We are forever searching for that one person to complete us. To fill the bevy of black holes, the vast array of empty spaces and the seemingly endless voids of darkness that scatter across the surface of our lives.
We are made to feel that honest, deep-rooted happiness lies in the firm arms of a stable entity strong enough to hold our restless bodies still.
We clench our jaw and lower our eyes in envy as friends, co-workers, siblings and acquaintances smugly discuss how utterly "complete" they are now that they've found "the one."
They stretch their arms and hold their diamond-adorned fingers into the sky and gaze at their sparkly engagement ring's effervescent glint as it's hit by the sun's precious rays. They smile in a serene and sedated wonder.
It's as if the onset of a romantic partner will protect a person from all the harm or pain that exists in this cruel, cold world.
It's easy for us single people to feel as if we're blankly sifting through the dismal days until the pivotal, life-changing moment a mate discovers us lost at sea, pulls us out of the riptide and rescues us from the dark, muddled waters of loneliness.
Sometimes it feels like life sans a lover is meaningless. That the sole purpose of our entire existence on this big, beautiful planet is to find that one person to embark on an everlasting love affair with.
Allow me to let you in on a divine, sacred little treasure I discovered amidst the long, personal journey back to myself. A gem I carry close to my chest and take with me everywhere I go:
F*ck waiting for your knight in shining f*cking armor. F*ck the illusion. F*ck the fantasy. F*ck the expectations. F*ck the pressure. F*ck all of it.
Instead of searching outward, shift the focus inward and start cultivating the most important relationship you will ever experience in your lifetime. The relationship you have with yourself.
Stop getting hellbent on what you don't have, and instead, nurture what you do have. Instead of sulking in your single sorrow, start honing in on the one person who will never, ever leave you: you.
Here is what happens when we get into a glorious, long-term committed relationship, with ourselves.
We learn to appreciate our beauty and love our bodies.
How often do we look to outside forces to provide us with validation on our beauty and our bodies?
When we're in a relationship with another person, it can feel like we incessantly need our partner to tell us how gorgeous we are and how wonderful our physique is in order for us to feel confident.
It's as if we need our partners to love our bodies in order for us to love our bodies.
While compliments serve as warm little quick fixes, insta-feel-goods, they also serve as sneaky and dangerous TRAPS. A dark vortex that we can ever so easily fall into and lose our dignity in the process.
God forbid our partner has a bad day. Let's say he or she is simply caught up in his or her own sh*t and is physically unable to provide us with the usual slew of kind words regarding our outward appearance.
We become so reliant on our partner's validation that our self-esteem stops functioning without it.
Compliments are a dangerous addiction, like drugs.
We will never achieve true self-esteem unless we learn to manifest it from within. Empty, reliant, temporary "confidence" that is fleeting will never make us happy.
When we're in a long-term committed relationship with ourselves, we learn how to feed our own hunger for compliments.
We take the power back and put it back into the hands it rightfully belongs in: our own. There is no cap on how many times per day we can call ourselves beautiful.
Fall in love with stunning, raw, YOU.
The timing is always right.
One of the hardest parts about the game of love is a wicked, pesky little thing, acutely out of our direct control -- something commonly referred to as “timing.”
Sometimes we meet someone who knocks the wind out of us and breathes new life into our tired limbs -- but one of us just isn't ready for all that.
Sometimes the right person comes along at the wrong time. A lovely soul crashes into our world right before we are about to move somewhere new or begin an exciting career project.
One of the many beautiful aspects of dating ourselves is this: There is never a bad time to get down and dirty with yourself.
We are free to embrace our selfish wants and desires.
It's so easy to get lost in the thick sea of love. It's a feeling so fierce, so all-consuming and opaque, we can't breathe, and we often drown.
Before we know it, we've lost sight of our ambitions. We've bestowed so much of our energy and focus onto them that we've forgotten to care for ourselves.
Sometimes we come out of relationships so lost, we have forgotten who we are without our "other half."
When we fall in love with ourselves, there is no danger of this codependent behavior creeping up and taking over our lives. We can be as focused on ourselves as we please without ever being made to feel "selfish."
We don't have to worry about bending our dreams so they're cohesive with another person's dreams. We don't have to worry about compromising living in the location we truly want to live in. We are whole.
We can get in touch with what WE truly want for our lives and unabashedly go for it.
We fall in love with our flaws.
So often, when we're in a relationship, we feel pressured to hide our flaws out of shame.
When we're falling in love with ourselves, we can learn to fall in love with our imperfections.
We can get to know our quirks and find out the very things we thought we hated are actually the very things that make us f*cking awesome.
We learn how to treat ourselves.
Let's get real: Dating another entity is exhausting. When we fall hard, all we want to do is make the person we are with happy. We forget to tend to ourselves.
Have you ever taken yourself out on a date? It's so empowering to take time to treat yourself to all the glorious things that make you happy.
Get a manicure. Drink champagne loaded with strawberries. Sit in the park with a horrible, guilty-pleasure gossip magazine and INDULGE.
We learn not to look to anyone else for happiness.
When we are at peace with our own company, our happiness is no longer at the mercy of anyone but ourselves.
I'm not here to discredit the incredible power of falling for another human being; I'm reminding us that we need to fall in love with ourselves first.
It sounds like a horrendous, tired, cliché, I KNOW. But it's the naked f*cking truth.
One of the most affirming parts of having a healthy, loving relationship with ourselves is this: Let's say we do fall in love with a person. And it ends. For whatever reason, he or she walks out of our lives.
When we have solidified our relationship to ourselves, we won't be left choking in the dust unsure if we can live without this person. Because we will have learned to seek comfort in ourselves and bask in our own glory.
We know that nothing can destroy us. The power is in our own capable f*cking hands.
It's an intoxicating, exciting, EMPOWERING journey to plunge into a long-term, committed relationship yourself.
In fact, you might even come to find YOU’RE the "one."