The thing about being single is, you should cherish it. Because, in a week, or a lifetime, of being alone, you may only get one moment. One moment, when you’re not tied up in a relationship with anyone. A parent, a pet, a sibling, a friend. One moment, when you stand on your own. Really, truly single. And then… It’s gone.
–How to Be Single (2016)
Here’s the problem. After you go through a break-up, if you tell people you’re okay, they either think you’re lying or you’re cold. Never mind telling them that you’re more than okay – that perhaps this is the best you’ve felt in months.
Because automatically there are assumptions associated with that. Did you just not care at all about the relationship? Is this all a lie you tell people so that they don’t worry about you?
So I haven’t talked about it much – mostly because there really isn’t a whole lot to say.
And if you ask me how I’m doing, I’ll probably tell you I am more than okay, but that’s probably still an understatement.
You see, this has nothing to do with a bad or broken past relationship, or a cold shoulder, or not loving enough.
For several months I dated one of the most amazing people I will ever meet, and that’s no overstatement. In fact, he was probably pretty close to perfect. He still is.
But you can love and love and love, and it still won’t be quite enough if you are going against yourself. I wanted to be alone, and it took me a long and winding road to realize that, because frankly, this is a little bit new to me.
Until I moved away from home, I never wanted this. I wanted happily-ever-after’s as fast as I could find them. But there were a lot of things I imagined I wanted before I left, and the well-known fact of the matter is that things change.
Somewhere along the line, I found that I had dreams I hadn’t known existed, and a lot of them involved anything but a stationary lifestyle. I also had desire’s that I hadn’t fully understood before – like wanting to be on my own, and have the complete ability to be unattached and uncommitted.
It sounds bad, sometimes. But if you’re in a relationship you should be sure of at least one thing, that you want to be in it. And if you’re not, well then it takes a lot out of you to convince yourself you are – that in itself can be a downward spiral.
Sometimes, the best thing you can do is allow yourself to be completely and utterly unsure. Give in to yourself, and let go. But you can’t be unsure of whether you want to be in a relationship, while you’re in one – it’s just not fair.
And being out of a relationship, means you’ve given yourself license to not really be sure of anything. Sometimes, that can feel like giving yourself freedom.
It has nothing to do with them – nothing really to do with the specific relationship even – but everything to do with an overwhelming sense or peace, or lack of, with yourself.
When I wasn’t sure what I wanted, I started to look at all my friends. I found the one’s who were currently in long-term, loving, wonderful relationships, and I thought that if they could do it, so could I. I tried, really hard, to be like them.
Other days I got caught up in envying the ‘single-life’ my other friends were living – and wondering if maybe that was what I wanted.
This is a hard battle to get wound up in – constantly comparing yourself to other people as though you’ll find the answer to who you are beneath the fingertips of somebody else. It doesn’t work like that. But I had to try, extra hard, just to be sure.
And the whole turmoil of constant comparisons, and never-ending, over-analyzing, self-oriented questionnaires can begin to add up to more than a lot. Eventually you find you just need to take a step back from everything.
For me, I found that my tentative hopes and dreams of sporadic travelling and feeling caught between the homes that I’ve created in two different provinces, conflicted with a desire to be in a relationship.
It’s not conflicting for everybody. And for some people, the long-distance, or the potential of it, is not a major factor in the functioning of their relationship. There’s nothing wrong with that.
But there is something wrong with trying to morph what you want to fit the ideals that somebody else has for a relationship. Most of us, are in different places, and the only way to function within them is to accept that they are our own.
All this to say, and I am still a romantic at heart. I think falling in love is one of the most amazing feelings in the world – and some day’s there is nothing better than waking up intertwined with somebody else.
But for right now – I’ve fallen in love with solitude – and most days, I love the way it feels to wake up, all by myself.