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The State of Our Unions, or Lack Thereof

It’s a truly wonderful feeling to get to the point in your life where you’re happy on your own; where you aren’t reliant on anyone else for your own happiness and are no longer willing to compromise on the things that really matter to you. But it’s just as wonderful, if not more so, to be in that place and see someone you care about reach the same point and be able to share and revel in the joy of just being happy!

Our society seems to have created this image of what it looks like to be happy and successful. You can have your life together, be doing what you love, and be excited by the opportunity each new day presents you with to be creative and pursue your dreams, but if you’re single, people seem to look at you as if you’re missing out on something vital. It’s as if, for some reason, they think you’d be better off settling and just picking someone for the sake of not being alone than continuing on your own.

They’re happy to try to set you up with someone, point out their good qualities, and tell you about how their faults aren’t so bad. But politely telling them you’re good doesn’t seem to get through. You can list off a thousand reasons why you’re happy as is and describe what someone would have to be like in order to get you to change your position on the matter, but a couple days later, they’ve got someone else you “just HAVE to meet.”

Being single is not a symptom of some underlying insecurity, at least not always. It can be just the opposite in fact, the result of finally feeling completely secure in who you are and what you want and that’s a beautiful thing!

I was talking with one of my friends on the phone earlier tonight discussing this very topic. We were talking about how freeing it feels to be where we both are at now and what a relief it is to have stepped out of the cycle of going from one needy compromise of a relationship to another. It really does feel like a weight is lifted away and like you can finally spread your wings and soar to new heights.

It got me thinking though. If this feels so good, what was it that made us approach relationships in any other way to begin with? Was it societal expectations or perhaps loneliness? Maybe it was just inexperience and not having the perspective to know any better. Whatever the cause, I think that perhaps there is some measure of necessity in having to go through less than ideal relationships.

Without experience, we don’t really know what it is we want and what we don’t want. We need to understand what it’s like to compromise and feel resentment when our sacrifices are taken for granted so that when we realize we don’t actually need to keep repeating that cycle, we can truly appreciate it when we find someone that really fits us.

Looking back at past relationships with the benefit of hindsight, I’m not sure whether some of the things I’ve been willing to accept and continuously put up with are comical or just pathetic. Though, I can’t really be too hard on myself about it because given some of the stories I’ve heard from other people over the years, I’m certainly not the only one who’s done such things.

What would the whole dating scene look like if we all stopped putting up with things we didn’t feel completely satisfied with? What would it be like if instead of encouraging each other to “get out there and meet someone” we instead encouraged each other to stay single until that perfect someone found us? How would our relationships change if we could just not take it so personally when things didn’t work out and were happy for each other that we each had a better idea of what we were looking for?

Maybe it would mean fewer people in relationships and lower divorce rates. Maybe it would slow our out of control population growth. Hell, maybe it would even lower our crime rate when it came to domestic violence. Just a few things to consider as you go about your day or take a look at the relationship you are in, or not in as the case might be. Maybe next time you hear about a friend ending a relationship, you’ll say “Good for you” instead of “Oh, I’m sorry to hear that.”

Thanks for reading.