What Being Single Taught Me About Myself and Relationships
Living in a society that frowns upon single people, especially single women often drives us to make regrettable relationship decisions. But this is what I have learned about being single, despite social expectations
I have been in the kinds of relationships where Valentine’s Day didn’t even mean anything. For a long time, I had jumped from one bad relationship to the next, and it’s only when I really got fed up that I decided to make the decision to be single., In 2016, I decided that this whole relationship thing wasn’t working for me and do the one thing I guess I feared: being single. I knew I needed this break to heal and to discover who I really was and what I really wanted in life and in relationships. Over the years this is what I have learned about myself and my expectations of a relationship:
There is a difference between being single and being lonely: Never had I felt more lonely despite being in relationships, trying to win the affection and even the attention of my exes. I was always unhappy trying to fix what I knew wasn’t meant to be mended. Being single taught me to take good care of myself and love myself unconditionally.
You can’t expect others to give you what you don’t give yourself: I remember having a profound conversation with one of my doctors who asked me who the common denominator was in all the relationships I have been in. The question stung a bit but it made me realise that as people we attract who we are and not what we want. I don’t know any sane person who doesn’t want to be in a happy and healthy relationship but do we truly love and feel good about ourselves enough to understand that we deserve to be happy?
READ MORE: Why You Can’t Keep a Man (or a Woman)
I deserve more than what I have been settling for: Settling for less is problematic because it affects your sense of worth and self-esteem. It feels great knowing that only you are responsible for your own happiness. Partners are meant to complement how you already feel about yourself. It’s not fair to expect someone to make and keep you happy. And it took me being to single to realise that there are actually good men out there and that there is no harm in waiting for the right person to share your life with.
I value myself and actually do have standards: I remember meeting someone who wanted to cheat on his girlfriend with me. I was disappointed in him and I respected his girlfriend enough to tell him where to get off. If anything I don’t want another woman’s pain to be the foundation of a relationship I want to be in. Many might not feel that way but I respect karma.
READ MORE: Dear Future Husband
There is more to life than dating: I have seen that some relationships are beautiful but from personal experience I have come to appreciate things that are easily taken for granted, such as my relationship with God, chasing my career dreams with full force and valuing my friends and family more. In this day and age, having a boyfriend or husband shouldn’t be the main or ultimate goal to be achieved or you will find yourself settling with toxic people.
There is a happy ever after if you choose: A dear friend of mine has been married for more than 20 years and she shares that true love is possible if two people choose to love each other every day. The flames of love don’t burn forever and it’s the duty of the couple to keep the sparks alive. She says that committed relationships are not a smooth sail but like life, you have to choose to make them work. I will keep that in mind one day.