Single, Not Going to Mingle

Just meI was at a wedding last summer where a married friend made a playful remark, “We need to find you a man!”

At the time, I laughed and didn’t think much of it. But since then, her statement keeps resurfacing in my mind and it actually bothers me quite a bit. I love her very much, but I can’t help but hear her words as, “You’re not complete until you’ve got a man!”

Is being single in today’s culture synonymous with being incomplete?

I (and some of my single friends) hear comments like these all the time:

– When are you getting a boyfriend?

– How come you’re not dating?

– Don’t worry, someday it’ll be your turn (to get married).

– You need to start dating.

– I don’t get why you’re still single!

Stop. It is aggravating.

Because what are these words implying, really? That I am not a developed adult because I have not reached that “stage” in life yet? Or that I better hurry or else I will run out of time and wind up a spinster for the rest of my life? Or quite simply – that I am not enough? As if being single is something to be pitied. And yet, isn’t it in our society? Why not enjoy being an individual? Why is there such fear in the thought of being just one person?

Relationship statuses have nothing to do with your self-worth. Unless you let it.

We have it engrained in us at a very young age that someday we will marry somebody and have a family of our own. We’ve got this belief that someday it’ll happen, and when it doesn’t, or when it doesn’t happen when we want it to, we panic. But what is there to be afraid of?

Just because I am single doesn’t make me less of a person.  In fact, I have never felt more appreciative, self-aware, or accomplished in my life than I do now. I don’t need a man to be complete. I am complete already.

A simple thought came into my mind about two weeks ago and it hasn’t left since: It is exciting to be single.

Yes it is.

There’s so much emphasis and excitement about being married – and it is wonderful, but so is the flip side of the coin. I can’t even begin to list how much I’ve learned – about the world and myself – or grown in different ways each time I’ve ventured into the world on my own. Remarks like, “When are you going to start dating?” devalue the richness of that.

For the first time (ever, I think!) I am finally at peace with the possibility that I may remain single for the rest of my life. And that doesn’t come from a place of bitterness or self-pity. No, what sold me on the idea is that I can do so many things – things that I wouldn’t normally even think of doing if I had my own family. I can honestly say to myself that whether I end up married or single, I am perfectly content either way. Both roads lead to adventure – just very different ones. It just wasn’t until recently that I was able to see the beauty of one of those roads.

I am happy at this point in my life to be with myself only. I am happy with the freedom – my career, my relationships, the openness of possibilities.

I know who I am – and I am enough.

 

 

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