I’m single. Oh man, am I single. I’m the kind of single where people have pity on you and try to set you up with their equally single friends. And, to be fair, I’ve had an equal share in ending past relationships as well as having them ended for me. Of course no one ever believes you when you tell them a split was your idea. They always give you that suspicious look that says, “Riiiiiight…” I hate that look. Jerks. Regardless, I’m single, and you know what? That’s okay with me. Really.
It used to be that I disliked being single. Actually, I hated it. Not only did I feel like I needed someone I could rely on, but I also felt like I needed someone to rely on me. I felt like I wasn’t complete unless I was the male part of a romantic twosome. When one relationship ended—by my hand or not—I would soon be “talking” with a new young lady, doing the “20 questions” routine and spilling random facts about myself to someone I hoped would see enough in me to warrant a relationship. It was a formidable desire to be with someone, to feel complete in another, that drove me from one relationship to the next. But, as I chased romance, I never seemed to find anything fulfilling, anything lasting, anything that felt given. It was that lack of fulfillment that finally brought me to a place where I questioned the motives of nearly every relationship I’d been in. What was it that I was looking for? And why was I so desperate to find it in a female?
Being single isn’t easy. It’s lonely at times, and even kind of depressing at others. But it can be a good thing. In our singledom (new word!), we’re allowed to grow self-reliant in the things we once faced with a lover tightly clutching our hand. It is by no means a walk in the proverbial park, and there are excruciating growing pains to go through, but in those moments of loneliness, in those moments of seeded exploration, we begin to discover just how self-sustaining we can be. We begin to unearth the real us. We learn things about ourselves that we may have never known before. We find new talents and ambitions that may have otherwise been buried by our decadent union. No, being alone isn’t necessarily fun, but it is OK. Being single, if seen as an opportunity rather than a condition, is something we can learn from.
No one wants to die alone. But at what cost do we shake free from our lonesome burden? Is a manufactured relationship, one we built from our own wants and desires bred from loneliness, worth the confusion and anxiety it could cause? I say no. In my somewhat limited intelligence, being single for a season, so that we can be worked on and molded into something lovely and whole, is wise and responsible. Once we do meet the lucky individual who gets to marry us, wouldn’t we rather be that rounded, emotionally stable, fully evolved person they deserve? Why put our messiness upon their shoulders and rely on them to help fix us? That isn’t their responsibility, no more than it is ours to fix them.
I am single and I’ll continue to be until I feel as though I am where I need to be emotionally and spiritually. I’m happy. I’m content in knowing that I can be fulfilled in God and in my own path without having to desperately cling to another beating heart. In reality, our lives are always about the choices we make. Remaining single is a conscious decision, just as entering into a romantic relationship is. And both of those choices are made easier when we are at our most centered, when we can breathe easy in knowing that, while we may ache for the completion of another, being single is actually OK. Within those somewhat lonely nights full of painful growth, we are being made whole.