An Open Letter to the Women Who Can Never Be Single
You don't need someone to make you feel special.
Dear Relationship Addict,
I get it. I really do. Everyone wants to be loved by someone. When others call you beautiful or say "I love you" or tell you how special you are, it makes you feel valued. The fact that you've impressed someone enough to make them want to date you provides a kind of validation. You’re pretty enough. You’re interesting enough. You’re worth noticing.
Being in a relationship also provides shelter from things you want to avoid. Maybe you want to avoid self-reflection, confronting your fears, or past traumas. You want to suppress your insecurities instead of dealing with them. It’s natural to want something to distract you and someone to protect you from those things.
But the truth is, when you jump from relationship to relationship, you don't really find love. It's just a quick fix. You want to find someone new to love you right away because you have trouble loving yourself. Dating someone new immediately after a breakup doesn't give you time to grieve and puts further distance between you and reality. You're also more likely to go after people that aren't good enough for you just for the sake of having a romantic partner around. The thrill and comfort of a new relationship seems like the secret to happiness, but if you depend completely on others to be happy, you won't ever truly be happy at all. You can’t hide from yourself forever.
There comes a time in everyone's life when they have to be alone. It may be in the middle of the night when no one is around or awake. It may be after a loved one passes away. It may be on your way home from work in the dark of night. There are always going to be solitary moments in life and moments that force you to hold yourself up. If you keep moving from partner to partner, you'll never get the chance to practice being your own rock. When your strength comes from someone else, it's just a matter of time before collapse. You have to learn to be dependent on yourself first, because at the end of the day all you have is you. Others may leave you or hurt you, but you’re always going to be stuck with yourself, so you might as well get used to it.
Being single isn’t a tragedy. It doesn’t signal to others that you’re lonely or desperate. And if people happen to think that way, then screw ‘em! Being single gives you the chance to realize that you have intrinsic value. No matter what anybody else has to say about you, you are worth something all on your own. Learning to value yourself is crucial not just for the single woman but for the taken ones as well. If you don't value yourself, you can't ever have a successful relationship. Being single for a stretch lets you discover more about yourself; what you want and don't want, what you're good at and what you need to get better at. It can actually be one of the best experiences of your life.
So the next time a love interest betrays you, treats you badly, or dumps you, be single and stay that way. It won't be forever, even though at first it may feel like that. Don’t heed your knee-jerk reaction to scramble for a new companion. Take your time to be sad. Take your time to move on. Learn to be strong and independent. Learn to be all the company you need. After that, you're ready for whatever relationship comes your way. And when that relationship does come, it will probably actually be one that is worthwhile.