“Until it feels easy.”
My kitten brain sighs, “Until WHAT feels easy?”**
It’s nice to say, “Being single is fun and easy!”— and certainly I do think being single is underrated. …but it isn’t always easy.
The 24/7, confident, hair whipping woman in the power suit, breastfeeding whilst commanding a conference call via her bluetooth earbud? Or whatever.
“But that kind of woman sounds amazing! I’m sure I could…if I just adjusted a few things…maybe worked a second job…”
C’mon, women**, let’s stop this, please? Let’s consider the following:
- It’s nice to have someone who can run to CVS and grab a bottle of conditioner because you forget to get any. So you’re not stuck in the apartment. Or running out, feeling gross and unwashed.
- It’s nice to have someone to help with the laundry.
- It’s nice to never have to worry about who you’re going to dinner with that evening.
And those are just the little things.
Heck, life isn’t easy. Partnered or not. Waiting for life to be easy WHILE you’re alone? What are we expecting for ourselves? To be gods and goddesses in flawless, effortless control of our own universes?
Truth is, it’s tough to accomplish those things without someone to check in, once in a while. Knowing your love language? Easier when you can FEEL what it’s like to be provided those languages. Touched, told lovely words, shown acts of compassion. From someone who gives it to you on a daily basis. Knowing what it means to be “treated right?” Theoretically, you might imagine this or that. You see what it’s like for others— but you aren’t others, are you? How do you know how you’ll respond?
“But I don’t want to push myself to be with someone who isn’t right.”
Don’t do that! I mean it. It’s certainly worse to be trapped in a loveless or abusive relationship….I don’t think anyone should overcommit, before knowing themselves, if at all possible. Don’t crash into marriage or have kids without thinking. At least don’t try to do that (life is messy, it doesn’t always work to plan). At the same time…
“Do you have to do it all alone?”
If you want to figure life out on your own, that is okay. If you never want a partner in crime, do it on your own. If you mean “single” as “unmarried,” I absolutely agree with the above sentiment in the meme. If you mean “single” as “independent, childless, wandering soul,” sure. If you mean “single” as “does not desire any primary romantic relationship,” good on you for knowing that this is what you want. (Because God knows, hardly anyone will tell you seeking NO romantic love is the right path).
But if you’re waiting for yourself to be “ready” and achieve your own self nirvana, like when Sally from Coupling tells her friends that she’ll introduce her new boyfriend “when he’s finished,” well–
“Can I tell you a secret? Love isn’t always something you’re ready for. Sometimes you just gotta figure it out as you go. Sometimes you only know after you’ve met the person(s) right for you.
I am perhaps lucky, but I found someone to grow with, mutually. Someone I could play with love and romance— and yes, I could have been hurt, but being vulnerable allowed me to find any love at all.
Yes, I didn’t feel prepared. I wanted to run away until I knew myself better. I could’ve pushed him aside and told him, Come back when I’m ready.
Now I wonder if I would ever have found myself if I’d run away from every person who wanted to help me, well, find me. I think I needed that little, constant push from someone who loved me.
Supposed I’d finally been ready, somehow, all on my ownsome [insert sarcasm font]– but he’d already moved on? Sometimes life doesn’t wait for you to catch up.
Someone in my family told me I seemed like I’d found myself when I met him, my- first- partner. Someone else pointed out that I’d stumbled into him at twenty-five, about when people come into their own anyway. Which is true.
I don’t know how much was me. Or how much was his support and influence. It’s not like I twiddled my thumbs before him, I had gotten started on my path of self exploration. But those first five years we were together, I really discovered me. Which came first, chicken or the egg?
I’m not sure I’ll ever know, or if it matters.
I do know that it sure felt nice to have someone by my side during what ended up being a difficult part of my life.
I think that is why we are so close today. We “finished,” to speak, together. Helping each other through each other’s roughest years.
….that final leap?
That final understanding that made me think, yes, I know all the things I need to know to feel whole? All the things the meme says you should have before you’re ready to stop being single and meet your first real love?
I needed him for that. And he needed me, although he didn’t quite admit it at the time. He admitted it through his actions, if not his words.
I am glad for you if you can do it alone. On the other hand, it’s okay if you need help to get “there.” It’s not a weakness. Don’t be scared of someone seeing you before perfection. Sometimes that’s the only way forward.
A final note..
Perhaps you don’t have that Love in your life. Or you don’t even want one. That’s fine. What about a best friend? A partner in crime? Someone you trust above all others? Having a girlfriend, boyfriend, whatever is awesome for, I would say most of us. But it’s not everything. Don’t make it be, if it’s not what you want.
**and anyone else who needs to hear this, regardless of gender