I found an article I wrote (but never published) a few months before I met my boyfriend, Dan. Aka the love of my life! It was first titled, “Happy, Thriving… And Lonely Too: Thoughts Of A Single Girl.” I don’t know why I didn’t publish it.
But I wanted to share it. Because I truly feel it’s why I remained single for so long. In the end, I added some commentary on hindsight along with some advice for my fabulous single ladies.
I hope you enjoy this read. I didn’t change a single thing except for typos and the hindsight I added at the end.
My Mom is so proud of how “independent” I am.
She also tells me not to get “too used to it” because there is the fear that I’ll never be able to let anyone in.
I used to laugh that off. Of course I’ll let someone in! All I want is for myself to find someone I’m comfortable enough with to let them in. I can’t wait to fall into a happy, healthy, passionately crazy about each other kind of love.
But my Mom has a point. And I don’t laugh that off anymore- the getting too used to being on my own. I now take this seriously as I see myself becoming less and less open to relying on others and more confident in just depending on myself. As time goes on, I make falling in love less of a priority. Which isn’t bad right? Career matters! Friendship and family matters! Personal growth matters!
I THINK IT’S GOOD TO DEPEND ON YOURSELF. But we need people… we need love. And that in-love kind of love, that’s the best.
I had a weird feeling come over me on a flight layover in Houston. Almost a dejavu kind of thing.
I was in the Houston airport walking calmly to my next flight and I looked out the window, looked at my surroundings and thought… I have been here. Exactly here.
And I realized it was the connecting airport I would fly into when I went to visit my high school sweetheart, a Marine, in North Carolina.
Now granted, I was 17 at this time. But I started having clear flashbacks of myself at this airport when I would go to and from visiting him. I remember feeling ELATED, beaming, knowing that I was moments away from being in his arms. I remember actively stopping myself from dancing down the moving sidewalk. I could not WAIT to see him. It would feel like home.
I remembered that airport, this airport, after visiting him on my way back. Sitting with my back against the wall, the window above my head. Passengers passing by as I propped up against my carryon, crying into my (Nokia) phone with him on the other end. Uncertain of when we could afford to see each other again. Uncertain if he would get deployed before we got the chance. Our hearts just ached for each other.
I was blindsided by such vivid memories and I thought to myself, “Will I ever be in love like that again?”
Surely I know I will, but after so much time alone you start to forget what it really feels like to be in love. Sometimes the absence numbs you to the point where you really don’t care anymore. It becomes such a distant memory.
And sometimes you are hit with this paralyzing thought that love is the greatest thing- and without it, life is not as fully rich as it could be. You realize you might be missing out.
I have had (what I find for ME) to be the perfect balance of being alone and being in love.
The last guy I loved, we were long distance. We didn’t deal with (or benefit from) what traditional relationships offer. When you live close to each other.
The last time I was in a traditional relationship (that was truly significant) was almost 4 years ago. Since then, it’s been me, myself and I. And it’s been good. I feel strong. I feel capable. I also feel sad about the very things that have instilled these traits in me.
I don’t have a man checking on me when I travel, when I get home at night. When I move, I do it myself. I have no one carrying my boxes or lifting the heavy things for me. I have no one coming with me when I need to make big purchases (like a car) to help make sure I don’t get ripped off. No one (that I care about anyway) sending me flowers on Valentine’s Day. Or birthdays. No one to cuddle with on holidays. No one to be my everyday partner in crime that a good lover should be. (This partner in crime is more than a best friend or family member type thing, this we can’t argue.) No one to hold me when I cry or give me early morning pep talks. No one to hold me if I wake up from a nightmare. No one to take care of me when I am sick.
So you see… the very thing that makes me independent -depending on myself and ONLY myself for the above- is also the thing that makes me feel the most lonely. And yes I realize that friends and family can fulfill a few of these rolls, but that’s if and only if you let them. If they offer. And even still, it is not the same.
But please know this, loneliness does not mean desperation. Lord no. And don’t give up ladies. Settling would be the worst and there is no need for it. Love finds you at the perfect time.
You think being alone as a single person sucks, try feeling alone in a relationship or marriage. That’s gotta be even worse.
I have such a soft spot for the guys who have asked me out, like me, etc… all good men. Just haven’t met the one who sweeps me off my feet yet. The one I go home feeling giddy about. Until then, why settle? I don’t need to.
Neither do you.
I read this and I thought about it all day. I remember writing it. I remember the state I was in.
It got me thinking: I was single for a very long time. I wouldn’t take it back… I am who I am today because of that time alone. I ended up meeting my boyfriend at the perfect time.
But I will say this: I don’t think I would have been single for so long if I had been better about letting someone in. It’s scary to be vulnerable but I believe that it’s through vulnerability that people fall in love. I was defiant to really let a man inside my world. The world I kept hidden from everyone else. I was defiant to let a man take care of me. Men like to take care of their women….
I am not saying we’re helpless. I’m saying it’s good to let people help. Let people listen. Let people in.
Thank God Dan kept prying. I was VERY slow to show him what was really behind the curtains. Slow to tell him about my depression. About my past with love. Family, health, insecurities, etc. But he stuck with it. I don’t think most men would be that patient. (Nor should they be, frankly. They don’t want to waste time either!) Guys who I really DID like in the past, the ones that didn’t work out?… There was always this common theme they had with me: they didn’t feel needed. Or they never got to KNOW me know me. Perhaps that kept us from really forming a true bond.
If you really like someone, slowly let them in. That might be your key to finding love.
And whatever you do- don’t stop caring about love if deep down you want to find it! STAY OPEN. Stay WARM to it.
I just want you to be happy and get rid of any roadblocks. If my writing and experience and past can help, I am here for you!
Tell me your thoughts, Violets. I always want to hear. <3
Photo by: Katie Weinholt (She’s located in San Francisco!)