Ever since I became single (or rather, each time I become single), people have wanted to know if I’m dating. And when I say no, they seem to have some well-thought out thing to say, like, “Oh, it’ll happen at the right time.” Or if I’m out, people want to know why I’m single. Well, I want to set something straight. We don’t all want to be in a relationship. I, personally, love being single. I was dating someone for about nine months and realized that dating someone was simply not what I wanted to be doing. It didn’t make my life feel any better, except that I could say I was dating someone and the best thing that came out of it was the reaction I got from others that seemed like relief, at best. I desperately wanted balance in my life and being in that relationship brought a complete unbalance. It wasn’t just his doing, but mine, as well, for allowing my time to be given to him for the most part. When you’re a single mom, the free time you have is limited, the time you have free doesn’t always align with your friends’ free time, so it became easy, and seemed natural, to spend increasing amounts of time together.
Does being single carry some sort of outcast sentiment? Does being single make people think there is something wrong with you (or them, maybe)? I can’t help but feel sometimes that society expects that women will always want or need to be in a relationship. If I say I have plans some night, and the first question is usually if I have a date. It’s gotten to a point that I don’t know what to say. So I resort to saying, “Um, no. I have plans with friends. GIRL friends. Maybe my sister. Maybe I am going to a movie alone.” (I did this once and it brought me a lot of anxiety and nervousness, but in the end, was pretty much fine). But why is a date (or some kind of nighttime thing) the first thing that comes to mind?
I’m a woman who does enjoy having a partner. I love cuddling with my man (when I had one). I enjoy doing things with him and having someone around. But, I also know the value of my friendships, of being honest with myself and knowing I’m not interested in a relationship right now. Being single is honestly NOT SO BAD. I believe with everything I have that we must be comfortable alone before we can fully give ourselves to another person. We have to love ourselves before we can love another.
So, why do I choose to be single for now?
Simply put, I’m single because…ready for it? I want to be. For the first time in my life, I’m being selfish. I’m learning how to really say no without explanation, to not do what doesn’t serve me or my family, and I’m learning I don’t have to make space in my life for people or things that really don’t enhance my life. Saying no is still something I’m working on. I want to learn to say yes when it is worth it and be okay saying no.
I am LOVING getting to know myself better than ever before. I get to do what I want, when I want, how I want. I know life is about compromise, and I’ve done that, but all I’m worried about right now is me and my kids and strengthening our relationships with one another. We were pulled apart by my ex and I just want to heal those damaged bonds. I don’t want to make plans with anyone except my girl friends and family and kids.
If I want to stay in and not be bothered, I can. I don’t even have to think about inviting someone into that space and I know I wouldn’t have to, but being who I am, if I’m in a relationship, I understand the desire and the need to connect, and sometimes I just really don’t want to. Right now, I don’t want that pressure.
I’m not going to let just anyone into my life. I have been through WAY too much to let just anyone into my life and I’m even more discerning about who I let into my children’s lives. I am just fine loving on my kids and I feel completely at peace with them.
I LOVE MY BED. I love it having this big comfy thing all to myself. I have almost always been in a relationship and shared my bed. I got new mattresses last fall that took me a year to pay off, but they are MINE. No one but me (and once in a while, my kids) has ever slept in my bed. No man has slept in my bed and I want to keep it that way for a while. One day I’m sure I’ll want to change that, but for now, this is how I want it.
I can do it on my own. I can fix shit (mostly), I can figure shit out and I am not afraid to ask friends or family to help me. This doesn’t happen often, but people are pretty willing to help when I ask. I am proud of the role model I am for my kids. Once a man suggested I get a boyfriend, sleep with him a few times and have him fix shit around my house when I need it done. NO THANK YOU. I’m not about to use sex to get a man to help me, especially if he might just help me with something anyway.
I don’t want to have sex. I don’t want anyone waking me up in the night or touching my body. Again, this may change and I’m sure it will, but for now, I’m good.
When I do decide I want a relationship, my life will be solid – minor bumps along the way- and I want to know myself, what I want, what I will and won’t put up with and I want to be fully available emotionally and in a good place to offer myself into a relationship.
My kids ask me sometimes when I will have a new boyfriend or husband. I seriously just tell them I don’t want one and I am happy by myself and that they are what make me happy right now. I don’t need a man to be happy and being single isn’t so bad. I’m not sure how I’d even fit someone into my life right now. I have very little desire to be in a relationship.
Instead of feeling limited in my life because I’m single, I’m seeking to break those limits.
Each day, I rewrite one thing on your priorities list to be one thing that is FOR YOU. It is hard to find time for us single moms when we have limited support and time. Switch out one “to-do” item for one “for-me” item. We have to make time for ourselves, even when the kids are around because we are worth it and they will learn to take care of themselves and it’s healthy to do so.
I just read an article about why someone didn’t want to still be single when they turn 40 and I didn’t understand. I am really looking forward to traveling on my own, to figuring out what makes me me. I am working on being more comfortable with myself so that when someone comes into my life, it’ll be a beautiful surprise and I’ll be ready. If we are happy with ourselves and we stop seeking to find someone to ‘complete’ us, maybe that’s when everything just comes together and you find someone at the right moment who just fits into the life you’ve already created for yourself.