Exploring the lies that keep us crying over fake love stories.
As a younger version of myself, I assumed that by now I would’ve met my significant other. It’s what I saw everywhere I’d go. People cuddled up and clinging to each other like twinkies. Happy faces gazing back at one another without a care about who was looking at them.
Pretty soon, I started associating myself with the “others” in society, those who were omitted out of the important equation and left to squander through life, alone and miserable. They were the singles within civilization.
After all, I’d based my happiness on the hope of having that kind of connection with someone else.
If I didn’t have someone next to me I could call my partner on an intimate level, my worth didn’t amount to much. My life seemed to suck in comparison to the movies I’d watch. Not to mention the sisters, aunts, cousins, and other relatives asking when I was going to meet “the one.”
Friends didn’t make it any better either. The jokes started to sink deep into my mind, and my responses were less comedic. The idea was that I was (one of) the loneliest people in the world, with no one to call my partner.
All of this culminated into a feeling of incompleteness—like I was missing out on something. So everything else in my life suffered because of it.
Work was a drag because I was focused on the fact that I was still single. Meanwhile, my coworkers were constantly talking to me about their relationships, conversations I wasn’t able to participate in at the moment.
It wasn’t until I realized that there is happiness in being single just as there is in being with someone. There’s a tradeoff with both, but there’s still a life to live nonetheless.
Abandoning Our Artificial Expectations
Part of the problem is that we singles are prone to expect what we see in other stories. These stories include the cheesiest-yet-attractive sides of relationships. Scenes that melt our hearts away.
What we skip over is the fact that nearly all of those stories aren’t real. They do not present a realistic view of what a relationship should be centered around.
And, as we blindly follow them (with ice cream and tissue nearby), we create a mindset that may damage our future connections with that special someone.
That’s not to say that singles should never “feel” lonely. It is quite normal to desire a relationship with another person without being weird. Just don’t let it drive you into a fit of misery that most of us find ourselves in.
As we absorb the most scripted of storylines, we start to compare our present lives with those of the revised.
In the end, we sell ourselves short of the happiness we could experience right now.
So often, singles view themselves as below par with the rest of society. They think that no one will take them seriously without a person holding their hand. But that couldn’t be farther from the truth.
Most likely, though, people aren’t taken us seriously because we aren’t taking ourselves seriously. We have to see our lives revolving beautifully despite being on the outside of an intimate relationship before that moment comes.
Once it happens, it is in addition to—not the subtraction of—the life you already enjoy.
Strengthen the Relationships You Already Have
By default, we associate singleness with this depressed, lonely, unhappy phase of life where evenings revolve around buckets of ice cream and movies and Kleenex. Then we fall asleep in a pool of our own tears.
This is what we see on shows that convey this same mode of existence. We get the impression that life sucks when you’re single. That there isn’t much to enjoy alone.
But the more I live, the less I start to worry about my singleness. I’ve learned to embrace it until that part of my story changes.
While I acknowledge this stage of life, it would be just as foolish for me to assume I’ll never get married and have kids. That I’ll never meet someone I connect with. Framing life in that way does more harm than good, without question.
In the meantime, I don’t want this to steal my happiness and block me from having a blast right now.
We bare the weight of our singleness because our time is spent sulking in our presumed misery.
We don’t go out with friends because we know we’ll see other couples. It’s even harder to focus on a career or a passion with this cloud hanging over our heads, so we think.
But this is where we’re wrong. Going out with friends is a great idea. Meeting new people is not a bad thing. Spending time with those you love is how you replenish those toxic ideas that loom over you like rain clouds.
All of these activities are exactly what we need as singles. You should go out with friends and have a good time. You should pursue a career or passion with intentionality, not allowing your singleness to hold you back.
Because the more you try to fight your current state, the worse your life will seem. That’s just an allusion. It’s time you got on your feet and enjoyed yourself.
Progress begins with that in mind.
Maybe one day I’ll meet that special someone. Maybe we’ll cross paths and launch out on our journey together. I imagine that will be one of the most amazing, life-altering experiences. Until then, the sun is still shining.