You know it's bad when you start to miss their bed. Suddenly, yours isn't enough, despite the extra room you have to sprawl about.
That feeling of reaching your arm over and feeling someone beside you becomes comforting. It's when you start to feel restless in your own sheets.
That's when you know you're hooked.
For someone who has always embraced being single, this is a scary feeling.
You lay down in your own bed – the one you cherished so much because it was yours – and you suddenly feel vulnerable. Your pillow isn't as cozy, and your sheets aren't as soft.
There's no skin to touch next to you. There are no arms reaching around your waist to pull you in closer in the middle of the night. There are no fingertips to glide against your goosebumps, and worst of all, there's no morning sex when you wake up.
When you get out of an unhealthy relationship, numerous bad dates and failed attempts at love, it seems like being single is the way to go. Your own bed becomes bae, and your career is thriving.
Who needs a significant other, anyway?
That's the thing with life, though. When you finally give up or let go of something you so desperately wanted once upon a time, it hits you right in the face soon after.
You declare your independence, and suddenly, the perfect person comes walking by. You can refuse to allow him or her in, but he or she only seems to keep showing up.
It becomes so confusing. Why is it when we're ready to be alone, someone has to enter our life to challenge that?
This person manages to slide right into your life at the perfect time, and in the perfect way. Maybe you start off as friends and gradually get to know each other. Or maybe you randomly meet at the club and have great conversation.
You can't help it: Even though you're so comfortable by yourself and kill it at the single life, you can't help but let this person in.
It happens out of nowhere. Even after you commit to yourself, swear to keep to yourself and refuse to date, he or she somehow breaks into the system.
Conversations are easy. Being open and honest is easy. Laughing and casual hangouts are easy.
But that's when the casual hangouts turn into casual hookups, which turn into intimacy, which turns into dating, which turns into worrying about what your label is.
It turns into not caring how you look to doing a full face of makeup.
It turns from not being jealous to judging every girl he introduces as a friend.
It turns into having no spare time for them to sleep over on weekdays.
It turns into enjoying nights you have to yourself into missing their bed.
It's because of your independence, because of your ability to stop trying so damn hard by placing pressure onto this person to fulfill a need of yours.
That's when the real thing is able to come along.
It's annoying... yet settling.
Maybe when you're more determined to be single, that's when you're truly ready to be committed. It becomes a time when you've given up on the idea of a significant other because you're doing fine on your own.
Or maybe a person hurt you badly enough for you to become discouraged from it for a while.
Either way, it's as if life wants to show you a relationship can still be a beautiful thing... that you can fall when you least expect it, and maybe that's the best time to do it.
You know it's real when it's formed naturally, as opposed to forming out of loneliness.
It's difficult, though, to let yourself fall for another person. You do so well without one.
But you can't help your feelings.
You can't force yourself to ignore a potential relationship simply because you're good at being without one. You can't worry you'll lose yourself because life is about change.
That is the one thing that remains constant, and it's only going to hurt you if you try to avoid it.
It's a matter of learning to deal with that change and holding onto your strengths as an independent person, even when you're in a relationship.
So, it's OK to miss his or her bed, and it's also OK to miss your own at times.
In the same way it's important to be on your own and love yourself, it's as important to learn how to be with another person and love him or her as well.