At least not just to "be in a relationship."
Yeah, so I've been single for a while. But I'm more than OK with it. Really! Between being happily single and just being with someone for the sake of not feeling alone, I have made my choice. I've got a few thoughts about why you should seriously think about not settling. Sure having high standards might make it more difficult to meet someone, but really it's all going to be worth it when you find someone who is right for you.
Here are some reasons you should stick with your high standards and accept single-dom until you meet someone who's right for you:
1. No time wasting
Even when you're not really that attached to someone, breakups are messy and uncomfortable. Yeah sure you didn't want to spend the rest of your life with so-and-so but they still became a part of your life, routine and you feel their absence. To cover the absence you plunge quickly back into dating, meet someone else who is OK but not quite right and the cycle continues.
We're all about having a bit of fun, but if you want to settle down, make sure your casual relationships aren't interfering with your ability to meet new people. It's not that the experiences aren't worth it or anything like that, but it sure does sap your emotional energy! I've been trying to steer clear of relationships like this. Ones where I just know we're not destined to work out. Sure that has made it a bit harder, but I'm just not as willing as I used to be to put up with things I don't like.
2. Being self-sufficient
In the last long relationship I had, I poured my every being, every fiber of my soul, into the relationship. And then we broke up. It, unfortunately, wasn't as straight-forward as that (if only!), but in the end I found myself feeling kind of empty. I realized I had poured everything in and left nothing for myself.
After this, I resolved to rebuild myself. Rebuilding is something you need to do whilst single. It might sometimes feel uncomfortable, but I like to think of it as a chance to be humble. Besides, being comfortable being by yourself means that when you do enter into a relationship you'll be entering into a partnership with an equal rather than hoping someone will entertain you and fix all your problems.
3. Accepting the ups and downs of life
Being single is an exercise in accepting the ebbs and flows of life. And I'm all the better for it. Sure you might occasionally find yourself with a quiet Friday night, where a partner - right for you or not - would have filled the void, but honestly, you'd be surprised how many things there are to do. After a while, you'll wonder where a partner would even fit!
This is a good mentality to have and one that we should be encouraging in everyone. We should be in relationships that are good for us, that are mutually beneficial and that increase, not decrease our joy. By having a full life, it means you're less likely to end up with time wasters, as you simply won't have time to spare. You won't be willing to sacrifice any of the things you love doing for anything less than the real deal.
4. Looking to the future
Another mentality to change - that we have a ticking time bomb attached to our age. That once we hit *enter your next age milestone here*, that's it. Single forever.
Firstly. Single forever is hardly the worst outcome in the world!
Secondly. Just no. There is love to be found at every age. Haven't you read those adorable stories of octogenarians finding love? There's no time bomb that explodes rendering us invisible to all once we get "too old" (whatever that is!).
So, chill. Accept your single status - enjoy it and relax. When things happen, they'll happen and until then, look at the great life you're leading.
5. Friends and family
This leads us to one of the most important points on the list. Being single gives you the chance to strengthen all of the other relationships in your life. This, again, means that when you are in a relationship with someone you won't commit the common error of expecting them to fulfill your every need. They have to be a lover, partner, best friend, and counselor. NO! You have those other relationships - use them!
Being single has allowed me to strengthen my relationships with my friends, and make new friends. It's allowed me to go on adventures, meet new people, and have new experiences. It has also meant I can handle myself. I'm not going to commit the same mistakes and drive people away with unrealistic expectations of what one person can do or just move on to another not-right just to fill some perceived void in my life.
I'm not actually negative about relationships. If I'm honest, sometimes I'd love to come home to someone. Have a reliable ear to listen to me and a should to cry on. I'm just not willing to sacrifice all the great things about being single for someone who isn't right for me. I can always grab a coffee with a friend if I need to talk after all.
So I would encourage you all to keep your high standards and don't settle just because you don't want to be single. It's actually pretty awesome, and this way you'll be ready when someone who's right for you walks into your life!