This post….is for the singles. The ones who smile seeing their friends get married and have kids, while lowkey wondering when it will be their turn. I’m with you. This post is NOT for the judgemental. This is a transparent post for me that I hope reaches whoever it’s supposed to reach. If it don’t apply, let it fly.
Let me start this post by saying this isn’t meant to be bitter, mad, or upset. I’m really not. This is not a man-bashing post or a post to lament my singleness. This isn’t a post to open the door for dates, either. *laughs* I’ve just been taking a lot of time to learn things about myself and my patterns these past few years. Including my dating and relationship habits and how they’ve reflected who I am and what I needed to work on. This post has been on my heart for a long, long time. Today, May 1, 2022, on the fifth anniversary of Imperfectly B, as I work towards a new level of the site, it seems fitting to write on this. Soooo….here we go.
At almost 32, I am single with no kids and no real romantic prospects. And, as I celebrate all of my achievements and highs behind the scenes, I’ll be honest and say that it has its lonely moments. A few guys from my past will probably say I deserve to be here. I’ve had my time of second-guessing people’s intentions and running away at the first sign of any trouble or disconnection, which came off like I was playing games. I also used to feel like God was punishing me with singleness for my past screw-ups in my love life. And boy, have I made some mistakes.
HOWEVER, in this phase of my life, I’m learning that I needed to be solo for a bit. And here’s why. Hopefully, this part of my story helps someone.
Now, I’ve pretty much always been okay with doing activities by myself. You’re reading about someone who rode rollercoasters solo and went to different events by herself as a kid. Being the oldest sibling of someone who was five and a half years younger lowkey taught me to be okay with doing some things solo. However, from as far back as I can remember, I have ALWAYS had or wanted some kind of male attention. Good, bad, or indifferent. Chosen or unsolicited. Relationships, situationships, casual dating. I always validated my worth by whether a guy showed me some attention or not.
That need for validation has led me into some jacked-up circumstances in love. I can’t even blame some of the guys I’ve dated. Well…I could. I definitely could, but ultimately, I made the choice to stay connected because I needed the validation. It made me feel pretty and wanted when I didn’t truly feel that within. And, because, I never tackled my inner issues, I kept on making the wrong choices in guys. And, the moment I was single and free, I was literally looking for the next person to come into my life.
Lesson Learned: if you don’t learn to love yourself and be confident in who you are, you will make choices that reflect that. In EVERY AREA OF YOUR LIFE. Including relationships.
Trust me, I know. My lack of true self-love led to some wrong or delayed decisions in career, home, finances, and love. Lesson learned. So now, I’m single. Partly because this dating market is partly a toxic wasteland. Partly because my standards for myself have changed immensely because I love myself so much more. I’ve had to get content in this place in my life because it’s really not the end of the world.
BUT, being single…CAN BE HARD.
Let me be transparent. I know that I want a love of my own and my own family. I also know that I’m more prepared for it than I have ever been. So it’s hard being out in public at events and concerts where I wish I could be hanging out with someone (especially R&B shows!). It can be hard seeing people out and about with their own little families. It’s hard wanting to be a mom and feeling like there’s a huge biological clock hanging in the sky with your time winding down. While I’m genuinely happy for others that have found each other, I struggle with it. It feels very much like punishment at times for the bad decisions I’ve made in dating.
As time has gone on, I’ve realized being single right now is more about preparing for what is ahead for me.
While I genuinely want a husband and kids, I recognize this is the ONLY time I will be able to solely focus on myself and what I want to do. It’s not to say that you can’t work on yourself with a significant other or a family. However, you have different priorities that tug on you, especially women. I can also focus on becoming the best person that I can be so that, when my person does come along, I won’t jack it up with insecurities and communication issues. I’ve learned to love who I am and walk more confidently in who I am. I’m growing spiritually I’m working on new goals towards my life’s purpose and vision statement. But it’s personally taken me being alone right now to do it. And it’s actually kind of nice. Still lonely moments, but a lot of great and deeply personal ones as well.
We have to each learn to be okay with being alone, whether you’re single or not. Co-dependency on anyone is bad. However, particularly for my singles, learn to take this time to work on YOU.
Here are some things that I encourage anyone in their time of singleness to do.
HEAL and get to know yourself.
We talk about healing between relationships, but I’m wondering if we really do. In this season, I’ve had to learn what I like, what I don’t like, who I am, and what I’m truly here to do. I’ve also had to be honest about my internal issues and start working on fixing them. But it took me being by myself to think things through. What do you like to do? What makes you happy? And, if you do want a relationship in the future, get honest about what you really want AND what you need to work on in order for you to give your best in that relationship.
Do the things you would want someone to do for you.
While it is nice for a significant other to do something for you, you shouldn’t have to wait for flowers or dates. If you’re currently single, enjoy spending time with YOURSELF. Shower yourself with flowers and little gifts. Dress up and take yourself out on a date. This might seem corny and, at the beginning, it can feel a little awkward. But what’s the alternative? Staying inside wishing you were out? Nah. Learn to love on yourself right now!
Make time for the people who do love you.
While you’re so busy thinking about the love of your life, don’t ignore the love you get now from family and friends. Spend some time with them! No, it’s not the same as a romantic interest BUT you don’t have to be alone in your own space without any fun or encouragement. If you don’t have any close family or friends nearby, I suggest connecting with some friend groups on social media in your area where you can find people who have mutual interests. I’ve done that too, and found some pretty cool, creative people.
Keep working towards your own goals and purpose (or figuring them out).
In getting to know yourself, figure out your purpose and the goals you would like to hit for your life. Keep working towards the things you wanted to achieve, even the things you thought you needed a significant other for. You really have this time to lock in on what you have wanted to make happen. Use it!
Your time of being single doesn’t have to feel like some jail. Make the most of this time while you have it.