The Security Of Relationships: Why Can't You Just Be Single?

by Paul Hudson

I have a friend who is flying out to China today because her boyfriend found a job over there as a dentist. What she is going to do over there, I have no clue. She doesn’t speak Mandarin nor Cantonese. She doesn’t have any jobs lined up. She is just flying over there with her boyfriend because — I presume — she loves him. The issue is that this is her newest boyfriend; not more than 4 months ago she was in Paris visiting another boy. And that was just 3 months after breaking up with her other boyfriend…You get the picture.

I’m not saying that my friend likes to play it loose and gets around — all I’m saying is that she loves dating and loves being loved. I am sure that all of you have a friend that follows a similar pattern — someone who goes in and out of relationships indefinitely. Hell, even I myself have just recently met a woman who has barely gotten out of a relationship and is already doing her best to get into another one.

Okay…she’s trying to lock me down. And okay…she may not have exactly been out of the last relationship when things got started. We all know someone that can’t seem to stay single. Why, people? Why can’t you just stay single?

There are countless benefits to being single. Literally, countless — as long as you keep meeting new prospective sexual partners. But seriously, there are a lot of great things about being single. For example, it allows you to focus on yourself and on your passions. It opens up your schedule so that you can be more productive, more efficient and less rushed.

Let’s be honest, it’s also a whole lot cheaper. Even if you end up going out on the town more often because you are single, you’ll still be saving on food, entertainment and drinks; having a girlfriend will cost you more liquor money than being single — counterintuitive, I know. Being single allows you to feel more in control, more present within yourself. Most importantly, it allows you to get to know yourself; it introduces you to the real you.

Yet, you really can’t blame a person for wanting to be in a relationship either. It’s nice having someone around to share the day with you. It’s nice having someone to talk to, to comfort you, to experience new experiences with. Sharing your life with someone is a great thing — it may very well be the point of life itself. Ah, and then there’s love.

What person in their right mind does not want to be in love? Honestly, I don’t think there is a person in the world that doesn’t enjoy the emotions and feelings that go along with love. Sure, there may be those that don’t like what often comes after, maybe even in some parts in between, but there isn’t a single soul that doesn’t enjoy the experience itself. You can’t not like being in love — by definition. Being in love is feeling good, feeling alive and being happy. It’s probably the purest form of happiness that a person can experience.

This is why so many of us try to force love into existence. I mean, why else would so many of you be going from boyfriend to boyfriend or girlfriend to girlfriend — or even boyfriend to girlfriend and vice versa on occasion? You’re searching for love. Sure, many of us like to be in a relationship in order to get our sexual desires met without having to whore ourselves around. Sure, others just like to be taken care of by sugar parents — daddies and mommies. Some feel that they receive the respect that they deserve and like the way they are treated when in a relationship. However, there in the background is our urge and need to find love.

Love is more than just a feeling or an emotion; it’s what gives life meaning. Everything that we do only has meaning when it affects the world around us. Our thoughts only have meaning to us and only to the extent that we are alive. In order to say that your life had some purpose — held worth — you must affect the world outside of you. You only did something worth doing with your life if the ripples from your interaction can still be seen in the future. The only way to do something positive with your life is to ripple via impact of love.

But you can’t force love. It simply doesn’t work like that. So why force relationships? What’s the point of having a partner for 6 months at a time? You can’t get to really know most people within 6 months — at least not enough to date them, get fed up with them and have a reason to split up. If you can’t stay in a relationship with someone for at least a year then you shouldn’t have been dating them in the first place.

We learn enough about a person in our first handful of encounters with them to get a good enough perception of whether or not we are compatible with them — at least compatible enough to date them for a year. However, most of us prefer to lie to ourselves. We like to give people the benefit of the doubt. Or we like to think that they will grow on us. The thing about love is that we want it so much and know so little about it that we hate to think that we could possibly miss out on it because of our impatience. So we burden ourselves with hopeless, dreadful relationships.

You’re really only harming yourself in the long run. Well…and the person that you are dragging along with you. I think it’s fair to say that breakups are never fun? Unless you get on that ‘break-up sex’ train — then it’s not half bad. But the other half still sucks. Worse than the breakup itself is that awkward period leading up to the breakup.

One of my least favorite feelings is that feeling when you understand the relationship isn’t going anywhere and you can already see it crumbling at the edges, yet still being reluctant to end things — or maybe just scared to do so. The stress and emotional rollercoaster that is the breakup is just one thing. Another is the time that you lose nurturing a relationship that was doomed from the onset.

Wouldn't it be better to not waste your time jumping from person to person, starting and then quickly ending all that you have built together? Six months at a time adds up over time. You’ll be in your 30s before you know it (if you aren’t already) and without a real, meaningful relationship under your belt — and still loveless.

Making a relationship work has everything to do with the two people involved in the relationship, with them as individuals. The word relationship is misleading because it only emphasizes the connection between two beings and not the beings as individuals themselves. For a relationship to function correctly, then each separate party must be able to hold their own.

The point of a relationship is not to join two people who need support in order to survive; it’s to join two people who know themselves, know what they want out of life, and who understand that there come times when having someone to lean on makes all the difference. You should only use your partner for support when your own knees happen to give in on rare occasion — they are not to be used as a crutch for daily use. Before jumping into the next relationship, why not spend some time developing as an individual?

Maybe a break from the cycle is just what you need to get a clear perspective. Maybe you have some growing you need to do — as we all do. Be single for a change. You have to be compatible with yourself before you can be compatible with anyone else.