1. I feel fairly awkward writing this. But then again, I don't have too much shame. Who cares?!
2. I also feel a bit like Carrie Bradshaw writing about my dating life. I can't complain about this.
This past week marked 2 straight years* of being the dreaded 'S' word - Single.
*Let me clarify. In the last two years, I've casually (and sometimes more seriously) dated people here and there in between...clearly, these forays with dating were extremely successful - ha! But, that whole official, exclusive relationship thing? Nope. Not since an admittedly awful breakup 2 years ago.
Honestly, the last two years have been filled with dozens (okay, hundreds) of ups and downs, tears and smiles, moments of empowerment and contentment and moments of true loneliness and pretty bitter jealousy. I guess what I'm getting at is - I've learned a lot about relationships...and myself...in the last two years amidst all of this.
1. Be your own best friend in every possible sense of that word.
Without someone as my “other half,” I’ve really become my own "whole" and really come into my own so to speak. My moods used to rely so heavily on my relationships, but in the last two years, I’ve realized wow! I can actually make myself happy and dictate how my day goes (this sounds so blatantly obvious…but it took some time for me to get there). I’ve become my own cheerleader, my own shoulder to cry on, my person to lean on, and my person to adventure with and try new things. Plus, I've now approached dating as my best friend. Would you encourage your best friend to date a loser? No. So why settle on the same for yourself?
2. Dating is weird & complicated...and fun but also awful. Yikes.
As I noted in a previous blog: “I Have No Idea What I’m Doing: Real Life Dating,” I am decently new to dating outside of relationships and strictly hook-ups. Like I said then, I still have a ton of questions: When you spend so much time at work, how do you even meet people of interest that you don’t work with? Is there even an actual way to date? First dates: all small talk or do you open up quickly? Do you date multiple people at once – how long is that kosher for? If you hate the person, do you just stop talking? Who asks who on the next date? What even is the difference between seeing someone, dating someone, being in a relationship with someone? (Actually, I have kind figured out the last question, though there’s still a ton of grey area…which makes me nervous). All these questions lead to my point: dating is complicated and kind of awful and nerve-wracking. Particularly for someone that for so long entered into relationships with guys she’d been friends with for months…or years.
But, I’ve also come to appreciate dating as it can be kind of fun. There’s endless things to talk about, it’s a chance to try new places and things to do, it’s practice for interviews (ahem, both include talking about yourself), a chance for a free meal/drink (don’t judge me!), and it’s a chance to put yourself out there. I guess what I’m saying is that it’s really what you make of it – so might as well make it fun and enjoy it!
3. Being single sucks - and people in relationships can be annoying.
Let’s not sugarcoat this: being single sucks! Yes, it’s not all bad, but honestly, Saturday nights spent alone, not having “your person” to share successes, adventures, secrets, & life with, no NYE kiss, no random flowers delivered to your desk and no dates to bring with you to weddings or on vacation? Not super fun. That feeling of loneliness and fear you will be forever (like I said, I have no shame in being totally honest)? Definitely not the greatest of feelings.
I fully acknowledge that I can be a jealous person, and when I’m feeling particularly bitter about being single, people in relationships simply irritate me. Nothing to ruin a good beach day alone like a couple alone “rubbing in” your singledom as they canoodle next to you. That’s all I’m saying.
4. On the other hand, being single is totally okay and really fun!
While this may seem contradictory, being single can be really fun. You live by your own schedule, you can date around and meet new people and like I mentioned, learn so much about yourself. Most importantly, I've had so much more time to invest in my close girlfriends - creating some of my best memories. I’ve had so many fun solo adventures, nights where I don’t feel bad staying in by myself binging on Breaking Bad or Parks & Rec, and endless girls nights. It sounds off-putting, but it's nice to enjoy my time "selfishly."
So, cheers to two years of me, myself and I – and possibly every up and down in between.