I was talking to a guy the other day, and he said something to me that has stayed on my mind for the last week or so. I’m getting to know this guy as someone I’d possibly date, and while we were having the normal getting-to-know-you conversation, I mentioned everything I am involved in. I talked about my classes, work, involvement in the community, babysitting my cousin, writing my blog, social gatherings, etc. I talked about my weekly lunches alone to read and have 2 hours to myself at my favorite lunch spots, getting my nails done once a month, taking myself out shopping. I mentioned that after work every night, I come home, have dinner, and read or watch Friends until sleep overtakes me. Then this guy said something that got me thinking; he said that it sounded like I was happy with how my life was going, and that it seemed fulfilled and including a guy into that lifestyle would be inconvenient.
I paused mid-answer. Was he right? I was ready to defend myself and say that I could easily accommodate another person in this life I had cultivated over the past 3 years of being single, but would I have been lying?
It’s true that since my last engagement fell through, I have struggled to find my own happiness- one that doesn’t include a guy. So I have done something most people don’t think of doing while single: I have courted myself. I found out what motivates me, makes me happy, and brings me joy. I have wooed myself with presents, dinners, and travel. I have spent many long hours having conversations with myself about life and love. I have allowed myself to be selfish and focused on my own happiness, rather than finding someone to make me happy. Is that wrong?
In order to love someone, you must first love yourself. For the longest time, I felt that without a man in my life, I was incomplete. Most of what I come across in social media daily tries to coerce me to feel inadequate without a man. Quotes that I read, pictures I see, events that go on…they all make you feel that as a single woman, you are wrong, and you cannot enjoy life without a man. So because I have been unlucky in love, I must be miserable so that society can feel more at ease? No way; not going to happen.
So could I allow a man into my life right now? Or am I so set in my ways that I’d be hard to compromise with? To be honest, I can’t really say. I am so happy with my life right now, that for the first time in my life I enjoy being single. Even the comments from friends and family don’t bother me anymore. I laugh it off. To me, the one thing I am missing (someone to fill my intimate and emotional desires) isn’t as big as all the other great things that fill my life. And honestly, isn’t that what is more important? We always place such an emphasis on finding that special someone that we lose sight of our own needs and happiness.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I am not looking for someone to complete me. I am complete within myself. However, when I do meet the right guy, I will be sure to share myself with him. I still expect to have my own life and interests, as I hope he will too. What I want is a companion, someone to share great moments with, but not someone who will expect me to drop my life for him. To be single for so long makes it much harder to change from that mindset when you do meet that special person. That doesn’t mean I won’t change; I was engaged and made time for fiancee. But when you suddenly find yourself as the lone single friend in your group, and you have no one to go to movies or dinner with, you learn to adapt. So maybe I have gotten used to being alone. Maybe I do relish the quiet hours at a bookstore, browsing titles and sipping coffee. Maybe takeout sushi and bad TV make up the perfect Friday night for me….now. That doesn’t mean that if the guy is wonderful I’d turn him away.
But for now, I will continue to love myself. I will spoil myself. I will do all those things that my friends have a spouse to do for them, for myself. After all, just because I’m single, it doesn’t mean I have to miss out on all that.
I deserve it, too.