your life, but it’s not the magic cure all if you have an unhappy attitude.
Being Single to Work Hard
Some people are single because they’re in course work or career work that makes having a sustainable relationship impossible. Sometimes it makes more sense to focus on other parts of their life first before settling into a relationship. Much like Being Single to Grow, the person who is working hard believes that a relationship requires a lot of attention and they may not be in the best place to have a relationship at this time. Some people who work hard find relationships with other people who work hard and understand how to balance the work/life already. Other people date someone for a long time and then start to work hard once they’ve created a strong foundation in their relationship that allows their partner to assist in maintaining that work/life balance. However you go about it, finding ways to incorporate work, hobbies, friendship, family, love, sex, and individualism altogether can take a lot of practice. Some people choose to take on one at a time until they know they can add something else to the act.
When Love Isn’t Finding You
A healthy relationship can often feel easy, even if it’s hard. A healthy relationship allows room for you to heal, grow, appreciate and care for yourself, and work hard on individual goals. You’re the only one in your life that knows whether or not you’re ready to be in a relationship or not. But just because you’re ready to be in a relationship, doesn’t mean a relationship is ready for you. That can make being single feel like a defeat. You’re ready for love. Why isn’t love ready for you, too?
Being Single for The One
You’re ready for a relationship but you’re starting to get down because you’re not finding the right person. Maybe you’ve had a lot of really bad relationships and you’re feeling defeated because everyone else is finding love. Do everything possible to avoid comparing your life to someone else’s life. Comparison is the Dementor of joy. Sometimes someone is single because they know what they’re looking for and they haven’t found it yet. This isn’t a bad place to be, even if it can feel lonely sometimes. I believe we have a lot of the ones. People that we’re compatible with, given the right opportunity. Keep an eye out for these people and be single until you find them.
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