I think I’m going through an interesting time in my life.
This year alone, I’ve seen a record high number of breakups of long term relationships among my friends (I’m talking 5+ years), as well as engagements on my news feed. In fact, one of my best friends got married this year, and he’s the first in my circle to do so.
Some girlfriends and I went on a trip this weekend, and we reminisced about how different things were this time last year. The theme was consistent – whether you’re in a partnership or single, it feels like everything is shouting at you that you MUST be in a relationship. From fifteenth wheeling at parties, to being the “last single friend” of a group, to all your neighbours asking when “you guys” moved in – it can make you seriously question your self-worth.
It would be so easy.
So easy to settle, so easy to say yes to the guy asking you out on a 3rd date, but you’re just not vibing with. So easy to text that boy back who you know you don’t have feelings for, but would drop everything if you showed interest in him.
So easy to couple up and settle down because you don’t want to be alone.
But the truth is, not wanting to be alone, or feeling like your life is incomplete, is the worst reason for wanting a partner. You have to be complete on your own. There is no “missing puzzle piece” – a good partner should complement and elevate you in ways that you can’t achieve alone. But you should already be and feel whole as an individual.
I implore you: don’t just look for a warm body to sleep next to at night, or companionship for the sake of it. Hold out for the real deal – that irresistible pull towards somebody else, that connection with another soul. The one that keeps you up at night, grinning ear to ear.
The one that rarely comes, but when it does, stays with you for a long time.
You smile politely at your date, and wonder if that connection and depth will ever happen again. You worry that it won’t.
But deep down you know it will, because it has happened before, and it will happen again.
In a world that is built for twos, that screams something must be wrong with you if you’re not coupled up – staying single takes courage. It takes independence. It takes humility. It means being okay with being by yourself. It means trusting the process, and knowing that your time will come and with the right person. And you’ll know it when you see it.
The real love story that we should be cultivating is the one we have with ourselves, for it is us we spend the most time with. Others come and go, marriage cannot seal our fates; whether it’s falling out of love or death, all we get is a temporary companion in the turbulent climate of life.
Being happy with yourself is the first and most fundamental step.
And I like the company that I’m keeping.