The last month or so I’ve spent a lot of time talking to my friends about their relationships. I’ve been watching certain relationships bloom and others possibly come to and end, and its all got me thinking about my own relationship status: single.
Now if you know me or you’ve spent any amount of time reading my blog, then you’ll know I go through bouts of loneliness and periods of boredom where I casually date, but for the most part I’m pretty happy with my self-imposed singledom. I’m happy with it because I firmy believe that everyone needs to know how to be single, and to appreciate and take advantage of it, before they tie themselves down.
I have developed this attitude for my own life, I need to be personally successful before any relationship I am in will be successful. And by successful, I mean happy, proud, and achieving. I need to ensure that I am satisfied with my career, my finances, my home, my body, and my confidence before I can even consider entering into another long-term relationship. And, this is not an opinion I have because I am single and I need to justify it, but because I wasn’t always single- in fact, had fate not directed me in another path, I’d have been “celebrating” my second anniversary on Monday in what was sure to have been a miserable marriage. I made mistakes and I learned from them, and that is why I feel the way I do now. I figured out that it was going to take time for me to know myself (or become myself) enough to be relationship-successful.
So during my self reflections tonight, I decided to type “what does it mean to be single?” into Google, and I was very intrigued by the first article I happened to click on. It was written by a Minister, so it’s from a religious perspective and while I would never describe myself as religious, I think the message of the article reads the same: Everyone needs time to be single to create or re-discover their own identity.
Again, I don’t want to belittle how tough it can be to be single, and some of you are an example to us all about how to embrace your circumstances to the glory of God! But I fear others of you are short-changing yourselves. Singleness is hard, but it’s also a gift that should not be wasted.
Almost as long as I’ve written this blog, I’ve had the same quote on my home page. I’ve had it there because I need to remind myself of this sometimes, because being single doesn’t mean never being lonely, it simply means having the strength to allow people into your life not because you need them there, but because you want them there. Being single means having strength, confidence, and faith in yourself, and this article was exactly what I needed to remind myself of that today.
“Your freedom is not a penance. It’s a reward for all the time you gave up your freedom to take care of others. It is for this reason that you sometimes have had to be reminded not to collapse into a scene that erodes your liberty.” -Michael Lutin