Being single doesn’t have to be a bad thing.

In fact, it could prove to be a liberating experience for those who realize that there is more to see, other people to meet. What’s more, is I can honestly say that I respect someone who has left a relationship because they realized that they either

  • a. Wanted better for themselves- not necessarily a relationship
  • b. wanted to search for a better relationship or…
  • c. both

AND THAT’S COMPLETELY FINE

No one is telling you to marry the first person you meet, because things change, you change and it’s no one’s fault that both parties have changed. That is a fact of life.

Better yet, there is no problem at all in not wanting a relationship.  We are so conditioned to think that we need someone to validate our own insecurities and make us feel worthy.

Social media and societal norms have reinforced this idea that we need someone to be the reason behind our happiness, that we need someone to buy us gifts and shower us with compliments. I mean that’s great and all, but I’d rather be with someone who doesn’t just shower me with presents, I’d rather be with someone who I can have a conversation with and totally feel like I am being challenged to think about things in a different way.

I’d rather be happy with myself first, so that when it comes time to get into a relationship, I can be a happier person by just being me and contributing to the relationship.

So, recently I just came out of a pretty long relationship and ending it wasn’t an easy decision to make… (more on that here). But it was a decision, I made because I wanted to focus on me. At the end of the day, my health and well-being come first. If I see one aspect of my life that is causing me unnecessary stress and anxiety, I need to not only tell the difference, but I also have to take matters seriously and re-evaluate the situation.

One day, while I was scrolling through my phone, I found an article that was definitely worth saving and it’s from Psychology Today titled, “4 Reasons Not to Settle in a Relationship” by Juliana Breines Ph.D.  In this insightful article, it talks about how settling into any relationship may be an option, but it’s not necessarily the best option. Breines states that, ” From our earliest days, we learn that our worth is tied up in our ability to find a mate, that marriage marks the passage into mature adulthood and is our most important adult relationship and that we are not complete until we find our other half”.

We think that finding a mate is what’ll solve all our problems in our lives. Solidifying and securing that worth in the sense that we have someone who can prove that we are worthy of love, is low-key like being in a bit of a toxic relationship. Are you looking to have this person be one to secure your insecurities? If you are, then that is not okay. You are only further perpetuating the fact that instead of relying on your own opinions and beliefs of yourself, you’re relying on another person to be the one to supply you with that kind of emotional stability.

Relying on another person for your happiness and emotional stability is waay too much pressure to put on someone. It’s almost as if you want the hard part of the relationship to be dealt with by the other party. Relationships are a two-way street and what works best is working on becoming a better you, so that you can learn to love your significant other better.

The article then starts listing 4 science backed reasons as to why , you should consider holding out for a relationship that makes you truly happy.

  1. Fear of being alone can skew your priorities. 

A recent set of studies found that people who were afraid of being single were more likely to place more importance in being in a relationship as opposed to the quality of the relationship.

WHAT IS WRONG WITH BEING SINGLE? If a relationship doesn’t work out, you can say that you gave it your all and make the choice to move on.

2. Being single has its benefits

Just because you’re single and looking, doesn’t mean that you’re immature or “picky”. In fact, being single and not settling for a relationship (for whatever reason) means you’re willing to look further for someone who will treat you right and share all the qualities you look for in a person.

Breines states that “In reality, however, single people may be less self-centered and more giving than married and cohabitating couples: studies show that they are more likely to help out friends, family members and ailing parents”

Better yet, there are so many upsides to being single. For the first time, in a while, you’re independent, you can go out and not worry at all about texting ‘bae’. You can focus on yourself and on living life the way you want (within reason, of course).

As a twenty-something, I’m actually thankful that I am single because now I have time to:

  • focus on me,
  • to focus on transitioning to my new school,
  • to build meaningful relationships with the people I hold near and dear to my heart,
  • to form new friendships and network with potential employers.

I am so so so ready for that.

“If you feel satisfied in your life independent of your partner, you may be less likely to have the unrealistic expectation that your partner can and should meet all your needs”- Having that expectation, is known to make a relationship crumble over time. Like I said before, this is the reason why you cannot place all importance and emphasis on someone to make you feel whole or complete.

You need to do that yourself.

3. The possibility of finding true love may be worth the risk of not finding it.

Settling would be our safest bet, but holding out is a gamble. Why do we see it this way?

Psychologists, Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky have famously demonstrated that we are not always rational. We have our biases. The article then goes on to say that “loss aversion describes our tendency to be more sensitive to losses than gains, even if the amount is the same”

It’s this bias that makes us think ‘well, if I’m in a relationship and it’s kinda meh, I’d rather settle for the person, than go through the trouble of starting over and meeting someone new”

See what I mean?

Think about it this way, settling for an unfulfilling relationship is like signing up for an event, but not feeling or doing your best to help make the event flow smoothly.

4. Accepting a Person’s Flaws does not mean having to settle for them

Just because men and women have their flaws, it doesn’t mean that they are incapable of being loved. I mean, we are human, right? Every human has their own shortcomings and rather than picking apart somebody’s pros and cons,  we need to look at the big picture.

It’s important to ask yourself these 3 questions: Do they treat you right? do they share your values ? and Do you think the relationship feels right?

If you feel that you are in a fulfilling relationship with anyone, then that is all that should matter. Not the flaws.

Well that’s all I have for today! Staying single is quite possibly the most liberating experience ever, it gets hard at times, but we have to be open to the idea of being single, the idea of it being an empowering tool to help you learn about yourself, what makes you happy, and how you’re willing to contribute to a relationship when the time comes.

Stay strong, my friends!

Sending love and light your way

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Source:  Psychology Today Article

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