A few weeks ago I published a post about love. I wrote about how, as humans, our ultimate desire is to find somebody who we can fall in love with, and share the rest of our lives with. I stand by that sentiment, but now I’d like to focus on the alternative state of being single. Is it really so bad to be unattached?
Essentially, being single is something we need to learn not to be afraid of. Unless you’re lucky enough to have met “your one and only” already, then being single is a state you need to embrace, and even learn to like, as unattractive it may seem compared to the beautiful vision of unearthing your soulmate and falling in love.
It’s strange how one of the things we fear most is essentially the one thing we feel as though we have the least control over – being alone. Nobody likes to feel alone. That’s why we have families; that’s why we have friends. We interact with others because we enjoy sharing stories and laughter with others. We like having people to care for, who will care for us back. Without this, we can feel lonely. We each need the occasional personal space to gather our thoughts, but to be in this state for too long can lead to derealisation – we could lose ourselves in our imaginations.
And there will be days when the lack of a partner hits us harder than normal. For me, it only takes the vision of a pair of teenagers on the street, loved up and arm and arm, to hit that sensitive spot in my tummy and react, like a metal fork touching a filling, and taunt me, “Why haven’t you found that yet, Sophie?” “You’re getting older now, Sophie” or even just, “Stupid Sophie who nobody wants yet you’re about twice as old as those lovers”. It can lead me to remember those visions I used to have as a young child, writing out my dreams in class, “Wen I am 25 I want to b living in a house wiv my husband, 2 chilldren and pet cat”, and then I feel as though I’ve let my infant self down.
However, my past paddles into the world of dating and relationships, which clearly all failed, have reminded me of one thing: Love is something that we cannot force, and we should not actively look for. Love is something so beautiful that it should come naturally. We cannot phone up and order it, like a pizza; and much like a distant vision on the horizon, it does not make its way any closer to us just because we use a pair of binoculars (or *cough* a dating website *ashamed cough*).
We simply have to be patient, and wait, and whilst we do so, we need to find that inner peace in ourselves that says, “Hey, single? So what!” and allows us to continue having fun, and not let us feel inferior because nobody has fallen in love with us yet. Our eventual spouses will be the ones we have decided we love enough to share the remainder of our lives with, but let’s not forget about all the years of our lives that will have preceded that. Being single is our natural state from birth, and as humans we are an embodiment of a conscience. Our conscience is the one person we have in our life who we know will never abandon us – similarly, it is the one person that we can never escape from. Our conscience knows all of our secrets and all of our thoughts. It knows much more about you than the person you marry ever will. When you make a mistake it will be your conscience that makes you feel guilty. When you try your hardest at something, and nobody else seems to realise, your conscience will be the one person guaranteed to give you a proverbial pat on the back and say, “I saw you trying, even if they didn’t”. It is yourself, that listens to all of your thoughts and will never tell you to shut up, but it will also be the thing that does not need to be polite when telling you all the things that you have done wrong and what you need to change.
With this in mind – why, when we are single, do so many of us, myself included, pre-occupy ourselves with the disdain of not having found a relationship yet, when even a future partner will not be as understanding of ourselves as…. Ourselves! A relationship with another stands for nothing if you cannot first enjoy the company of yourself. We can obsess about finding a relationship out of fear of being alone but listen to your heart – can you hear that quiet voice? That’s the voice that’s going to guide you, and never going to leave you. Do you still feel alone?
I may wish for a relationship, but I cannot force it, nor would I want to. Being single should not be viewed as a negative quality in somebody. Rather, lets just remember the things we have, and not the things we want, and carry on living each day to the full until the time comes when love will find us.
(Disclaimer: If still single in 10 years, may look into the laws of marrying plants)
Song of the Day: Janet Jackson – Love Will Never Do Without You
Emily Hutchison, since you asked, this one is for you!