I am the person who has always been in a relationship. Not sure if that is something to be proud of, but it has taught me a lot about myself and the people I surround myself with.
Before I go into depth of what it has taught me, let me describe to you what my love life looked like. For the most part, whenever I wasn't dating, I was seeing someone. I sought out someone's undivided attention online, on the phone, and in person. The boys and men I consumed and became a deep part of were great in their own ways, and they're doing well on their own. I never saw anyone for less than a month, and my most serious relationships lasted for about two years.
I forgot what it's like to be single. Dating meant you instantly had a partner to do things with. When you're single, you have to choose a person out of your friend group to hang out with and that can be stressful to plan out.
In time, though, I noticed the dating took a toll on my social skills. I incidentally conditioned myself to only be able to interact with one person at a time and in a very calm setting. In my loneliness, I get to know more about my dates than the students in my class and the friends I have been so close with for years. I became sort of an extroverted introvert, a person who can easily open up but only to certain people I felt passionate toward or (somehow) by luck, these people had the energy to continue speaking to me. My lack of good social skills brought me to a small and disappearing friend circle. As sad as it may sound, that is how the world works sometimes, and in all togetherness, the people in life and I are doing our best with what life throws at us and our friendships.
Although I continue to meet new people, they continue to appear in my life as new people. Meeting new people is therapeutic — to know that whoever I met, I wouldn't see them again and that made me carefree in events where I meet a ton at once. Carefree me doesn't hold back on about the past which brings me to explain what this mess has taught me about other people in my life.
"Oh, you were that girl."
"Are you scared of being alone?"
"You're going to break your heart."
"This is too quick."
Most people think that the people who constantly jump into relationships are broken, and they're desperate to find any source of love because they have no self-love.
Yes, f*ck yes.
No. Honestly, I like the attention I get from using Tinder, who wouldn't? Confidence is a product of self-love. Who wouldn't dream about being in a healthy relationship? Relationships are really beautiful and they come in all shapes and sizes. Being able to passionately share memories with one specific person sounds like every fairytale in the book.
People learned to accept what I do with my life and that's awesome to have over your head. They openly express their opinions when they want and how they want, and I digest it willingly or halfheartedly. I'm not trying to endorse the idea that it's alright to jump into relationships. I have done plenty of stupid and regrettable things. You should enter at your own pace with a healthy mindset or know the person enough to explicitly warn them about flaws you carry from your previous relationships.
And if you're anything like me and want to break away from that relationship mold, take simple steps with entering the social scene. It will be tiring and almost drowning at first, but practice makes perfect.