Valentine’s Day is coming up! For the first time since I was 19 years old, I’m single. I’m 28 by the way. It’s crazy because I’ve been in three relationships back-to-back in that 8-9 year span of my adult life. I guess I always had somebody on deck 🙂 . But here I am, now, in a stage in my life where I’m figuring out how to be single. I’m not one of those bitter single people, either. I actually enjoy not having to “answer” to someone. I enjoy being able to date and explore my options. I ENJOY flourishing in my career without having to think about another person if I decide to up and move to another state for a new job. I’m literally living the life I should have been living in my early 20s.
I’m not going to flex and pretend that there aren’t times when I get lonely. But after some long self-reflection, I realized that loneliness isn’t because I want to be in a relationship right away, it’s because…damn it…everyone wants somebody to cuddle with sometimes. I’m sure I’m not the only one who comes home from work sometimes like, “Imagine if I had a bae to chill with right now and…then BOOM he could go home afterwards”. Lol.
There’s a misconception that single, Black women are angry or lonely because they aren’t in a relationship. “Haha, she don’t have a man so she mad”. Hmmm. That’s definitely not the case. Why can’t Black women be focused on their career or the things they want out of life without feeling as if they need a man (or woman) by their side to validate their experiences. I watched a video by the beautiful, Tracee Ellis Ross and she was explaining how she’s been building her brand and making a name for herself all while people ask her “why aren’t you married” or dating. It’s as if all of her hard work meant nothing because she was single.
Though, I was in a relationship most of my adult life, I was still able to begin my come up in my career and my educational journey. I didn’t let the fact that I had a man slow me down. I think in the back of my mind, I grinded hard because I knew the relationships weren’t the ones I was going to be in long-term and whenever it ended, I didn’t want to be left without anything of my own. Now, I’m in this place of knowing I have my career and things on my own so what do I do with the other part of my life? What am I going to do to fill up all of this empty space and extra time?
I reflected a little about this on my Facebook and had people comment about their experiences being single. I must say, I was surprised with the amount of responses I received. I decided to share some sections of some of the responses here. I will ensure that each person’s words are quoted but I will not include their name in this.
“Honestly it’s the most freeing and comforting time once you embrace it. Do something you’ve always wanted to do! Travel, new workout class, hobbies, date just for kicks.”
“I got married when I was 20 and was divorced by the time I was 22. I literally grew up with my children who are barely school aged and as I approach 27, I’m still learning me. Discovering new hobbies, trying different foods, networking socially and professionally. I haven’t had a super serious relationship, and honestly I don’t want one at this time or for the foreseeable future. I’ve been alone so long, and I really enjoy it. I’m low key having the time of my life.”
“I ran as fast and as far as I could and ended up moving to Arizona and no knowing a soul. I had to learn how to make friends and build a support system while trying to figure out who the heck I was or what I liked to do. I went through a health scare and flew off the handle. I adopted a dog and he helped me get outside and rekindle my love of the outdoors. I met people at the dog park, joins a meet up app, and never said no. I basically took on the “Yes Man” version to life. I learned that I don’t drink as much, I like to read, craft, box, dance, hike, kayak, cook, read, help with stage makeup and consumes, take bubble paths, complete puzzles, and adventure to new places. I’ve been running ever since, but not from anything, just to new experiences and smiles. I’m healthy and learned confidence and self-respect. I will not tolerate being treated poorly because for once I love me enough to not put anything before me. It’s an amazing feeling and I love it. Ps. Taking yourself to movies, dinners, and/or drinks is next level fantastic. Finding self-love is a process and some days are harder than others; but I always remember that I am trying to move forward.”
“Prayer. Building a relationship with God and allowing Him to reveal to me who HE intends for me to be as opposed to allowing those close to me, especially a man define who I am. Filling those empty voids with God and allowing myself to truly focus on him and learn the true meaning of love and forgiveness as opposed to filling it with other people or things of the world.”
There were many other awesome comments on my post but the common theme among all the posts was doing things for yourself. I’ve been technically single since June 2017 and it wasn’t until October 2017 (when I officially knew that my last relationship was definitely over) when I started reevaluating Tristen. I’ve been figuring out what makes me happy and who I am as a person. The most important thing to do is knowing who you are so when your for sure significant other comes along, you won’t have to question your worth with that person. That person will already see you for who you are and can add to your life. Your significant other needs to be able to be your partner not just someone you are in a relationship with. Your decisions are going to align even if you don’t agree. The love they feel for you will be felt even when they aren’t around.
There are many things to do while you are single. The first is LOVE YOURSELF. If you don’t love yourself, you cannot expect that love from someone else. Because if that person is gone, all you have left is you. Secondly, you cannot see other couples and “wish you had what they had”. We often get caught up in “Relationship Goals” and wanting to be Dwayne and Whitley from A Different World. But the reality is, there is no perfect relationship. And Dwayne and Whitley’s relationship wasn’t necessarily all that, either. We can see a couple posing all over social media but behind closed doors, neither one of them is really happy. We don’t know what other people go through so don’t live in someone else’s relationship…cuz we all know even married people who look happy on the internet cheat too.
Live your life. Date as many people as you want, or don’t. Live freely and unapologetically and when that right person shows up, you’ll know.
❤ Queen T