“Relationships won’t heal you and being single won’t kill you. Remember that.”
I’m not sure where I saw this saying, so am unable to cite it, but it speaks to me. And it should speak to you too. People not knowing or not believing or not internalizing this is the crux of why they desperately date! Damn, maybe I’m out of a job here, because this truly sums it all up. Relationships are not vital to your existence. They are not oxygen or water. You can live without one.
We often seek a relationship looking for a fix for what ails us. Like feeling incomplete if not coupled. Or looking to a partner to give our lives meaning or to reassure ourselves of our own self-worth. It’s a lot to expect of a partner to shoulder these burdens. Those should be our own problems to sort out.
We also date because we are afraid or don’t know how to be alone. But we can grow that muscle and even, gasp, dare to enjoy our own company. With a little practice. Start by taking some time to get to know yourself better. What is important to me? What makes me happy on a daily basis? What interests have I put off due to a lack of time or any other excuse? What simple joys give my life meaning?
Some of my simple joys and solitary pursuits are cooking, reading, writing, doing crossword puzzles and occasionally watching dumb tv or taking inane Buzzfeed quizzes (they clearly aren’t designed for people in their 40s, but silly fun anyway). I sound like the most boring person on the planet, but who cares? These things make me happy. I’ve also learned that it is during these times of quiet solitude that my soul speaks the loudest and my creativity is at it’s sparkiest. This is the real path to wholeness and health. Stop trying to use a relationship as a shortcut.