For nearly five years I have been dating myself. Well, to put things straight, I have been single and by my own choice.
You could say that I am just a lonely spinster, forever alone, but in all honesty, these past five years have been some of the best I could ever ask for, and I did it all without a companion.
I had a steady boyfriend in high school, but when it came time to leave for college, I decided to end things for many reasons. One of those reasons was my desire to see so much of the world I had yet to see, to explore.
I didn’t think I should be latched down to something, or someone for that matter. If a bird is trying to fly, it’s best to let it go.
There were many moments of self-pity: “Poor me, I need a man to cuddle with and make me feel whole.” Then I would remember getting myself into that “woe is me” situation in the first place. I could have had a boyfriend if I wanted one, but I didn’t want one.
So, I sat in my single glory -- literally. Before I realized I had a life to be lived, I was stuck in a depressive state as I witnessed all my friends dating and saying yes to relationships.
Once I understood that this was not the life I actually wanted for myself, I began learning how to support my friends rather than be envious.
Of course, I have my moments of being a cheesy romantic, like when the blossoms begin to cover the ground in spring and I imagine cuddling by the banks of a lake or kissing a man underneath a sunlit tree.
When the summer sun strikes and couples are seen lounging in the sand reading books and enjoying each other’s company, I daydream of that someday being me.
Though, the hardest moments -- every single girl loves to deny this -- are when the leaves begin to fall and the world is blanketed it hues of orange, red and brown. And just as quickly as the leaves fall, the temperature drops and the twinkling lights began to appear on homes and in shopping centers (I’m the biggest sucker for twinkling lights).
Winter hits and everything turns white, as if to signal a clean slate. The only thing that would make those two to three months of purity just a little bit more enjoyable would be having someone to hold your hand.
Over the last five years, however, I have survived through five cold seasons alone. During this time, I have found myself and been able to do things that I don’t need to feel guilty for doing independently.
I’ve been told to join the online dating community, but if I were to date, I’d rather the real thing. I can talk and flirt with whomever I want to, knowing that I’m not looking for a relationship.
I enjoy my own company and have my own intimate Friday nights, which involve spending a paycheck at Whole Foods or Target and renting a movie from Redbox.
I buy myself flowers when I want them, and I make myself fancy, healthy meals regularly. Often times I disconnect from my cell phone and all social media while I pamper myself with facemask or a pedicure to enjoy the solitude that I have.
In my own time I not only get to relax, but also to reflect on every little detail of how I’ve been living my life and where I plan to be in the future. I sometimes re-watch some of my favorite movies that really get me to refocus my life, such as “Serendipity” and “A Lot Like Love.”
I know what you’re thinking – those are love stories! While movies like those may be centered around love, they remind me to love myself and what I do before I can think about loving someone else.
However, when I think about loving someone else, I realize I don’t want a boyfriend anymore. Sure, I was interested in having a boyfriend in high school and during my weak moments over these last five years when I thought I needed someone to take care of me.
But now that I know I can take care of myself, succeed all my by myself, discover my own dreams and go after them on my own all while making myself happy, I am ready for a man. If a man happens to come into my life and we decide to have some fun and support each other for an unforeseen amount of time, then so be it. I won’t have a boyfriend, though. I’ll take a man.
I’ve been single for five years. For the most part, I’ve learned who I am and what I’m looking for in this life I’ve been given. If I happen to be single for a while longer, that’s fine by me. All I need is myself and those I love surrounding me.
Top Photo Courtesy: We Heart It