Only Settle For Passion: Why I Would Rather Stay Single Than Settle for a Love That's Less Than I Deserve
Valentine's Day is almost here - the day most single people dread.
Honestly, this day never bothered me much. When I was in relationships, I considered it a commercialized excuse of a holiday that just caused roses to be ridiculously overpriced. Now, being single, it doesn't bother me much, either. I guess the problem is I don't feel like I'd have an issue if I truly sought a relationship (or, someone to take me out and bring me presents on February 14th, at the very least). After all, it is not about lack of options - I have made the choice to be where I am.
I have been single for awhile (long enough that I don't even really want to put the specific amount of time here - more because I think you'll be more uncomfortable than I will). Granted, that time being single hasn't truly been 'single' - there have been the usual dalliances of flings and what people like to now label f*ckboys. However, I have not been in a serious, public relationship since I've been divorced. There are two problems here - I'm not sure if it should bother me more that I have been (and am still) single, or, that I'm happy without a man or relationship.
I like being alone. Really.
The thing is, this topic of conversation comes up more and more frequently, both among my married/committed friends and with my single girlfriends. The married ones nod sympathetically as I explain that I'm actually good on my own - I feel like I have had time to discover myself and feel pretty fulfilled. The more I explain myself and my point of view, the more I feel like it sounds like a defensive excuse to their blissfully wedded ears, and even they have me almost doubting myself. "But really," I say. They smile and nod as they say "What do you think about Dan? Oh, wait. Nope - he has a girlfriend now. You would have been so good with him, too." Sigh.
With my single friends, we mostly joke and laugh at ourselves and use hashtags like #foreveralone as we discuss the cat cafe we are going to open. "Tagged ya on Instagram, looks like the wine aisle will be the only aisle we walk down" we laugh. "You're so f*cking amazing, seriously, how are you single?" they say. "Ditto, my love. If only you had a d*ck," I respond (and I mean it). Matches. made. in. heaven.
I think maybe Carrie from Sex and the City had it right when she pondered if guys are just people to have fun with, because our girlfriends are our soulmates.
Alas, it will never be. Girls may run the world, but so does the D.
Yes, there are things I like about being single, such as answering to no one but myself. However, I'm in a unique position because I don't feel rushed to meet any milestones like marriage or having children - been there, done that. Does that mean I'm opposed to either? No - I cannot say with certainty that those doors are closed. I know very well that if I met the love of my life tomorrow and he wanted marriage and babies, I would pick out a dress, stock up on pregnancy tests, and skip to the nearest Babies R Us to register, diaper cakes and all. I'm a sucker when I fall in love, and I'm smart enough to know that likely will never change... plus, I am not necessarily not interested in those things.
I just am not interested in them with anyone that doesn't ignite every part of my soul.
Too many times, people will say to me - "you're so pretty, funny, (insert other complimentary adjective here) - why are you still single?" It's said in a tone as though it is clearly a negative thing - as though I am incomplete unless I am standing besides a man. I feel as though one of my greatest accomplishments (and favorite things about myself) is my ability to be alone, and be comfortable in my solitude, in my own skin. I know and love myself, and I worked for it - I earned that - how many people can comfortably say that?
Any relationship - any love - that does not make me feel like I've been set on fire from the spark between us is not worth it to me. If I am going to be in a relationship, I don't see the point unless that person makes me feel it - feel everything. I want - and deserve - every ounce of passion that I know is waiting out there for me. When this happens, you don't have to question anything, because it just happens, whether you plan it or not. I have felt it before, so I know it exists. This person will be my best friend and my lover. Will they be perfect? Absolutely not - this is not about being picky or having standards that are too high; nothing is perfect. Besides, flaws are beautiful when you're in love.
I never want to stare blankly at someone over a table, a few dates in, and think, "he isn't bad - he meets my checklist, and he will do." It is scary to think how many people actually get into relationships - how many are IN relationships and marriages right now - based on some silly checklist or criteria they created... or, out of desperation and fear of being alone. Even worse yet, the likelihood of this happening as you hit and pass your 30th birthday seems to increase. So no - that will not be me. I want to not be able to stop myself from climbing over that table because I want him so bad, not reassuring myself that I could make it work somehow.
There is nothing wrong with knowing what you want and not settling for any less. The next time you question your friends on why they are single, remember that maybe they, too, have refused to settle for anything less than passion.