I get asked the same question all of the time, "Why are you still single?" It's usually coupled with an automatic judgment that either there is something wrong with me or something that I am doing wrong. People think of me being single in my early thirties like it's some horrible disease that I've contracted and hopefully they won't catch. With Valentine's Day right around the corner, these feelings only seem to get worse. Friends and family dance around the subject like I'm going to have a full blown melt down if someone mentions the "V" word. Like somehow, mentioning the day celebrated by couples everywhere will suddenly make me remember that I'm alone and send me into a tailspin of tears and self-loathing.
Newflash: You don't have to hide the Ben n' Jerry's because I like being single. Hell, I mostly love it.
I would love to start asking the same people who pose me that question some questions of my own. Wouldn't it be fun to see how quickly their expressions change when I ask them, "Why aren't you still single?" Quite frankly, I've witnessed my fair share of relationships that survive only because people are afraid to be alone. Don't get me wrong. I have a ton of friends who are happily married, have families and are in loving relationships, but I also know people that jump into relationships because they turned a certain age and feel like they should be settling down at this point. I have friends who are in relationships with men and women who don't treat them right, but they hold on in the hopes that one day they will change or that they can somehow mold them into who they want them to be. These people aren't happy in their relationships, they simply are afraid of being alone. Being single does not automatically mean you are lonely. I know plenty of people in relationships who are far more lonely than I ever want to be!
I am going to repeat this again because I feel it's worth repeating: I like being single.
Being single gives me time to focus on myself, to self-reflect and work on the things I want to and need to work on. It also allows me to focus on self-love, something that I didn't do enough of until recently. With self-love comes an empowering level of self-respect. I know my value and my worth. I know what I have to offer the people in my life and what I have to offer a significant other. I don't plan on being single forever, but I am enjoying being single right now. I know the kind of person I want to be with -- kind of person I deserve -- and I refuse to settle for anything less. This doesn't mean I don't believe in love. Contrary to popular belief, I'm actually a closet hopeless romantic who fears long-term commitment, but craves stability, deep feelings and dimensions. I think when I do find the right person, that fear of commitment will dissipate into faith in it. I want to share my life with someone who invests the same amount of love and respect that I do, but I'm in no rush or under any time limit to find it. I think you attract what you put out in the world and I'm working on putting out everything I am looking for myself.
Yes, I will be spending Valentine's Day as a single, 32-year old female, but that doesn't mean I won't enjoy it. Valentine's Day is a day of love. I have plenty of love in my life and I plan on celebrating my single-ness in all its glory. I am going to buy myself flowers because I love flowers. I'm going to search out the brightest and boldest colors because they make me happy. I am going to get dressed up and wear fun underwear that makes me feel sexy. I am going to pop the cork on a bottle of champagne and toast to all of the love I'm learning to give to myself. Most importantly, I am going to eat chocolate -- the good kind of chocolate that makes you close your eyes, swallow slowly and lick your fingers -- and I am going to enjoy every... single... bite.
So, my loves, if you are like me and going to be spending Valentine's Day single, don't let it get to you. Refuse to accept the anxiety pushed upon you by others. Celebrate all the love you have in your life and the love you have for yourself. If you are new to the self-love game, use Valentine's Day to celebrate yourself and everything you do love.
My life's mantra: Be love. Give love. Receive love. Repeat.