Sunday, November 17, 2013

Single isn't a Terminal Disease

I realized that this is going to be my 150th post, and I thought I should make it one that matters, something beyond pretty pictures and funny stories.  Beauty and laughter are important elements of life, but there are other things to explore as well.

Hello, my name is Lauren, I'm 32 years old, and currently not in a serious relationship.  I have no desire to sign up for any online dating services, be set up on any blind dates, or hang out in dimly lit bars to meet Mr. Right.  I don't hate men by any means, but I do not feel the need to define my life by one.

I am someone who is comfortable in her own skin.  I don’t need to be a half of a couple to be whole.  While I thoroughly enjoy being in a relationship, I also value my independence, and while I can thrive in the company of others I’m not fearful of solitude.

I’m tired of feeling that I should be sorry I didn’t get married and start a family immediately after graduation (high school or college, take your pick), and I don’t want to disparage those who chose that route, but it wasn't the road I wanted to travel.  I haven’t dated the man that I want to spend the rest of my life with, let alone someone I’d want to raise children with.  That’s not to say I didn’t love some of the men I've been with, that some won’t always occupy a tiny space in my heart, but there is a reason why they are all ex-boyfriends, in the end we weren't compatible for the long run.  For me I’d rather find that out while dating, than after getting married.

I believe in true love, I believe in forever, and I believe in not settling because you’re scared of being alone.  I believe in being content with your own company, in finding great friends who will stand by your side throughout the trials and tests of time.  I believe in putting good thoughts and deeds out into the universe and that they will be repaid in time, but that often times the rewards are in the deeds themselves. 

Being single has given me the opportunity to find things that challenge me and expand my mind.  I've rediscovered a love affair with my camera and taking photos of local landscapes, it reminds me of what a beautiful part of the world I’m lucky to live in.  I have time to write without feeling rushed or like I’m being selfish with my time when I just want to be lost in my words.  I can read a book without having to hear sports in the background.  I don’t have to divide my time between the people I love and the people I tolerate because the person I love loves them.  Maybe that’s selfish or self centered, but I think it makes me a more balanced person and adds to the list of life’s experiences more than it subtracts.  I don't think you can really know someone unless you really know yourself.  How can you know yourself if you've never spent real time in your own company?

I have friends and family members that are completely baffled by me not being panicked about being single and in my 30s, and I’m equally baffled that they would rather be miserable in dysfunctional relationships than get to know themselves without their partners.  I’d rather take a hot shower, read a good book, and drift off to sleep alone than to feel the coldness of emotional distance from someone that wasn't right for me even if he was right next to me.  Sleeping alone is better than sleeping lonely with someone.

I know when I find someone to share my journey with he will be someone who values my intelligence and independence.  He will be someone who is content to travel beside me as my equal, not in front of me dragging me down his path, nor behind me being pulled down mine.  I’m not in a hurry to find him, we’ll discover each other when the time is right, whether that be tomorrow or sometime in the more distant future, maybe he’s someone I know or is a complete stranger, I don’t know what is in the cards, but I do know that I’m okay with being single.

Being in a relationship is a great feeling, but if you aren't able to appreciate yourself for you who are, no one else will either.  You don’t need to have a significant other to be significant.