I would say that I am pretty good at being fulfilled without being in a relationship. This is not a humblebrag, I'm just usually single. I typically whine about my singledom because I feel like I'm supposed to. Often, I've convinced myself that if I'm not in a relationship, it's because nobody "picked me." But when great people have come into my life, I actually have a really hard time letting go of my independence and adjusting my life to fit in with that of another person (#selfish). Is feeling fulfilled without being in a relationship in my DNA?
Hot take: Maybe we're all just different people with different priorities. Maybe whether or not a relationship is fulfilling to you has something to do with your needs and wants at a particular moment of your life. If I have to venture a guess, I'd say that there's probably a 50/50 split among women when it comes to those who feel they need a relationship to have a full life, and those who don't feel they need to be in a relationship to be fulfilled. I've had best friends who are serial monogamists, while I am seriously unable to commit.
I decided to check in with real women, both on Reddit and from secret groups I am a part of on Facebook. (Secret groups are the only nontoxic part of Facebook, and I highly recommend you check them out.) Here's what eight women had to say about feeling fulfilled without a relationship.
1. This Woman Reminds Us That Happiness Comes In Many Forms
I am single by choice after a long marriage that was far less satisfying than being single. I have a fulfilled life outside of romance. While a good relationship is nice to have and I may want one in the future, I don’t need one to be happy or fulfilled. The rest of my life is amazing.
Honestly, eating a bag of chips in my underwear and watching Queer Eye on Netflix brings me joy and fulfillment, so I hear this.
2. This Woman's Fulfillment Just Doesn't Come From People At All
No real reason why, I guess my sense of fulfillment just doesn't come from other people.
Amen, friend. Having your own sense of fulfillment from within is ultimate #goals.
3. This Woman Calls Herself A Relationship Anarchist
I'm a relationship anarchist so it ain't like I think there is anything ONLY a romantic monogamous relationship could give me, or even add in a special way a friendship or any other type of relationship couldn't. I'm pretty in love with my life as is and I have no desire to co-habitate, marry and have children, so...
I admire this honesty. When I really think about it, I do personally desire companionship at times, but I feel like I often beat myself up for being single because society told me being in a relationship is the right thing to do. Anarchy lives!
4. This Woman Breaks It Down Perfectly
I’m fiercely independent and enjoy my own company enough that I don’t feel like I need a boyfriend/partner. I also have a very close group of girl friends, am very close to my parents and brother and between keeping in touch with guys I’ve dated... I feel like I don’t even have room in my life for a proper boyfriend! I’ve never been one to get bummed about being single because I’m not actively seeking someone out... it’s mostly on purpose and because I haven’t found the perfect person to date I would rather just be single!"
I like this woman's attitude of being open to the right person, while still being OK with her independent lifestyle. I don't mind my own company either. In fact, I sort of relish my time alone, despite being an extrovert on the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator.
5. This Woman Reminds Us The Grass Is Always Greener
Single life is good too and has its own pros that don't exist when you have a relationship.
As a single person, I can fall asleep with the TV on if I want. I can decide to move to Peru! I can flirt with that cutie bartender! Freedom is fun!
6. This Woman Feels Fulfilled By Her Friends
"I've actually just come to the conclusion that I don't want a relationship. I have a friend that I hang out with but I just don't have that emotional need to be connected to someone in that way right now."
This is how I have felt most of my life. When my friends are around, I never feel like I need a boyfriend. However, as I've gotten older and my friends have paired off in more serious ways, that desire to have a companion creeps in.
7. This Woman Has Seen The Negative Side Of Relationships
After coming out of an abusive relationship a few years ago, it's left a sour taste in my mouth. The guy needs to be amazing for me to bring him into my daughter's life. I am not opposed to a relationship, but I will not actively seek one out right now. Sometimes I crave intimacy and affection, but that's where the FWB comes in."
This is very modern, and I commend her attitude and open-mindedness, given all that she's gone through.
8. This Woman Reminds Us It's Important To Be Single Sometimes
I can find fulfillment in my life without a relationship. And I think it's important to feel that without a partner. A partner is someone you share that with, not someone you depend on to feel complete.
There is no shame in constantly being in relationships, just as there is no shame in constantly being single. That said, I think, as with all things in life, if you find yourself gravitating toward a comfort zone, break it. That's when the growth happens. I have friends who seem to lose their entire sense of themselves when they are single for the first time in a while, and I have had trouble opening up because I have very little sense of myself in a relationship. I think the most important thing is to keep challenging yourself to break the pattern and get out there — whether that means dating someone, dating no one, or just taking yourself on a trip somewhere alone. To be single is not less than having a partner.
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