• April 20, 2019

ALL I’VE LEARNED ABOUT DATING BY BEING SINGLE

 

It’s easy to find someone you can stand for the hour, for dinner and for a gym session, but it’s not as easy to find someone you can stand every day. And once you’ve had your own freedom and space it can be so hard to let go of some of the control you have by being by yourself.

And even when you do find someone you can deal with on a day-to-day basis, they at any time can become all the things you can’t deal with, and you will have to make the choice for yourself to get away while you can.

People will do the craziest things when they feel connected to you, they’ll blast worship music at the gym, tell you their life story, and be so excited to see you for the second time ever, and you may never find out why.

You will hurt people, their egos, their feelings, and they will hate you for it. Especially if you were once friends. And no amount of apologizing is going to fix it when you make people feel unworthy.

Everyone wants to be better, happier, stronger, tanner, and less confused, and we are put on this earth to shade, fade and challenge each other’s colors.

As a single person, you notice the people who whine and drink heavily after your other friends get engaged or pregnant, and you will look at them differently. You’ll understand why they’re single, considering they can’t be happy for anyone else. And you won’t want to be that person, not ever. Not even if you are alone too.

Drunk guys need just as much serious conversation as girls. If anything, they take breakups much harder for much longer than we ever realize. And not enough people pay attention to them like they do us girls.

Some people are harder to impress and just won’t be happy with “almost” or “close” and they often don’t commit because they don’t feel the relationship is right for them. Or, that the person will disappoint them later, or not fight hard enough when things get difficult. And most of these people are single, like I am because when the ball is in your court, and you want to win, you’re more careful about who you pass to.

It’s really easy to take being single and make it part of who you are. Being single is easy and it certainly has its perks, but at some point, you will find someone, and whether they are moving in 6 months, or struggling right now, you can’t predict or worry about what will happen in the future. Learning to let life be what it will, is power. You learn to chance those rapids instead of walking away from them.

You’re going to get to know people who become a part of your everyday life that will hear from their ex and fall apart in front of you. You’ll miss them and have to figure out how to express your insignificant feeling- feelings when they keep saying “tell me”. But you won’t, because being vulnerable when you know their heart is somewhere else is foolish. You’ll learn to know the difference between an opportunity for expression, and when to listen.

You’ll think a guy at the gym is really into you because he blasts worship music and sings to you and calls you beautiful, maybe even carries you away from the weight rack, and looks you dead in the eye when he talks to you. And a few weeks later he’ll introduce you to his girlfriend of 6 years. And you can shake and feel completely blindsided by him but you know deep down there’s nothing to fight for. And being angry with him would only show him you care. So you learn to smile at the beautiful girl you’re meeting and be thankful you know the truth.

You are going to get hurt. Even if you didn’t mean to start liking that guy or getting used to the sound of that girl’s voice. You’re going to play with fire and learn to light your own. You’ll find out that there is no explanation for certain kinds of people and in the same summer you will learn how to forgive. More than anything, you will walk away from every disappointment and walk right into people who love you.

Being scared of getting hurt is natural, but life is too short to be so afraid of what can happen. No matter what your exes have done, what has happened to your friends, or what might happen to you, if you walk away out of anger or fear, you end up with regret.

Regret is when your ex is getting married and he calls to ask why you destroyed him. It is knowing you never fought for him when he was standing in front of you begging you to. It’s remembering what you did not say at 16, “I want to be with you.” I promise I have said so many things I don’t remember, but the one thing I held back, out of pure fear, stuck with me.

I will never forget texting my sister asking her if there will ever be a day I wake up and don’t love him. The truth is, the clarity of rejection beats the confusion of being the only person who knows how you feel, every freaking day. Just like I couldn’t tell a guy from the Midwest how I felt about him needing space, I couldn’t tell my first love how I really felt. I couldn’t tell the asshole at the gym that he led me on and I couldn’t write this article until I sat down and decided I could.

We think it won’t make a difference. And we are so scared of that being the case that we walk away instead of just being honest. The truth is, maybe it won’t matter to them, and that makes you feel rejected all over again. You cannot go back to being 16 and tell people how you really feel or what you need. But you can decide that the next person who comes along may hurt you, leave you, or love you forever. And however that story goes, it’s worth being honest every step of the way. Not so you don’t end up alone, but so you don’t stay up all night writing about all the ways you broke your own heart.

I’ve always admired people who are brave enough to have faith in love. And I always wondered how they could be so confident in their faith of something with no guarantees.

Being single has taught me that I will never be able to hide the sensitive, curious, analytical person I am. I never wanted anyone to see how big or broken my heart was. And now I’ve learned that in so many ways, 9 times out of 10, it’s more important for the people who love you to get the best of you than it is to always have what feels like the upper hand. Walking away is the easy way out. And it will always be there until you’ve taken it too many times and decide to take a different road.

What are you waiting for?

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