When I started this blog almost four (!) years ago, I made it very clear that I am no therapist. I'm not a dating coach. I'm not a love guru. I'm just a girl going through the same shitty dating debacles as you. The only difference is I write about everything I experience and feel for the world to see. Regardless, I still get emails and messages from readers asking for my advice, and that's cool, as long as you understand I don't have the answers for you. I'll sit here and listen to you vent and hear you out and give you my opinion if that's what you're seeking, but I don't know what's best for you. Hell, I don't even know what's best for myself sometimes.
And that brings us here.
The other morning, I woke up with that heavy feeling in my chest. You know the feeling. It's not the mourning of an ex heaviness. It's the heaviness weighed down by the constant questions of whether I'm the problem. WTF am I doing wrong? Why am I still single?
While many of us have asked ourselves similar questions, some of you may be surprised that I went there, because I boast about my solitude and have shared that being alone is kinda awesome, which is true. I really do love being by myself, and I've created a very comfortable life on my own, but even then, I still get caught up on why that reciprocated-committed-real relationship hasn't happened for me since I became single years ago. So I couldn't help but wonder-- am I my problem with dating?
The thought is natural. I could sit back and rattle off all the bad things about every guy I've talked to over the course of my singledom, and use those as excuses as to why nothing legit has sparked, but I'm the common denominator here. And so, during my mini emotional attack, I texted my best friend to vent.
The conversation went as follows (and yes, some of it is censored, because I gotta maintain some privacy, you guys).
Sigh. Friends are the best.
But, back to that conversation. I share it with you for various reasons...
- You're Not Alone in the Hole of Self-Doubt: I know some of you think I have it all together, and I do have a good grasp on my life, but that doesn't exempt me from waking up some mornings and wondering why I'm still alone or feeling myself losing hope in what I want for my life. Everyone has their moments of wondering WTF is wrong with them.
- Being Vulnerable Is Not a Sign of Weakness: Not only putting myself in a vulnerable spot of questioning myself, but sharing that moment with someone else takes courage. It is not a sign of me revoking my independence or strength. It's just me being honest. And no matter how great you are alone, there will always be moments when you wish there was someone else there to share it with. That doesn't make you needy or desperate, that makes you human.
- I'm Still Trying to Figure It All Out, Too: Some of you may wonder why this girl writes a blog about dating if she doesn't even know what the hell she's doing. Fair. But I hope you can look beyond your superficial reasoning and try to grasp the underlying message that's been here from the start. I don't do this because I think my story is worth sharing. And even though writing is therapeutic for me, that's not why I do this, either. I do this because I want people to stop being so fucking scared to feel something. We are complex beings and with that comes complexities! It sounds simple enough but we've seen that it's a lot harder for people to actually grasp these days, and I know nothing I tell you will flip the switch. You gotta be ready to do it yourself. But until then I can sacrifice my privacy, and sometimes my dignity, by putting myself out there and leading by example. And here's the truth--Some days I feel like magic, and some days I feel like shit. Some days I know that the love I'm holding out for is waiting for me, and some days I am terrified that I'll grow old alone. I'm not ashamed of that.
My friend was right. I have grown an incredible amount over the last few years, which means there is a certain type of guy that I need in my life. And, yes, in retrospect, it's clear to see why the men from my past weren't meant to work out for me. But even knowing that, there are hard days. The question-everything days. And that's OK, as long as you don't get stuck there.
If I really wanted to settle down, I could. If I just wanted a boyfriend to have a boyfriend, I'd have one, and I'm not saying that to sound arrogant, I'm saying that because I'm sick of people identifying a single woman as a woman who nobody wants. Stop thinking that someone should just go for the first person that looks their way. I'm not in this to feed my ego, I'm in this to feed my soul. I've met a number of great guys in my life, but they weren't my guy, and that's something I can't explain, it's just something I felt in my gut. Don't punish me for following my heart just because you're too scared to.
What I do know is that every time I lost someone I thought I was meant to be with, I make it out the other end a better person. The tears dry up and I'm smiling again. My world doesn't seem so gray and I become wiser for it. Once I let it go, the Universe rewards me with someone new who is that much better than the last. And even if he doesn't turn out to be "the one," he teaches me a new lesson that benefits my growth as a woman and reminds me that there is greater reward in moving forward than continuously looking back.
I'm grateful to have friends who talk me off the ledge when my fears get the best of me. But I'm even more grateful to have the courage to understand that even on days when I don't feel OK, I know everything will be OK.
And that keeps me going.