Unhappy Single Vs. Failed Relationship Lessons

Unhappy Single Vs. Failed Relationship Lessons

Hating being single while relationships are hard.


These past few weeks I've come across those in unsatisfactory relationships or those who've previously been in unsatisfactory relationships.

Current mainstream culture is divided into pointing out how great it is to be part of a couple and how great it is to be single. As someone who has been single the majority of my life, I find myself only seeing the downsides of being single. Those I've met recently are full of the downsides of being in a relationship.

I can't speak to experiences I've never had or experiences I only learn of in passing, but I can imagine the hardships of being or having been in bad relationships. So I can almost predict what would be said about living in a world that praises relationships when one is in or has been in nothing but bad relationships.

Being unhappily single in a world that praises being single presents unique challenges for myself since my romantic relationship experience is EXTREMELY limited whereas other single individuals have been in multiple romantic relationships that lasted for years at a time. My longest romantic relationship was only four months, so skills that others take from their romantic relationship experiences are completely lost on me. Plus, I'm Bisexual and leaning towards pursuing multiple romantic relationships instead of monogamy - so being unhappily single with coupled dreams is one of my biggest unique challenges.

I know romantic relationships can be pretty crappy, however, I also know that despite that possibility, there are things I can gain from gathering romantic relationship experiences that I want to learn.

I want to know how work to solve different conflicts, how to figure out the age-old question couples argue about what to have for dinner, how to adjust to planning one's schedule around other people instead of being spontaneous. Taking vacations together. Combining finances. Working out how to put our lives together. Working out how to keep our lives together when one of us gets a higher paying job. What if they have kids already - or we decide to have kids? Now I have to learn how to parent.

When one of us gets a job that makes us travel or has to stay long distances away, do we stay together? What happens if someone cheats? What if we have a falling out with our family? How do we celebrate holidays? If our friends fall out with us, will our spouses stop talking to them too? Do we marry - and if so, when? Who do we invite to stuff? Do we refer to each other as partners, girlfriend, boyfriend, lover, friends with benefits, spouses, or some other word? What if one of us dies?

I have no experience in figuring out these basic interpersonal skills because I've never been in a long-term romantic relationship.

Also, I want to know what its like to be loved for once. TRULY loved. Unconditionally loved. I want to be valued. To be important to someone. Not just out of respect for our relationship, but because they actually love me.

It is said that being single is beneficial because one is free to do whatever we want. We have limitless income, no attachments, and can sleep around.

The benefits the general public assumes are not actual benefits to me. I'm not free to do whatever I want. I have to work so I can pay my rent, cell phone, and electric bills. I don't have the limitless income to pay bills and partake in leisure pursuits. I don't have children, but that doesn't mean I don't anyone to care for.

I need clothes and shoes. I need intimate apparel and hygiene products. I have a cat, and he needs food and cat litter. I'm not someone who sleeps around casually; I want to be in a committed relationship before anything sexual is introduced; however, if I was one to sleep around, I'm sure that would carry a different set of challenges and assumptions to get over. I wouldn't call having the ability to sleep around or not a perk of being single, just a condition of being single.

I also must account for the criteria I want in future male and female partners standing in my way. Then, even if I'm lucky enough to find those I desire, then navigating all the relationship issues above times how many partners I end up simultaneously. We're not all going to meet at the same time, therefore we all won't be on the same escalator at once.

I wish I could be grateful that I'm not dealing with problems those in troublesome relationships deal with. I don't deal with in-laws or political differences or socioeconomic incompatibilities or parenting young children.

Yet as someone who has NEVER had to deal with these things, I still wish I could say I've experienced them.

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An Open Letter To My Boyfriend's Mom

A simple thank you is not enough.

Your son and I have been dating a while now and I just wanted to thank you for everything.

Wow, where do I start? Ever since the day your son brought me into your home you have shown me nothing but kindness. I have not one negative thought about you and I am truly thankful for that. I first and foremost want to thank you for welcoming me with open arms. There are horror stories of mothers resenting their son's girlfriends and I am blessed there is no resentment or harsh feelings.

Thank you for treating me like one of your children, with so much love but knowing exactly when to tease me.

Thank you for sticking up for me when your son teases me, even though I know it’s all in good fun it's always comforting knowing you have someone by your side.

Thank you for raising a man who respects women and knows how to take responsibility of mistakes and not a boy who is immature and doesn’t take responsibility.

Thank you for always including me in family affairs, I may not be blood family but you do everything you can to make sure I feel like I am.

Thank you for letting me make memories with your family.

There is nothing I value more in this world then memories with friends and family and I am thankful you want and are willing to include me in yours. I have so much to thank you for my thoughts keep running together.

The most important thing I have to thank you for is for trusting me with your son. I know how precious and valuable he is and I won't break his heart. I will do everything I can to make him happy. This means more than you could ever imagine and I promise I will never break your trust.

The second most important thing I must thank you for is for accepting me for who I am. Never have you ever wished I looked like another girl or acted like another girl. You simply love and care for me and that’s all I could ever ask. Every person in this world is a unique different person and understanding that means a lot.

The third most important thing I must thank you is teaching me how to one day in the future treat a potential girlfriend that I may interact with as a mother. I am not a mother, but I one day plan to be. If I ever have a son it is because of how you treated me that I am able to be a humble loving mother to this new face that could one day walk into my door. How you have treated me has taught me how I should one day be in the future and I thank you for that.

This may seem all over the place but that’s how my brain gets when I try and thank you for everything you have done for me. It’s all so much and even the little things are so important so I promise my scattered thoughts are all with good intentions and not meant to bombard you. I just want to get the idea across to you that you are important and special to me and everything you do does not go unnoticed.


Your Son’s Girlfriend

Cover Image Credit: Christian Images and Quotes

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I Bruised A Boy's Heart To Fix My Own

You don't need a boy (or anyone for that matter) to make you feel validated or okay with yourself.


There is always going to be a time in a person's life where they have to play the bad guy. For me, this was when I chose to break a boys heart in order to heal my own.

For most of my adult life I have been in a relationship. I fell in love with a boy when I was 18, and that was that. It wasn't all rainbows and sunshine, but I was happy. Recently we split for the final time, nearly 13 months later. The moment I knew I was leaving him behind, my heart shattered.

I remember lying in my bed with my older sister handing me tissues as I sobbed into my pillow. The only boy I had ever loved with all my being was gone, and I was the one who told him to leave.

A few months passed and I thought I was okay again. I hadn't thought about him in awhile, I stopped bringing him into conversations and I could finally listen to some of the songs he showed me when we were together. In my eyes, I was ready to jump back into the dating world; but boy, was I ever wrong.

One day a random boy slid into my DMs on Instagram and we hit it off. Within a week we were hanging out regularly and it seemed like things were going towards us starting a relationship. That's when I learned that he worked and was friends with my ex. The discovery of this caused a ball of anxiety to form in my chest; I was scared of the whole thing starting over.

We talked it out, and we came to the conclusion that I wasn't ready to date, but I was ready to be more than friends. Friends with benefits is what we decided on. This wasn't my first rodeo, not by far. A few days of texts were gone through before we saw each other again, this time specifically to get in, hookup and get out.

Everything went fine, just how we had thought it would. That was until I made the mistake of telling him jokingly that I left someones house at 3am a few days before. He connected it to the fact I had slept with someone else, which I had. He asked if that was the case and I told him yes. At that moment I felt a shift in the room and he looked me in the eye saying, "you know who you sound like? You sound exactly like him." (referencing my ex). Weirdly, my heart didn't sink, it just accepted that fact.

The next day I got texts from both him and my ex telling me we were done. Oddly, I was okay with this. In the end I lost both boys, but I gained something much more valuable; the understanding of my emotional state.

This experience taught me that I am not ready to be back in the dating pool, and that is okay. You don't need a boy (or anyone for that matter) to make you feel validated or okay with yourself. I made the error of trying too soon and came out bruising someone's heart. Sometimes in order to heal yourself you end up hurting someone else in the process. So to that boy, I am so very sorry, but thank you for teaching me to be honest with myself even when it hurts.

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