h2>Dating : I Learned How to Genuinely Love Being Single
As the Perseid meteor showers make their way across the sky in about a week, some friends and I have decided to visit a national park for a camping trip. In my race to be overly prepared, I purchased a tent off of a man on Canadian Craigslist for $15. An absolute steal given the state of the thing. Even still, considering it was a $40 tent off of Canadian Tire, it would be low risk if I don’t end up using it often.
So, I set off on my bike a couple of hours before sunset with a couple of bills and coins rustling in my wallet. About 20 minutes later, and I’m in the lobby of some 6 story apartment building waiting for the man.
He arrives at the door with a woman behind him. Presumably, his partner. In all fairness, he was very kind and she was quite timid. I do not know them nor anything about what they’re going through but my mind was already running miles beyond my conscious thought processing. The judge in my mind told me that they looked like they had grown incredibly comfortable with each other, to a point of complacency. They looked as though they had met a few years prior on some online dating website (not an app, but a website) and frequently sat in their living room, binging Game of Thrones, and ordering take out because they’re both too exhausted to cook after working their jobs in banking and advertising. Leaving their vacation days for all expense paid vacations to Mexico, and celebrating major holidays twice to see both of their families. All this to say that they seemed to live pretty basic lives. There is no problem with this. But biking off and thinking about all of these things made me spark with so much joy, Marie Kondo would snap out of her sweet modest Japanese demeanour and scream with me like a school girl.
I was (and still am) joyous because I’ve realized how some of the most wonderful moments of my life were during times I was not in a relationship. To all the random encounters, the places I’ve traveled, guilt-free, without any responsibilities to keep tabs or be mindful of my partners feelings and time. I’ve seen corners of the world I drooled over as a teenager, and had flings with beautiful strangers that would make younger me so proud.
I may have had quite unconventional relationships, but through all of them, I’ve been able to grow in a way that has evolved my independence and sense of self-worth. I’ve grown more adept into caring for myself first and foremost. Because I’ve always over gave, and under received I’ve taken the time to pour that love into myself in all of these moments of free emotional real estate. Being in love takes so much energy, time, emotion. So, with no one in mind to have on my mind, I can focus on things that are sustainable to my contentment.
Here are moments I’ve beamed with joy over being single:
- Taking up all the space in bed.
- Treating myself to meals.
- Ravaging said meals without a single care about gaining weight because I have no one to impress.
- Dedicating my spare time to seeing a variety of friends or being alone.
- Taking advantage of every ounce of free time for self-care and binge watching Girls.
- Being able to look (and maybe even flirt) with strangers.
- Daydreaming about the travels I’ll be taking next year, worry-free about having to maintain a long distance relationship while I’ll be abroad.
I try to remind myself daily that I deserve to be in a loving relationship with someone that honours me. I refuse to settle for someone who doesn’t see through that equal sense of respect. So, knowing that the right partner isn’t easy to come by, I’ve made peace with waiting by finding that love within myself. At this point, it doesn’t feel so much like waiting. If it happens it happens. I know now that desperately yearning for a relationship shows up as a form of self-sabotage and avoidance. Relationships seem to buffer every other issue in the world, but it all comes back to that fact that I have all the love in the world I need in me right now.
How can I expect to have someone love and respect me if I don’t even show up for myself. It starts with me.