What it Means to Be Single

Yesterday, after a very tearful therapy session about feeling lonely, my therapist suggested writing down what it truly means to be single. At first, all I could think of was being alone. I couldn’t see past that. Being single, for most of us, is never easy, especially when most of your friends are in happy relationships. It’s hard not to envy them and to keep yourself from being bitter. It’s hard to feel like you will never stop being a third wheel. It’s hard to think you will ever find someone out there for you. You get so tired of people telling you the right guy will come along, especially when you’ve been single as long as I have. You get tired of being the odd number, the only one without an “and” attached with your name. You get tired of hearing your friends talk about how well their love lives are going. Most of all, you get tired of the guys who play with your already fragile heart. As Carrie Bradshaw once said, “It’s really hard to walk in a single woman’s shoes. That’s why we need really special ones now and then; to make the walk more fun.” Being single can be really hard, and is something I have struggled with for a long time. However, when I really thought about what it truly means to be single and channeled my inner Carrie, I was able to come up with a long list of the benefits. Here’s just a few of my favorites:

Figuring out what you want: Being single gives you a lot of time to think about what kind of relationship you truly want. It helps prevent you from settling, because you have had so much more time than others to design the perfect person for you. This also may help you know it better when you actually find it… I’m hoping.

No boyfriend (or girlfriend) drama: Listening to people prattle about every argument they have with their significant others will make you beyond thankful that you don’t have to deal with it. You have no one to have this type of drama with, because you’re single! While your friend is arguing with her boyfriend on what to make for dinner, you are free to make whatever you want and eat as much as you want. You also don’t spend all your time missing your boyfriend or girlfriend, because you don’t have one.

Flirting with the cute guy (or girl) at the bar: While I understand people in relationships sometimes still flirt with people who aren’t their significant others, you can do so without ever feeling guilty or worrying about hurting your partner. Let’s be honest; no one likes watching their person flirt with someone else. But as a single person, you don’t need to worry about it, because you belong to no one. So while all your friends may be drooling other the total babe at the bar, you get to be the one to try and pursue something with him.

More appreciation for nice guys: It’s a sad truth that single girls tend to appreciate a guy’s sweet actions than girls in relationships, because we simply aren’t used to it nor do we expect it. While a girl expects her boyfriend to buy her a drink and open her door, us single girls are usually caught off guard when someone does it for us. We are a lot more grateful for this than girls who get the treatment all the time.

Planning your future around you and only you: It’s impossible not to include your significant other in your plans for the future, but there comes a point when you may be planning around only them. You give up your hopes and dreams on the chance that you have already found your forever. When you’re single, especially at a young age, no one decides your future but you. You don’t have to factor anyone in to your plans. If you want to move across the country or travel the world, you don’t have to worry about how your partner will react: You can just do it. You decide your own path, and make it completely your own. This is one of the biggest benefits to being single. You have your whole life to find love, so it can wait until you’ve built the life you’ve always dreamed of.

You have no one to answer to: No one can tell you how to act. You don’t have to prove yourself to anyone or worry that you aren’t good enough. You can be as weird as you want without worrying what your person will think. You have no one to answer to but you, which means you can make your own choices without worrying about what he or she will think. You have a sense freedom that people in relationships can’t even remember.

You have more time to dedicate to other things: Whether they are wish their partners, talking to them on the phone, or thinking about them, people in relationships spend a lot of time on their significant others, as they should. However, as a single person, you have much more free time to do things you enjoy. You can spend more time with your friends, family, or yourself. The time you may have spent on the phone with your girlfriend, you can spend playing video games with your friends. The time you would have spent obsessing over a fight, you can spend studying or doing something you enjoy. You have more time to explore different things, and do the things you don’t have much time for.

Finding who you are: Being single is when you find out who you really are. It’s also the best time to work on improving yourself, because you can be sure that’s you’re doing it only for you. You have a lot of time to figure out who you are and who you want to be. This will prevent you from ending up with the wrong guy. You start to learn just how strong you are and just how much you are capable of.

You learn to love yourself first: When you’re single, it’s easy to feel unlovable. The only way to make up for that is to figure out how to love yourself. When you’re single, you discover all the things to love about yourself without having someone else point them out to you. You will be happier and live a more fulfilled life, regardless of your relationship status. You take the time to make sure you are ready for a real relationship so you don’t ruin the one that could be perfect. They say you have to love yourself before you can love anyone else. I call crap on that, because some of the people who are most loving are those who hate themselves. However, I do believe that you have to love yourself before you can let anyone else truly love you.

You learn how to be comfortable alone: No one is better at being alone than the single person, which can be very beneficial when you do get into a relationship. You don’t have to be clingy, because you are perfectly happy spending some time apart. You don’t depend on someone else to make you happy, because you’ve already been doing it all by yourself. This is the biggest benefit to being single: discovering how wonderful being alone can be.

This post isn’t about who has the better deal: single or committed. It’s not about making those in relationships feel bad about themselves. The post isn’t about proving single people are better. This post is for those people who feel lost and alone, because they are single. This post is for the people who think being single means the same thing for being unlovable. This post is for the people who feel that they will never be complete as long as they are single. This post is for the people like me.

Being single isn’t something to take lightly, but it also isn’t something to get down on yourself for. Being single doesn’t mean no one wants you, like some seem to believe. Being single means taking your time to decide how you want your life to be and who you want to spend it with. It means learning to fall in love with yourself. It means discovering the person you want to be. I know it’s not easy, believe me I know. It’s something I’m still struggling with, but at the same time, I know that I will look back some day and be thankful for all the time I’ve spent being single. I get to experience things in a much different way than those in relationships. I will be better at helping my kids, should they struggle with the same things. Being single has made me fiercely independent, confident, and bold. I don’t need a man to be happy (although it’d sure be nice), and there is nothing wrong with that. Never let someone else make you feel inferior for being perfectly happy all by yourself.

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Why I am Disappointed in Us

As the 2016 presidential election came to a close last night, I am awestruck. I cannot believe we, as a nation, allowed this to happen. I usually try to stay away from politics on my blog, but this is something different entirely. I’ve been racking mind, trying to figure out how we could possibly elect someone so filled with hate to lead our country. Part of me still thinks this whole thing is a joke. But the sad reality is that we are not nearly as evolved as we like to pretend we are. We are leaps and bounds behind the other superpower countries of this world. This was never a political issue: it is a moral issue.

The fact that we have chosen to elect a racist, sexist, hate spewing bigot as our president is beyond me. Have we forgotten all the progress the people that came before us fought to make. As a woman, I feel we have spit on those like Susan B. Anthony, who led the women’s revolution in the 20’s. They fought for years to give us the right to vote, and how do we repay them? We elect a man who has shown little no respect to women during his entire campaign. We elect a man who treats women like objects, and who has made sexual comments about his own daughters. We forgo a powerful, intelligent woman and choose a man whose views reflect those of a 1950’s man. We are a disgrace to their memories, because they deserve better than this.

Have we forgotten that the Civil War ended and that the North won? Because to me, it seems as though there are people who are under the impression that we are still fighting it. Have we forgotten people like Fredrick Douglas and Harriet Tubman, who put their lives on the line to try and help those stuck in slavery? Have forgotten how hard Martin Luther King Jr worked to end segregation? He paid the ultimate price for trying to create a better world where we chose to love rather than hate. How to we honor him? We elect a racist as our president. A man who talks about deporting immigrants from a country that used to welcome them with open arms. We are an insult to their memories. They would be ashamed of what we have become.

Have we forgotten about why The Colonies sought independence from Britain? Have we forgotten about their fight for religious freedom? Have we forgotten the reason our founding fathers made sure to include the phrase “The church and state shall be kept separate?” in our constitution? Have we forgotten that we are a nation built on religious freedom? Have we forgotten that the First Amendment is about more than freedom of speech; it’s about religious freedom. How do we respond to this? We elect a president who says Muslims are the reasons for all our problems. We elect a president who labels all Muslims terrorists and followers of ISIS. We elect a president who has said we should make all Muslims wear a symbol to identify them. We elect a president who is choosing to ignore one of the fundamental principles this country is built on.

We have insulted the LBGT community, the Latinos, the African Americans, the Muslims, the women, the poor, and anyone else who is not a rich, white male. We have elected a man who’s heart is filled with hate. But the scariest thing isn’t that he’s won. The scariest thing is the people who put them there. The people that believe white misogyny is what should fuel our nation. The people who defend the constitution, but go against the fundamental rights of equality. We had two choices in this election: make history or revert back in time. Sadly, we chose to ignore all the progress we have fought tirelessly to make, and revert back to a time before Eisenhower. This is a choice we all now have to live with.

I don’t blame those that voted for Trump. I blame the people who chose not to cast their vote, and now complain about the results. I blame those that were naïve enough to believe a third party could ever win in this society. Teddy Roosevelt couldn’t even win as a third party, and he is regarded as one of our best presidents in history. I blame those that saw this election as a joke, and wrote things like “Harambe” on their ballot, and now are wondering how Trump was elected. But most of all, I blame those of us who didn’t work harder to show others why he wasn’t a good choice. I blame those of us who sat back and watched the election unfold. I blame those of us who filled our social media sites with blatant lies, and those of us who never fact checked any of those lies. I blame those of us who thought everything they read on social media was the truth. I blame those of us who have waited until now to say something about racism and sexism, but did nothing before this election. I blame those of us who raised our children to hate others based on their gender, race, and beliefs. I blame those of us who have spewed more hate than love into this world.

We have gone from the most powerful country in the world to being the laughing stock of the world. How did we get here? How did we go so far backwards? How proud of us do you think our past presidents would be? So you honestly believe that Washington, who fought for religious freedom, Lincoln, who fought to end slavery, Teddy Roosevelt, who supported women’s suffrage, Eisenhower, who saw the horrors of war and sought to accomplish world peace, Kennedy, who worked tirelessly on a bill to end segregation, Johnson, who got that bill passed after Kennedy was killed for his beliefs, Reagan, who rebuilt the GOP after Nixon tore it down, and even Obama, who has tried his hardest to give us all a better life, would be proud of who we have chosen as our president? We have made our choices, and now we have to live with them. But remember, the government only has as much power as the people give it. That is something that we seem to forget. All we can do now is prepare for the worst and hope for the best.

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My Brief Dance With Love

Let me start by saying that I don’t have a lot of experience with love. Expressing deep feelings is not something that has ever come easily to me. Yes, I love my family unconditionally, and I love my friends with everything I have. But I don’t always do a great job of expressing it. It’s supposed to be easy, but it’s not. It’s really really hard. The worst part is when all of a sudden, someone waltzes into your life and sucks you in. He sucks you in so deep, you almost forget how to breathe. That’s how it felt with him. People say it’s like a fire, but for me it felt like drowning. Something that was killing me slowly, but I didn’t mind because it just felt to damn good.

I opened up my heart for the first time, and let the love flood inside me. I want to say that this resulted in a beautiful, Disney worthy ending, but it didn’t. It was brief, but it was also beautiful. I know I don’t know very much about love, but I do know this: loving someone who will never love you back is one of the hardest things. I’ve read so many books that told me about this feeling, but they did nothing to prepare me for how it would actually feel to be faced with that blinding realization. Do I stop or keep trying? That’s a hard question to ponder because you know that things will never change, but there’s a tiny voice in your head that’s telling you maybe it’ll work out. This little voice gets louder and louder until it is screaming, and becomes the only thing you can hear. So you keep trying, hoping for the best. This is hard. You want him to change his mind, but you know he won’t. As time passes, that little voice realizes it too. Before long, that voice becomes a whisper you can barely hear, and only then are you able to walk away.

But walking away is easier said than done. It is one of the hardest things to do. It feels impossible, because as soon as you finally gain the courage to do it, all you want to do is turn around and go back. Sometimes you do go back. You go back over and over again until finally, there’s nothing left to go back to. Finally, you are faced with the blinding realization that nothing you do or say will ever change the way he feels. You realize that if you ever want to feel whole, you have to let him go. So you let him go. You back away slowly until you can’t see him anymore. And then you turn around and run like hell. You run until you don’t think about all the magical things he made you feel. You run until you stop replaying all the good memories over and over in your mind. You run until you no longer feel like someone is ripping your heart of your chest. You run until you remember how to breath, remember how to be without him. You run until you stop looking back to see if he’s coming after you, because you know he’s not. To him, you weren’t worth that. You run until every mistake you ever made with him stops haunting you.

This is all I know about that kind of love. The love that stretches beyond your family and friends. The kind that consumes you when you lie awake at night, unable to forget the feeling of him on your skin. The kind of love that makes you believe you can do anything in this world, as long as he is beside you. The kind of love that makes you want him and no one else when you’re feeling sad. The kind of love you want to hold in your heart forever. It’s the kind of love that I can’t hold onto anymore. So I’m still running.

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