In life, I have to say I've learned it's true that love really is the sole purpose of our existence. Whether you believe in true love or not, it's obvious companionship, passion, and "love" in whatever form you view it is a driving force of the human experience.
I have been a hopeless romantic since I was young. I have always been a huge fan of those Victorian romances full of the dashing gentleman, etc., etc. Beyond that, I consider myself a naturally forgiving person and a naturally trusting person, which makes me incredibly susceptible to falling hard very quickly for people.
Simply, I want to be in love. Don't we all? But amazingly, I've come to realize my most recent period of being single has taught me more about myself than anything else. And I have to thank all the mistake guys I've experienced in between for helping me grow.
There is often such a negative connotation around being single, especially for people who love to be in relationships. In college, the pressure to finally "settle" down is even more oppressive the older you get. It's seen as a sign of maturity to get a boyfriend or girlfriend. I've had people tell me it's time to get into a relationship to "stop partying," or that not being in one is an implication of promiscuity.
All of these presumptions are so far from the truth it's sort of incredible. In fact, being single is probably the only way I've been able to become fully myself in the last few years. I've had enough experiences that have made me question myself, specifically with guys, that being single has given me the maturity needed to understand that many of these problems were things that were easy to fix.
I began to see the red flags in people. I began to understand not to sacrifice my own self for the sake of someone else. I've learned I deserve far better than the way I've been treated in the past. It's also given me time to heal from the real heartbreaks, from the people who have hurt me far beyond what I could have imagined. I truly think, if I had been relationship hopping through all of this, it would have taken me twice as long to come into my own.
Being single has taught me how to stand on my own two feet, with unending confidence about what I want and how I feel. You know that incredibly cheesy saying, "You have to love yourself before you can love someone else"? Well, from experience I can say that it's true. Don't ever feel pressure to be in a relationship. Find yourself first. Experience life in a way that is solely yours. Learn your individual place in the world, and eventually the right person will be there to learn right alongside you.