One day, while scrolling through my personal Instagram account, a strange thought crossed my mind. Is it just me, or is everyone dating?
As I scrolled through engagement announcements, wedding photos, anniversary celebrations and newborn photo shoots, I couldn’t help but wonder if it was normal to still be single and enjoy it.
I’m only 24, of course it’s normal. But only a few weeks earlier I was in an entirely different place.. Tinder, if we’re being honest (we’ve all been there, I won’t tell if you won’t) It was a few months post break-up, and there I was already in search of the next relationship to fill the void because being alone terrified me. Everyone around me seemed to be in a relationship, and it was all I could see.
This is the first time in a long time that I’m truly single. The not texting anyone, not currently looking for a relationship and embracing the time I have to get to know myself single. I no longer wanted to search for a relationship the second I felt lonely, so I decided it was time to try and enjoy being on this side of the ride.
Everything Is Not Always As It Appears
Don’t get me wrong, there are many happy and healthy couples who are madly in love with one another. To them I say, keep on keepin’ on, we need couples like you to inspire us. But, social media has a way of skewing things to look a lot more shiny and perfect than they actually are, relationships and dating being one of them.
Not everyone in a relationship is happy. I can attest to that- I’ve been in relationships where I was much unhappier than when single. You can still feel lonely, even in a relationship. A relationship will not solve all of your problems or help you fill a void. That’s not what relationships are meant to do, only you can do that.
Don’t worry about the Instagram or Facebook photos. If you need to, take a small break from social media. Try to remember that you’ll never see the behind the scenes moments, but we all have them- even that perfect power couple on Instagram!
You Have the Rest of Your Life
That’s right, you have the rest of your life to date and meet your beloved someone. Even when it seems as though everyone around you is crossing milestones in their relationships, or a new couple just started dating, there is still plenty of time. The timing of your life is not meant to be the same as everyone else’s. Trust it.
Each of us are different, so it’s only right that we each have unique paths to follow. Don’t be afraid to be doing something different. Travel, go to school, volunteer abroad or pursue your career; whatever gives you life, do it. Be proud of yourself and show gratitude for what you do have, rather than focusing on what you feel you’re missing.
It’s Not a Competition
At times, I’ve felt that getting married was the end goal and life accomplishment to strive towards. You get married and can finally breathe easy because the pressure is off, the hard part is over.
Dating or getting married should not be our sole ambition in life. It sounds strange to talk about marriage as an accomplishment. Love is a blessing. Having a lasting marriage through years of hardships and life-altering experiences is an accomplishment. Marriage alone, the ring on the finger; there is so much more to it than that.
Follow your goals, pursue your dreams, do what sets your soul on fire. There’s no prize to be won because at the end of the day, it’s about being happy. Do what makes you happy, and don’t look back on what anyone else is doing.
If you’re in love, be in love and cherish your relationship and dream big. If you’re single, embrace the time you have for yourself, it won’t last forever (as much as you might think so, I swear it won’t). Be a dreamer of your own reality. There’s nothing wrong with being single, and there’s nothing wrong with being in a relationship. You can be strong, independent and happy with someone, or single.
Have you ever felt as though you were alone in being single? I’d love to hear your stories!