After a decade of bad marriage, I spent many years being single. It was a journey of self-discovery. While lonely at times, it was also empowering in that it helped me learn to nurture myself and trust my own strength and abilities.
In those years, I often got asked whether I “had someone,” and I always felt weird about saying no. Because when you’re single people assume there’s something wrong with you. They wonder what your secrets are: are you a jealous bitch, a bad cook, a hoarder? Do you have a creepy puppet collection or a collection of sweaters for your cats?
But here’s a truth bomb that needs to explode in so many people’s faces: Being single is not an affliction. It’s not unfortunate. It’s not always accidental. Sometimes, it’s a choice ― a good one.
Sadly, some people cannot fathom being single. It’s scary, even painful. The bed feels too big and sitcoms aren’t as funny when you watch them alone. So these poor individuals don’t spend enough time with themselves to discover their own awesomeness.
Yes, there’s this pervasive theory that single equals pitiful. And here’s what happens to those who believe that:
Vulnerable young girls end up in the arms of perverts and playboys.
Incompatible and incredibly unhappy couples stay together long after the relationship’s expiration date.
Amazing people end up settling for undeserving individuals who insult them, disrespect and undervalue them.
My single years were tough and I’m so grateful to have found a guy who’s intelligent, mature, and responsible. He’s not too cool to dance in a crowded club, though his moves are rather spastic (sorry, babe). And while my world was spinning on the outside in those single years, a subtle shifting of ideas, self-assurance, and a process of self-possession was happening on a soul level.
Every bit of that solo, supermom, single-woman time was essential to my growth and development.
Now that I have fully emerged as the confident, well-equipped yoga chick I am today, I find that my emotional state is balanced. I’ve learned that you cannot be strong if you’re leaning too hard on someone else, hinging your happiness on their affections, or expecting external things to bring you internal peace.
And here’s the moral of my story:
Bad relationships taught me two important things:
It’s better to be single than suffering.
I’d rather be dateless than disrespected.
I know now that if you don’t respect yourself, no one else will either. Whatever your relationship status, know that you don’t have to be attached to be incredibly happy. Shine where you stand and learn the art of self-love.
The secret to happiness is courage.