Mejor solo que mal acompañado.
(Translation: It’s better to be alone than in bad company)
– Unknown (but my mom is always saying it, so it’s a wise saying)
My last serious relationship was about 8 years ago. I am 28. In the meantime, I worked full-time and earned a bachelors degree and then a masters degree; picked up a few hobbies (working out and calligraphy); learned to use a drill and dry wall anchors (you know because making your own furniture is just a little bit more fun); make a mean spinach, egg, and cheese quiche; and read a gagillian books.
I have no kids, but I picked up certain responsibilities early on which have made dating difficult. And then of course I have to take ownership for my personality quirks. See, I hate first dates because I get very anxious and am a little bit clumsy, so nerves and a table full of refreshments just make me very uneasy. I also can’t dance because I am rhythmically challenged. If you are anything like me maybe my story will at least help you know you aren’t alone, because let’s admit it – misery loves company!
Here’s a couple of things that I have struggled with. Hopefully, this helps someone re-frame their current Singleton Saga, because Lord knows every season brings it’s own struggle.
“Is there something wrong with me?”
No, but there might be something wrong with that question. If you are single that doesn’t mean something has got to be wrong with you. It just means that the right one at the right time has not shown up.
During this time you can either dwell on what you don’t have (a significant other) or you can focus on what you do have (hopefully that is good health, amazing friends and family, and lots and lots of free time for personal growth).
Now, why is there something wrong with this question? Because, a status (or label) – single, unemployed, rejected, denied, sterile, etc. – does not and should not define us. This season is molding us, but it doesn’t define who we are. It’s only temporary.
“You’re too picky, maybe you should change your standards?”
This one is a tricky one. You don’t want to have unrealistic standards. Next thing you know, we’ll be 60 years old with 40 cats and alone (there is nothing wrong with that if that is your version of happiness by the way).
Yet, I urge us to take a close look at our expectations. There are some things that aren’t deal breakers. For example, I am attracted to guys that are taller than me (usually 5’11” or taller), but if I were to meet a guy who is 5’7″ (I am 5’4″ so in 3 inch heals we are at eye level – this is important to note because heals are a part of my everyday life) I wouldn’t call this a deal breaker. This “preference” isn’t a standard. At least for me I can say the same for other things like age, race/ethnicity, dog person vs. cat person…
Now, I know I can’t compromise my values. For example, a man who is rude to his mother, or a waiter or waitress, goes against my value of respect towards others. I know myself well enough to know that this is a relationship I should walk away from. Now, you might be saying – well, Carol why don’t you tell him and try to help him? I am not trying to raise a man, I am trying to find a husband. Plus, this is a sign that if he is rude to others, ranging from those he cares about (mother) to strangers (waiter/waitress) most likely he will be rude to his significant other… because come on we will definitely fall in his wide spectrum for rudeness.
If my title didn’t hint it off – I am a nerdy girl so I can’t pass up the opportunity to throw in here my favorite superhero quote: “You wanna take a shortcut? Remember this: you lose a chunk of your humanity every time you compromise your values” – Harry Wells, from CW’s The Flash.
I know, lonely Friday nights suck! But, you don’t want to commit to someone that compromises your values. You’ll loose a bit of yourself along the way and that is too valuable a thing to loose.
“I am not attractive enough.”
Lies. Actually, studies have shown that attractive people are prone to singleness. Go figure.
In the grand scheme of things the basics like good hygiene, personal care, health/fitness are important, but we can’t deem ourselves as unattractive simply because of lack of Friday night dates. How many times have you seen someone and possibly thought – he/she is probably taken they are too good of a catch to be single? Maybe someone out there is thinking the same about you? How’s that for re-framing the situation?!
Here’s a little secrete: A little bit of confidence can actually take you a long way. The most beautiful people are those who let their beauty radiate from the inside out.
“I am just not ready!”
Once again, this is subjective. It’s not a hard fact.
There’s plenty of people who were called to marriage who were not ready and did not feel ready, they simply figured it out along the way.
You might be ready, but your future spouse isn’t ready? Or simply, God is ironing out the details. Singleness requires a little bit of faith that everything will work out in the end. Don’t be so hard on yourself.
“Good girls (and guys) always finish last.”
Don’t change who you are to attain what you want, unless you are changing for the better.
I have heard the line, “you’re too good for me,” a few too many times. At first, I thought it was just a cop out for guys who didn’t want to commit, until one of my lovely friends had a very good heart to heart talk with me.
Her words resonated with me. Here’s her take on it: “Carol, you have worked hard to overcome a rough past. Most people would be bitter, angry, and closed off. You have fought to be the woman you are today. You have chosen forgiveness, growth, progress, and to be your own person. Yes, it’s possible that you are too good for him and at least he had enough insight to see that and step aside. Not every man is going to be ready for what you have to offer. You are strong and a strong woman is going to need a strong man. Now, let’s go eat.”
Let’s just say this friend of mine is a keeper. But, this message is universal to all those (men and women) that have worked hard to become better. Out there is someone who will match your zeal, for now, just keep growing.
Yes, it can (for some people at least). I am not the type to romanticize singleness. I personally just want to get married, travel, have some babies, and call it a night, but of course life is rarely that simple.
You don’t have to feel guilty for wanting a significant other. We were wired to want intimacy. I mean God looked at Adam and said, “It’s not good.” and who knows better than God?
As you wait, here is my question for you do you want the fast food burger or the filet mignon? The fast food burger will be just that – fast, quick, and easy. The filet mignon might require a little bit of a longer drive, a longer wait, a bit more of an investment, but gosh darn it, it will be worth it! Perhaps, I am writing this way too close to lunch time, but you catch my drift. Good things take time and a little sacrifice.
Feel free to share your own insight or experiences about being single 🙂