I’ve Been Single For Over Three Years, And This Is What I’ve Learned
Ahh, the single life. Truth be told, I never used to love the single life. I was a serial monogamous dater, always either talking to someone or dating someone. But over the past three years, something clicked inside my brain that I had never understood before.
I realized that I was never going to be fully happy until I could learn how to grieve, how to fail, how to grow, and how to succeed — all on my own.
I was used to having someone around to comfort me. To soothe me when life got to be too much. To hold my hand through the waves of anxiety. To pick me up when I was falling. To love me when I couldn’t love myself.
But I had to love myself.
Starting out was rocky. I wanted attention. I needed attention. I immediately downloaded OkCupid, Tinder and Bumble, on the verge of a nervous breakdown needing some sort of instant gratification.
I did really shitty things like contacting exes and wanting them to want me, but at the same time, putting a barrier between us. I drunk texted people I shouldn’t have. I butt dialed people I shouldn’t have. I was kind of a train wreck to be quite honest.
I had to relearn how to live. How to be alone. How to just be and be content with that. I had to relearn how to sleep without someone else in my bed. And how to love my own heart without someone else reaching towards it.
I learned that healing is not linear. That if I’m sad one day, it doesn’t mean I’m failing. And if I’m lonely for a week straight, it doesn’t mean it will always feel that way. I learned how to cope with hard things life threw my way by myself. I learned how to work on myself without having someone stand by me
I learned how to cry in bed and not feel like it was the end of the world. I learned that feelings are not the enemy. And that numbing feelings is. I learned that being single isn’t a death sentence. That feeling vulnerable and lonely is a part of life and that sadness is not permanent.
I learned that I can’t do everything on my own too. That I did need people around me. That I needed my family and wonderful friends to fill my life up. I learned that the void of not having a boyfriend wouldn’t always be there. I learned how to fill myself up in better and bigger ways.
I learned how to sit in a cafe by myself and not be self conscious. I learned how to make my own food and indulge in my own creations. I learned how to laugh and smile again. I learned how to take life less seriously, how to let myself have fun without feeling guilty.
I learned how to kiss lips of strangers and dance on top of tables and city rooftops. I learned how to go on dates and not be disappointed when they didn’t work out. I learned that life goes on. I learned that life is beautiful with or without a significant other.
I learned that life is fucking hard. That I will always have to climb mountains regardless if I have someone loving me or not. I learned that life should not revolve around someone else.
I learned that loving yourself is much more important than loving another human being. And I learned to be patient. To be patient with life and love. And to trust that when I’m ready, it’ll come my way.