Okay y’all. Time to spill my guts (again). I’ll do this the best way I know how: messy and thick.
Attending a Christian university means my classmates typically get married young or are in committed relationships. “Ring by spring,” as they say. While the average age to marry has risen over the past decade, Christians tend to be the outliers. Christians may choose to marry young for various reasons, but a common reason is to avoid engaging in sexual sin. You can imagine the pressure I feel. From my family, my peers, and various others. The question “Dating anyone?” has become common etiquette at family gatherings and social events. As if I’m incomplete, less than, or lonely without a significant other. For some people, they can’t imagine not having a relationship, like they can’t picture anyone else choosing to live their lives differently. *cough* not everyone is the same *cough*
So, here I am writing this post trying my best to explain why I’ve chosen to remain single. My counselor encouraged me to share my insight and wisdom, which feels weird because what do I know? I’m only 19, I can’t possibly have wisdom. But my counselor, who is amazing, insists that wisdom doesn’t have to come from old age, wisdom can and does come from experiences.
I haven’t dated since my junior year of high school and the fall of my senior year I took a one year dating fast. I loved it so much that I decided to carry it out until whenever the heck I feel like it. The short answer to why I’m single would be because I don’t have the time. But lets be honest, y’all aren’t here for the short answer. I’m single because I have a lot I want to improve about myself. Do I think I’m great? Of course. Do I think I’d make a great girlfriend? Not so much. When I finally commit to someone, I would like to be able to devote myself to them as much as I can. I can’t do that right now. I have school, my blog, my mental health, my life is shit show. A happy shit show, but a shit show nonetheless. Whoever I commit to deserves my full attention, respect, and love. Just as I deserve his. I can’t give that to whoever that may be right now and I think it would be unfair to “commit” to someone if I can’t commit in the way he deserves. I’m being pulled into too many directions and it wouldn’t be a successful relationship.
Despite the countless toxic relationships I’ve experienced and have watched my closest loved ones experience, I still think love and relationships are a very good thing. They are what humans are designed for. Getting to share my whole, uninhibited self to someone is terrifying as much as it is exciting. I look forward to the day I can do that with my person. I just think that day is very far off.
My mother fears that I could potentially miss out on my soul mate. She fears that I don’t keep my ears open to what God is telling me. Mothers are seldom wrong, especially mine. But, (I’m sorry mom, please forgive me) my mom is wrong in this instance. I am listening to God. More so now, than I ever have in my life. If y’all remember any of my posts about my freshman year of college, you’ll know that I was deeply depressed and didn’t make much friends. I hardened my heart. I told myself that I didn’t need anyone. I was “independent” in the worst possible way. This year has been completely different. God has constantly shown me how desperately I need people. He has shown me that there is nothing weak in being vulnerable and admitting that we need others. As Carl Rodgers said “each of us is an island unto himself, in a very real sense; and he can only build bridges to other islands if he is first of all content to be himself and permitted to be himself.” I’ve figured out who I am and how badly I need those bridges to others. I am content to be myself because I love who I am. I’ve built my bridges to my very best friends. I made friends here this year in school that I wouldn’t have made last year. I’m content being vulnerable and telling my friends my fears, anxiety, happiness, struggles, etc. They know me because I know me. This whole “soulmate” idea is rubbish, I think we have multiple soulmates. We have friend soulmates, music soulmates, makeup soulmates, book soulmates, any kind of soulmate. It’s when you connect with a person, so quickly, it can’t be anything but a soul connection. My soul friends, as I like to call them.
We do not need one significant other to complete us. That’s not the point of relationships. If you lose yourself in someone, your bridge will collapse. We all are our own self and the beauty in relationships is sharing yourself with them, not becoming them. Society likes to complicate relationships by creating this co-dependent standard. I found this really cool quote that sums up what a codependent relationship really is, “Codependency is driven by the agreement that I will work harder on your problems and your life than you do.
This is not love.” (Unknown author). I hate that this has become the standard. I could go on and on about how society has seriously damaged what a relationship is. My favorite quote by Monique Duval is “He offered her the world. She said she had her own.” There is a thing of healthy independence. I’m independent in the way that I am fully myself, at all times. But I don’t reject the help from others. I don’t reject the fact that I need others. I’m choosing to learn and grow through vulnerability and friendships.
I am a strong, independent woman who is doing life with a steadfast love for my friends, my family, my God, my cats (of course), my career, and my journey of self-discovery. I am not ashamed to be single. I am happy being single. I have chosen to remain single. I am not single in my life however. I have friends, soul friends, who mean the most to me right now. I’m devoting myself to my happiness and theirs. How could I bring a significant other into my life if I can’t give them that as well? I encourage y’all to make lasting friendships, to admit your need for others, to be vulnerable and honest. I hope that y’all realize that you’re not a half waiting for whole. You are in fact a whole person, who is beautiful and has more to offer than a simple half. You’re enough.