Learning to be single can be hard, learning to be in a relationship can be just as hard. I’ve always loved being single. I value me time and I know that I have trouble focusing on more than one important thing at once. I don’t think it’s fair to put someone in a relationship if they aren’t emotionally available to put in the effort — it’s not fair to your partner to have to play second fiddle to your other priorities.
When you’re single you can get lonely. I know I do. I’ll fantasize about having someone there when I need them, someone to cuddle, someone to hang out with, a nameless body to fill random gaps in my life. The problem with this feeling, is that I know it’ll come and go. Sometimes I just crave company from someone I can rely on, someone I know intimately and who will know me intimately. So what’s the problem?
I’m in love with the idea of being in love.
Everyone knows someone who can’t be single. There’s always someone who bounces in between relationships. I know people who think their lives are over and that they’ll end up alone forever the moment they step out of a relationship. That clawing feeling of desperation, that’s how I feel when I’m being especially lonely. That’s the most dangerous feeling because it sets the precedent to put my own feelings first.
When I’m worried about myself I often find myself fixated on certain aspects of a person’s personality. In my own head I’ll exaggerate the things I like and hate the things I dislike. Where I’d usually learn to work with a partner I’ll instead get upset that the relationship isn’t what I want it to be.
I can curate fantasies of what I want my partner to be like — expectations they have no way of meeting. I focus too hard on what I want the relationship to provide for me that I lose sight of the fact that a relationship is a two way street — we don’t use each other for the things we want. We’re building a relationship out of genuine attraction and we want to build each other up rather than strip each other down.
I know this is incredibly selfish. I’m essentially using someone else to get what I want from a relationship. It’s a terrible realization and it makes me wonder if I even really like the person I’m with or if I just leapt at the first opportunity to feel loved.
What I’ve had to learn to do is recognize my feelings. I had to learn if I was genuinely interested in someone or if I was just lonely. Did I have expectations that were unreasonable? And was I willing to compromise when things didn’t go my way.
I’m learning that despite my best efforts I do go through episodes of feeling selfish and needy and that’ okay. If I can recognize it I can make sure I don’t use it against anybody else. Because if I feel like I deserve to be loved so should everybody else.