Married to Yourself

Flickr credit to: Ghost Kid

Do you like being single?

What if you were single forever?

Having graduated from an all woman’s college, I have met many women who were hungry for a boyfriend. One day when walking back to the dorm after dinner, a girl asked me how you get a boyfriend. I offered online dating, but honestly I had no idea.

During my studies in Paris, most of the girls in my program wanted to find a hot French boyfriend. It came up frequently in conversation. How/where do I find a French guy?

As someone who doesn’t know much about dating, flirting or how to otherwise find oneself in a relationship  – I have to say that the prospect of me being “single” forever (or a really long time) is highly probable.

But my non-existent dating history has proven to be advantageous in its own way - I can’t miss what I’ve never had. I’m not used to compromising what I want. I’m not used to having someone to rely on. I’m not used to experiencing happiness and acceptance from another person. 

For a lot of women (who probably have self-esteem issues), dating is the ultimate gateway to adoration and approval. It shows that you are worthy of being loved. And on the rare occasions that someone has had a crush on me, it has definitely put a skip into my step, knowing that someone thinks I’m cute. But people liking me isn’t necessarily a confidence booster.

I’m not very many people’s “type”. Which is fine. And my focus tends to be on ME, ME, ME! As it should be. Through personal and spiritual development, my hope is to cultivate a more sustainable relationship with myself. Even if that means being single for extended periods of time.

So my goal is to get rid of the concept : “singleness”. Why? Because I don’t want to identify as a woman who is in transition, waiting to be in a relationship – especially in a culture where being married/with someone is seen as the key to happiness. Admittedly, I have my own thought processes to check. Whenever I check out a blog, one of the first things I want to know is if the blogger in question is seeing anyone. Why this information is relevant I don’t know, but I feel compelled to know. In fact, not knowing tends to drive me crazy.

Part of it might be that I love learning about the intimate details of people’s lives. Or it might be that I’m obsessed with dating and relationships.

But I don’t want to be. Which is why my hope is to have a great relationship with myself. I’m a firm believer that everything you do, have and experience is meant to enhance your life, not to make you dependent. I don’t want single to mean “waiting for a romantic interest”, I want it to mean “empowerment and self-sufficiency”. My hope is to be happy with my life, even if I don’t have another person to experience it with because it is MY life and no one else can live it.

So I wish instead of single, people could just say, “In a loving, empowering relationship with myself.” And if anyone asks if you’re seeing someone, you say, “Yeah. Myself! And it’s been going great! Been together 23 years!”

 

What about you? What are some of your feelings when people ask you about your relationship status?

 

 

 

 

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26 thoughts on “Married to Yourself

  1. After years of serial dating, I have been single/celibate for three years and it has been the BEST thing I’ve ever done . I try to be transparent and let other women know that being single does take adjustment and thick skin because people will treat you like a leper. Being happily single is a thing most people cannot wrap their minds around. Single women are preyed upon by the media, their church, and anyone else who feels they can make a dollar out of exploiting singleness. Kudos to you for falling in love with yourself so many of us have to find our personal self-love after a relationship ends. If you love yourself authentically you will most definitely attract nothing, but the best!

    • Hey! I’m glad you stopped by! :D

      The points you bring up make me think of online dating. It makes it ten times easier to meet someone, it makes dating more accessible even to the busiest person. So I think people feel that dating should be a top priority if it’s become less of a hassle in some ways to get into a relationship. Yeah, I definitely want to be single for awhile before deciding if/when I’m interested in pursuing a relationship. I mean, I have my whole life to live! Why spend it waiting on someone to want me?

      Thanks for your comment! :]

  2. I really hope I’m not single forever, because I’d really like to have kids someday. I suppose I could do that on my own, but I’d love to find an amazing man to love and raise children with. But I definitely agree that for a lot of women, finding a man is their only way of achieving self-acceptance. I want no part of that and refuse to date again until I’m in a place where I’m not seeking my only source of acceptance from a man. I have too much to work on on my own to waste my time seeking substandard acceptance from a substandard man.

    • I remember reading an article some time ago about women who wanted babies but didn’t have men just get in-vitro or go to a sperm bank instead. I thought it was really interesting, as many women are fully capable of having many of the things they want without a man.

      But I think raising kids with a partner is also excellent since parenting can be difficult for many people – particularly to do alone. Yay! I’m glad you’ve decided to work on yourself. It seems like relationships quire a lot of work, especially if they need to function well for both people. So self-work is always a bonus! You can never know too much about yourself!

  3. Yea, I would like to get married one day and be in a healthy, loving and monagomous relationship with a wonderful man! I will continue to be happy and whole if it doesn’t happen because the last thing I want to do is to settle for someone just to say I’m with someone.

    One thing I hate is when people ask me why I’m single like it’s a plague or something. It feels like they’re saying, “Your single because something is wrong with you, because if you were “good” you would be with someone.” It’s like no one should chose to be single over the age of 25…lol. It’s drives me crazy every time…..

    • “I will continue to be happy and whole if it doesn’t happen because the last thing I want to do is to settle for someone just to say I’m with someone.”

      This! Definitely. I sometimes worry about the trap of just falling for anyone just because they’re there and like me.

      i find it strange how people really feel uncomfortable with being single. But when you look at movies, women are characterized as wanting/needing men to be fulfilled. And for a lot of people, the ideal life is married/committed relationship, maybe a house, maybe some kids. Though it doesn’t work that way for everyone! *le sigh*

  4. I really like this post! I totally relate to it even though I am in a relationship. I love being single and recently found a relationship I love being in, but still have to fight the urge to say, “ok, time to be alone again.” I am someone who loves the independence of being alone and being able to do whatever I want. I think in order for this relationship to work, I need to continue to do whatever I want and not feel held back in any way.
    I agree with you when you say that too many people put too much value in a relationship. I think it is great that you are focusing on yourself and finding your spirituality and doing all the things you want. If you find someone you want to spend time with awesome, if not, awesome. Either way, you will be completely happy.

    • Oh thanks!! :D

      I definitely agree – I need a lot of personal/emotional freedom. To be tied down by someone else would be suffocating. I’m definitely looking forward to building a decent relationship with myself so that I don’t become dependent on another person for happiness.

  5. Hey there! Thanks for stopping by the blog and leaving comments! I’m really glad I’ve had the opportunity to come by yours and return the favor!

    Regarding being single, I’ve gone back and forth over the years. I LOVE my freedom (I firmly believe that nobody’ll ever love me like me)! However, I just love to love, too. I am definitely a pleaser, and I just love love love having that special someone to surprise. So, relationships for me are less about confidence and approval, and more about having someone to share with …

    • Hey! Of course! I really like your blog! :D Thanks for stopping by!

      Oh, I can understand that. I guess dating is great when you want to share things with someone but in a way more intimate and romantic than a friend. I often think about that sort of thing – since I haven’t had the opportunity to date yet.

  6. I definitely agree with this post. Sometimes I feel left out of the whole dating thing, but nobody’s on my level so I just push forward. I’m all about developing a better relationship with myself now and I’m ready to admit it rather than being made down in dumps because others try to make me feel like women my age are “supposed” to be dating. Forget that. I don’t affirmation from people in that way or rather I shouldn’t be made to feel like my existence and purpose is contingent upon someone else placing romantic value on me (although in addition to this attitude, it would be a bonus).

    Thanks again, parisian, for another insight, comforting to know others think along the same lines.

    ~MsQ

    • No problem! Thanks for stopping by!

      I definitely agree that it can be hard to meet someone your level. I’m not entirely sure how women get into relationships, but I know that many of them end because they don’t feel like they’re in the right/same place together (ie having the same goals, believing the same things). And while many people’s priorities change and evolve as they get older, I wonder how many women (at least young women) take that into consideration when they start dating.

  7. I’ve been in a relationship for 8 years, but the sentiment that something is wrong with a women just b/c she’s not in a relationship is damning. I like and want to be in a romantic, monogamous relationship. I’m sure that my preference is due to my socialization, but I understand it’s not for everyone. Therefore, I don’t push my preference upon others.

    I think that mating is a natural drive. And mating between humans is complicated with relationships, intimacy, monogamy, expectations and ownership. And the relationship is even more complicated when there is not mating.

    I will admit, it’s hard for me to hear someone say that they could deal with being romantically unattached (“single”) from someone for such long periods of time. Companionship is and can be beautiful. There’s nothing like having that one person in the world who understands and loves you like no other (when this can be achieved). Granted, this companion can be a friend. But it’s great when that companion is your friend and lover.

    But hey, I’m biased. My partner is also my best friend. But I know our relationship style (i.e. best friends, lovers, and equals) is rare. And I know that I have what a lot of Black women crave, but I would never lose myself, respect or identity for the sake of companionship.

    • Since I haven’t been with anyone before, I can’t comment on what it’s like to be with another person. From my perspective, watching other girls date, it seems like the costs outweigh the benefits. From the pressure that many women feel to date and feel loved, to what I feel is the urgency to get married as soon as possible, and many girls I know have had babies or are pregnant right now. These aren’t really things I want for myself, so I’m glad to be remained unattached, and my goals for myself don’t really include me finding a significant other.

      So, I suppose it’s an issue of not just priorities but a sort of maturity as well. I feel that you attract the kind of person you want by being that person yourself, and I’m not yet the kind of person who I would want to be with.

  8. Unfortunately, there is such a strong societal pressure to be dating, engaged, married or at least in some sort of relationship. I have a few friends who seem to have no strong sense of self- they always *have* to be in a relationship or else, they feel alone/lonely/have a low self esteem. And I have to admit that I was very much affected by this societal pressure starting at age 15. My best friend had a boyfriend at that time, and I constantly felt like I wanted to be dating too – I was jealous and angry that no one wanted to date me. I had a low self esteem because of that. And it continued until college, resulting in destructive behavior that I won’t name here. Plus, my friend and I would always scheme on ways to get a boyfriend, lament over not having someone, and always discuss how we wish we had someone. I think this type of behavior is ingrained into us by society, where women who choose to be single are attacked, or made to seem “lacking” in some way… It is really sad that this is the case and it took me a long time to get over these feelings, and to loving myself for who I am!

    • And I think part of the problem isn’t so much that we’re encouraged to be married/in a relationship necessarily – I think a lot of people end up choosing that path as they get older. At 23, I have a variety of friends getting married, engaged, pregnant and having kids. I think people see it a normal progression, particularly for women, so when you’re not doing what others perceive as “normal”, they freak out. I definitely agree it can cause issues of inferiority. I felt a lot of pressure and sadness when my best friend would get into relationships and I was still struggling to figure out how to tell if someone liked you. Even when I got to college and people were getting hit on, and no one seemed to notice me (one boy – though it was my fault – began to avoid me!). Being out of college has take a lot of pressure off, for sure, in trying and wanting to date. I’m not surrounded by my peers, and my closest friends are in the same situation as me actually. Which I find to be comforting, but part of me feels that you end up attracting people in similar life situations as you any way.

  9. I dated my 1st boyfriend when I was 21. Kinda late, comparing to most of my friends. I used to be obsessed with relationships, mostly because I totally lacked self-confidence and self-love.
    When we broke up, I realized I was actually better off with myself. Being single allows you to concentrate on yourself and to be free. My years of singleness were the best in my life. I DIDN’T WANT a relationship.
    But then, once in a while, especially when everyone around you is in a relationship (as bad/insane it might be), my Ego blows up in my face and starts screaming and crying for attention, affection, love and security. During those times of crisis, I could almost jump on the 1st guy who would like to date me. But I know better and have respect for myself.
    My vision of a good relationship is finding someone to SHARE things with. So I admit I do long for a relationship, but a true one. And I also knob I won’t find my soulmate until I’m 100% true to myself. So I try to make the most of my alone time to work on myself and have as much to offer as possible when I meet “Mr Right”.

    Thank you for this note. I’m in one of those times of crisis right now but I just keep on trusting the Uni-verse and be patient. Your note reminded me that I should just let go.

    Xoxo from Belgium.

    • Thanks for dropping by Jessica! :D Oh, and you’re from Belgium? Do you speak French? :]

      I can definitely relate to the feelings of insecurity about being single and having friends who date. Right now, I’m the only person I know who has never dated before. Even though I’m still relatively young; I often freak out that I’m missing out on some important aspect of my youth. Many people my age spend their teen years and early twenties dating. But I don’t really see myself dating and although, like you, I would like to get into a relationship. I also realize that I have to live with me, and if I can’t (or am unwilling) to do that, then how can I expect someone else to?

  10. I’m all over your blog today but this post really resonates with me too! I was on my own and celibate for about 3 years until my met my beloved. I was happy, hanging out with friends and just experiencing life. It wasn’t until some months after I reached this point that I met her and we began courting one another and it was so effortless and playful. I believe that very few people court. Dating to me is an anxiety inducing process and unfortunately, most people date with the intention of getting a prize (a bf/gf) and it’s not like courting where you’re expressing your affinity for the other person.

    For us, It wasn’t the nerve wrecking, high tension type of budding in a relationship. It was truthful and we were both showing up in a very direct way. We wanted to share with each other as someone stated. I tried the ‘dating game’ a little before I met her but things didn’t flow and I can’t get 100% behind something if it doesn’t flow right..but that time alone taught me so much and I really felt married to myself during that time. Most couples break up because they don’t share the same priorities which can change over time or never be the same from the get go. I got to a place where I was so self sufficient and happy so that no one could come in and offer those things to me. She felt the same exact way. It makes a world of difference too and I cherish what I’ve learned in this particular area of life.

    • Ah thanks! I love your comments. No worries. :3

      Oh I love your story! Can you elaborate more on your definition is of courting and how it’s different from dating?

      I don’t know much about dating! Sometimes I wonder if people even date, or if they just get together after deciding they like each other. Most of my information is from pop culture as I don’t have many friends who date, so it’s probably a skewed reference. My friend, who has been with her boyfriend for about 2 years now, just sort of fell into her relationship with him. There wasn’t a definitive moment where it began. I suppose that’s more organic. But then – what is a more “artificial” form of dating?

      I do agree that there’s a certain amount of pressure to get or be someone’s significant other (SO), which is probably why many people prefer to date “casually”. I guess that’s like dating with no aim or purpose – so if you’re just hanging out, why call it dating at all? The nuances of dating are perplexing o.O

      I think it’s great that you were self-sufficient before you met your partner! I hope to achieve that level at some point as well. :D

  11. I forgot to come back to the post and I stumbled on it again, must have been for a reason! :)

    When I refer to courting, it’s different than dating in that it stresses the authenticity behind doing sweet things to woo the person you’re interested in. I feel like when we date, it’s typically about two people doing an activity together because they’re attracted to each other in a more superficial way rather than the way it should be which is getting in each others’ heads and enjoying the experience of learning one another. Courting goes beyond the dinner and a movie. I find that people don’t realize that that isn’t sufficient until after date #3 comes and goes and it’s been a sad repeat of date number one. Courting involves putting your ego to the side and enjoying the other person in the moment. Not about how great you look and where you’re going out to eat and what kind of vehicle you’re being picked up in. When I randomly invited my sweetheart over for a on a super hot Summer day, she came over after hanging out at the beach and she thought she was soo gross and sweaty but I didn’t care and she didn’t either or she wouldn’t have came. Likewise, I didn’t have much makeup on, my hair was pretty bleh but I knew I wanted to see her. It was the best first “date” I ever had. It was so fun and I never thought I’d be able to enjoy myself as much as I did without primping and doing the other “pre-date” things that we do to prepare. It was effortless and amazing. I hope that made sense haha.

    Oh and yes, I completely agree, dating shouldn’t be called dating, I think it adds anxiety to the situation! Artificial dating to me is “I need to go out on a date, let me find someone, anyone..as long as they’re attractive I’ll go for it.” wrong wrong wrong in my opinion! So many people do this, I used to too, and it’s just not worth it.

    I’m lucky to have gotten to really know myself..I think it naturally comes from just puttering around by yourself and realizing you can be happy on your own as you get ready for that awesome person to grace your presence. You can and will definitely get to that place. :)

    • Haha! Hey!! :D

      Oh yes, I do like and understand your definition for courting. I think dating has become more artificial than anything. You primp, calling it your best foot forward so that you can make a “good impression” on your date. But if they’ve asked you out, then they must like you to some extent right? And surely when they met you, you hadn’t put in two hours to get ready or were incessantly worrying over how you’d come off? And even on the internet, the mind and personality come before the body – I think pictures add something more to the profile. (Though, I’m sure there are plenty of women and men who only get messages from people based on their profile picture alone!).

      But I’m reminded of how my friend and her BF got together: it was seamless. When I asked her about the moment they started dating, it just sort of happened, as they had been friends before. Now they’ve been together for I think it’s been like three years now! I consider that more organic versus the more ritualistic concept of dating. If I ever start dating, I would rather it naturally morph and transform into something instead of going out on dates and maintaining a particular image of myself.

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