Even though for many of us it is difficult to be alone, I feel that it is absolutely necessary on our paths to finding self love. Being single can be tough, there is no doubt about that, especially when you just get out of a relationship, but just because it’s difficult does not mean that it’s not worthwhile. I used to jump from boyfriend to boyfriend; in fact, up until a few years ago, I had been in one relationship or another from the age of 14 — 10 years of always having someone else by my side, and never looking to myself to feel that love I was seeking. Before my last relationship ended, I was very depressed, struggling with addiction, and had little to no sense of self worth. And in my heart I know that if I ever wanted to overcome these struggles, I would have to be alone and find that love that I was seeking, within.
Now, not everyone has the same story. You could say that I had “daddy issues,” as my father was rarely around during my life, so that need for love and validation from a male figure in my life was strong. I stayed in too many relationships that I didn’t want to be in out of fear of being alone, and the last time I got out of a relationship, I promised myself I would no longer follow this pattern. I would not date someone just because they liked me and would keep me from feeling lonely.
I ended up staying single for three years! I had opportunities to enter relationships with a few people along the way, but because it didn’t feel in alignment with what I truly wanted, and I knew deep down that I still had some inner work to do, I rejected these opportunities. I did date, hoping that I would find “the one,” but of course, it wasn’t until I stopped looking that the right person for me came along. After three years of being single, here’s what I learned.
1. Wanting to Find a Partner Does Not Make You Desperate
This was something that was a challenge for me. I have seen many single women become boy crazy and try their hardest to find a partner. But I learned that the more you avoid being alone, the less likely you are to find love, because this is a lesson and a challenge you need to learn and to overcome. However, with that being said, it is our nature to desire love and connection with another. We thrive on connection and are meant to share life’s gifts with other souls along the way. A relationship can provide a beautiful opportunity for love, connection, and growth, so desiring that for yourself is completely natural and normal. The real question is, can you be and are you okay without it? Do you seek a partner to fill a void within yourself? If so, then perhaps a flip of perspective is all that is needed and this period of being single can be viewed as a gift, to truly reconnect with yourself.
2. If You Don’t Do The Inner Work, You Will Attract Where You’re At
It took me a little while to truly begin to face myself after becoming single. I was drinking a lot, dating quite a bit, watching shows on Netflix every night, and basically distracting myself at all costs. The people who were entering my life were essentially at that same level of being, which I knew would be bad for me, so I felt that staying alone was the best option. What I was putting out was a sad, lonely, low vibing version of myself, so that is what was reflecting back to me. Expecting to find the dream partner that “has it all together” when you yourself don’t is a fantasy; your vibe attracts your tribe. This statement couldn’t be more correct and is important to remember. To find the ideal partner that you’ve always dreamed of, you have to become that person yourself.
“The degree to which you love yourself will determine your ability to love the other person, who will be reflecting back to you many of your own personality traits and qualities.”
– Sanaya Roman
3. Finding Love Within Is Easier When Faced With Yourself
Let’s face it, when you are with a partner, you lose a huge portion of time you would have had with yourself. Add in time spent with friends and family, and we are looking at even less. Oftentimes when we are in relationships, the majority of our time is spent with that partner, or doing things to please them. I had such a difficult time doing things for myself while in relationships, but found it easy to work to accommodate my partner as much as possible in an effort to earn their validation. I would make juices and smoothies every morning, clean, cook dinner — all my spare time was spent trying to please my partner, because their validation was the only thing that gave my life purpose and meaning.
After becoming single, I had SO MUCH time, I didn’t know what to do with it all. But after I finally began to let go of some of these burdens and baggage I was carrying onto, that time became time for me, time to focus on myself.
“You can search throughout the entire Universe for someone who is more deserving of your love and affection than you are yourself, and that person is not to be found anywhere. You yourself, as much as anyone else in the entire Universe deserve your love and affection.”
Time spent nurturing yourself will bring you a love so deep that you may have never believed possible.
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4. The Practice of Letting Go and Trusting Can Go a Long Way
I spent a lot of time wondering if I would ever find love again, if it was in my path, if I needed the lesson of being alone. At times there was a lot of doubt. Friends would say things like, “I think it’s time you start preparing for the fact that you may never find someone,” or “Would you have children on your own if it came down to that?” Even though in my heart I knew that I would have more relationships, I definitely doubted this at times. My mind would try and trick me and convince me that I wouldn’t find someone, but because of that innate knowing, I did my best to just let go of the need and the want, and eventually stopped looking altogether and put all my faith in the Universe.
I was always conflicted by the idea that if I wanted something I should go out and get it, and yet also believing I should trust that everything is in perfect alignment, and the universe has your back. In the end, and in hindsight, I could have completely gave up the dating, and the tindering, and the matching all along, because it was the universe that would bring me the man I was meant to be with — not an app on a phone. Although the universe does work in mysterious ways, and I’m sure there are many people who have found love in this way, it was not for me on my path. When you are unsure, of anything really, just take a deep breath, let go, and trust.
5. Being Alone Is a Beautiful Way to Connect With Yourself and Give Yourself Time, Care, and Attention
If you are newly single or have been single for a certain amount of time, maybe you already have this down pat, or maybe you are still learning as you go. But don’t forget that being single is a great opportunity to truly connect with yourself, take care of yourself, and become the greatest possible version of you that you can. Use this time wisely: journal, meditate, exercise, take bubble baths, go for long hikes, spend time with friends — do whatever it is that will nourish your soul and assist you. Finding self love within will allow you to find a partnership that is based off true unconditional love, not attachment. Instead of viewing being single as a punishment, or something that means that you are not good enough, try flipping your perspective around and seeing it as a gift, to give yourself some much deserving love and attention for whatever time period it’s needed. One day, you’ll be in another partnership and wish you had some more alone time. Don’t forget this time.
6. When the Right Person Comes Along, You’ll Know
You know all those fantasies you hear about someone coming along at an extremely inconvenient time, forcing you to take a leap into the unknown, be bold, and face all those fears? I (now) fully believe this notion, that when the right thing comes along, it scares the crap out of you! But also, you’ll feel in your heart that it is right. When you know, you know. You know? That’s how I felt anyways; it just clicked! There was no waiting, games, or guessing. No wondering if “he would call.” No waiting an X amount of time to respond to a text in an effort to not appear desperate; when it’s right, you both know. If you are both truly into each other, there is no need for these games. You both want each other to know, in fact, you want to scream it from the rooftops, you want everyone to know!
You might be thinking, two weeks?! That’s too soon to tell, but like I said, when you know, you just know! I don’t know if this relationship will last forever, but that is not the goal here; the goal is to come together, to experience love, to challenge each other, and to support each other.
Trust that everything is in perfect alignment and you will always get what you need, no matter how that looks.
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