Picture this: You’re in a relationship where your partner makes you feel alone. You feel as if they no longer have any interest in you and maybe they even directly tell you this, but you persuade them to remain in the relationship otherwise. This person may degrade or belittle you. They may label you as “dumb” or “stupid” even as non-accusative as they try to make it sound. You continue to stay in this relationship with this person, because you cannot stand the idea of being without them. But truthfully —– it is because you hate the idea of being single.
Think back to when you were younger: You come home from school to cry to your mother that your friends said something mean to you today that hurt your feelings, but instead of confronting the problem you try to appear unbothered. Your mother asks you why you choose to stay friends with such mean people. Why? Who would I be friends with then?
These scenarios are sadly quite common and often last longer than they should. They seem to be something that we’ve all come to encounter or may encounter in the future. They could have a slight variation. Maybe you’re fighting with your feelings over a relationship that you aren’t even in, but you just can’t imagine actually being single. Whatever your scenario may be, why do you hate the idea of being single?
First let me point out that we’re using the specific word “hate” and not “dislike.” “Dislike” (and “like”) are terms more associated with taste. There’s nothing to say that perhaps you truly dislike being single or maybe you actually prefer it. What I mean by using the word “hate” is that you are miserable and completely unhappy with being alone.
Often this results in us asking ourselves a series of questions. What have I done wrong to make this person not like me? What have I not done to make this person like me? Why does this person not notice me? Why am I not better for this person? What could I do to make myself better for this person? A, B, and C… for this person? We spend extreme amounts of mental energy worrying and asking ourselves these questions that place a toll on our mental health.
Other times when there is no specific person we’ve been speaking to, we simply and continuously ask the question, “Why?” Even if you yourself haven’t been in this position, I’m certain you can think of someone close to you, a friend, sibling, etc. who has asked you why they can’t seem to find anyone. They likely express this often to you and appear more concerned about it than you may feel they should.
Looking back at these questions we ask ourselves, realize that what we are asking actually has nothing to do with the other person, but rather issues we have with ourselves. We are often blind to the fact that issues we think are created within our relationships are actually issues that originate in gaps of our quality of self-love and understanding. It’s easy to forget that there is a relationship that exists within only you.
Often, self-love is depicted as bubble-baths or massages and maybe indulging in a pizza or two, and it is important to pamper and reward yourself time and again; however, self-love is a little more complex than that. Think of a true, loving relationship between two people. Yes, they take each other out on dates and buy each other gifts, but what is really the most important part of that relationship?
The ability that each individual is able to support and always be there for the other both emotionally and physically. This is often what we are looking for in relationships, and when we’re truly ready for a relationship this is still very important! Although until we have a healthy relationship with ourselves, we will not be ready.
I don’t have all the answers for you when it comes to what’s missing in your own, self-loving relationship. Maybe there’s a past you have yet to confront, or a future you desire but have yet to begin working towards. We often stand in one place and want others to come to us, to do the work for us, but there’s nothing to say when that will eventually happen and or if it will ever happen.
We stand up and begin taking action for ourselves. We finally reach this period of self-reflection, inner-thought and we mature. We grow into more mentally healthy people, and soon it beings to reflect on our outward appearance. We’ll come to a place where we have so much self-love for who we are “on the inside” (as corny as that sounds) that we want to take care of our physical bodies. We want to find friends who hold this same newly-discovered thought as us, and we desire to continue growing.
With all that said, it’s not quick. It isn’t going to happen over one well-rested night’s sleep. It’s going to take constant work, changing your physical world surroundings while simultaneously changing your inner mindset. This could take weeks, months, years, and for the very stubborn — decades. There will be individuals a decade older than you who have yet to be here, and there will be others years younger than you who already are. T
hen one day, you’ll be living at your fullest, loving potential. You will radiate happiness, safety, and stability, and those around you will take notice. With your strong amount of self-love, you will have no fear of rejection from others, of being alone because you still do well on your own as you are doing right now. It is then that you are truly ready.