I’ve been single the majority of my life. And in my mid-30’s I am often confronted with the question of “when are you going to settle down?” I’ve been to wedding after wedding of friends whose parents try to marry me off next with whatever guy is in attendance and single. Let’s not even start on the concept of having kids. By your mid-30s you are just expected to have kids and a husband, or as the consensus may have it, you are doomed to being a lonely spinster with a cat.
I’m often confronted with the question “do you even want kids?” As if since I’m a certain age without entering motherhood, I must not want kids. Let’s just say for argument’s sake I respond “no I don’t.” Chances of me being diminished to a selfish witch are pretty high.
Plain and simple, singles get a bad rep by society. The notion is something must be wrong with you. For women, it means we must be unloveable. Which in turn makes us obsess about meeting someone and starting a family. Most of us spend our entire time being single, not wanting to be single. In the midst, we are failing to realize this time in our lives is a time that we may never get back. Instead of making the most of it, we resist it.
Let’s not forget that women are getting married and having children later these days (don’t worry, I’m not trying to pull a Janet Jackson here). I’m just saying that in 2018 women are focusing more on self-development and advancement through careers, travel, becoming socialites, etc.
In my 20s, I dated…a lot (check out a previous post from this series, Men of the Zodiac for a glimpse)! Having been single for most of my life, I wanted a relationship. So, I dated and tried on different shoes to see if they fit. Most of the time they were too small or hurt my feet, and I put them back in the box and returned them to the rack. (If I’m wearing a pair of shoes for the rest of my life, they have to fit just right).
It’s Really Not That Bad
Then I began looking at my life as one big picture, and I realized that dating was only a smidgen of my existence. When I wasn’t focused on becoming “not-single,” I was focused on developing myself. My finances, my education, my character, my spirituality. I traveled the world with friends and family. I mapped out my career. I started a non-profit. I wrote a book. I discovered passions. I became a better friend, sister, and daughter.
Then came the relationship. Then the relationship ended (sigh of relief). I went back to doing all of the above, but with a better sense of who I was and what I wanted out of my next relationship. Being single I had the freedom to do me! You know, Live my Best Life on my own terms.
Being single, I had the opportunity to hone in on what I wanted in life and relationships. I had no distractions, no other obligations, such as figuring out what I’m going to cook for the family when I get off of work. No, if I’m hungry, I can call up friends for a last minute happy hour or eat the leftovers from this weekend’s takeout. Which leaves even more time to focus on ME.
During your singleness, you have a chance to find what life’s joys are for you. It’s easier single because you don’t have to divide that time with anyone else. You don’t have a significant other holding you accountable. You don’t have to choose between your “YOU” time and “US” time. You’re one and only obligation is to yourself!
Don’t take singleness for granted. Don’t use it all up seeking what you don’t have. Don’t waste it by wishing that you were in a different space in your life and doing everything in your power not to be. You are right where you are supposed to be. This is a time of growth, reflections, and development. You now have the time to pay attention to your inner voice without the noise and interruptions of someone else. You have the time to get ready for that next step- whatever it may be.
I’ve learned that everything happens in due time. Once you’ve reached the point of contentment, you will find that it’s a beautiful space. Be grateful for those who you’re blessed to have in your life now.
I know this- We are granted the desires of the heart. So, it’s bound to come. We just have to be patient enough to allow it to work out.
In the meantime, continue to enjoy the time that you have to focus on you because one day it will all be a distant memory.