*Warning: highly informal and opinionated post, with possibly TMI of personal life, and rant potential. AKA you’re gonna love it or hate it, but probably hate me for the length of this post. If you read the whole thing, bless your soul, you sweet creature.
To all my single friends:
I’m gonna right out say it: I am the oddball in this so called ‘hookup’ culture we live in. I hate Tinder. I hate the idea of systematically swiping another to the side based on his/her haircut and ‘chosen’ selfie. Ya, I subconsciously judge on appearance – who doesn’t? But to put it in a context where you get to do this intentionally behind a screen, choosing a date/hookup based on who can best represent themselves with one line and four pictures… it just seems too artificial to me. Possibly the saddest part is when you come across someone who just puts group pictures and you think to yourself, ok ‘Alex’, either you are trying to portray yourself as a super fun outgoing lover boy with too many friends to count, or you weren’t getting any matches with your selfies and are hoping your Tinder potentials will mistake you for one of your ‘better’ looking friends. Why should anyone have to feel like that about themselves?
Tinder is just a game. That’s all it is – a game of who can create the best persona with one first virtual-impression. Which happens to pair nicely with our generation of who-can-find-the-best-selfie-angle (I say this with a selfie for all my profile pictures – guilty as charged). And what comes of this game? If a mate is found in this online jungle, are they simply filling a void for themselves and for you? Temporary love making for temporary numbing of the heart. Temporary bodies for temporary satisfaction. I mean come on, I know the human race is more sexually driven than anyone cares to admit. We’re animals, I get it. I just wish we were a little classier about the fact – a little more about the connection, a little less about the physical. But everyone to their own, right? I mean rabbits just do it. They just start, and they just go AT IT. Shout out to all the rabbits – you do you. Well actually, do other rabbits. But you know, do your thing.
Anyways, as you can see, my extent of experience with dating apps is limited. I tried Bumble for three days under the well intended peer pressure of my roommate, and I ended up flirting with another girl after admitting defeat in the heterosexual section. Now don’t get me wrong – app dating works for people. My best friend met her soul mate. And if it’s working for you, great! You go, Glen Coco. What I really want to get at is, if you aren’t finding satisfaction from these dating platforms, stop. Stop torturing yourself! And more towards all my single hot shots out there – stop looking. Relax. Buy yourself a Kit Kat bar. Accept and relish in being single and having no one to be responsible for, but yourself. Find comfort in your own company. I know, I know. This isn’t appealing to everyone and it’s easier said than done. It’s hard being alone, no doubt about that. But let me rephrase that: it’s hard being alone with the mindset that you are alone. Get out of your head. You are not alone. You have friends that love you. You have family that loves you. Of course, their energy and connection differs from that of a lover, but you get the point. The moment you begin to put the energy from looking for a mate, into doing things you love and truly exploring your own roots and who you are or want to be, is the moment you realize shit is going to happen regardless of zombie-ing yourself swipe after swipe. (Shits going to happen assuming you are being brave and getting out of the house; not staking out in your basement cellar for months dating Netflix.) That is one of the most glorious things about being single: you have so much time to do things you love. Things that make you happy. Things that allow you to grow. And eating whatever you want without an hour discussion of back and forth “I don’t know, what do you want to eat?”
And to sprinkle a little cheese dust on this topic: ‘No one can truly love you, until you know how to love yourself’. Awe, how sweet. (Also, to my beloved sickos, get your head out of the gutter, that’s not what I meant.) But really – it is when you truly appreciate yourself in mind and body and find independence that you will find the highest love and be able to give more of it to your partner. People can live in a healthy relationship while being dependent on each other, but only to a certain extent. It is when one or both partners become overly dependent on the other, that the connection and love loose their chance of reaching their highest potential. Which is why I believe you need to learn how to be by yourself, and be comfortable by yourself, before you can successfully commit to being with another person. By being independent and confident in yourself, you allow for the energy between you and your partner to go towards greater aspects of the relationship, instead of jealousy or neediness.
Never have I been more happy alone than the day I decided I wanted to be alone. The day I accepted my solo venture truly set me free from my own expectations and the pressure of society to be with another. Yes – of course I have my days where I wish I could just curl up beside someone, share an intimate moment, or loose myself in someone else. Then again, why would I want to loose myself? I like myself just the way I am – I’d rather share this and blend with someone, than completely and utterly consume myself and loose myself in them. That’s just messy business. Relationships give you so much but they also take so much from you. The single life has just as many perks and downfalls as relationships. Which all banks on how you approach the situation.
These days I am investing the energy that would otherwise go into a relationship, into my friends, school, and most importantly myself. These are things within my control. Things I have learned to appreciate more, be truly grateful for, and love, each day. Investing energy into what you have control over gives so much more back to you, compared to searching for gratification, assurance, and happiness in something outside of your control. Never have I felt more confident in who I am, than today. It took over two years to get here, to reach this mind set, and it was worth every day, every struggle, every sleepless night. I still have my doubts – I still have my days where I wish for things out of my control- but with every sunrise, I find new gratitude for what I have.
I’m more than ok to be by myself.
I’m more than ok to not follow the hookup culture under the pressure of ‘what everyone else is doing’, and sticking to my own morale and perspective.
I’m more than ok with people asking if I have a boyfriend yet, and answering ‘no’.
I’m more than ok going to a show ‘a la’ solo.
I’m more than ok with the odd lonely feeling.
I’m more than ok knowing I can be independently happy.
I’m kinda ok with Tinder… but not really. I’m not really ok with Tinder.
And I feel more confident than ever. All because I decided to be alone. All because of my change in perspective and mind set. And let me tell you, this mind did not set itself. It took time and persistence and a lot of convincing myself. But the magic of perspective, the power of flipping your approach upside down and seeing a situation abstract from how it’s presented, can truly change the way you see and live your life.
If something happens, if I meet someone, great. Until then, I’m happy being with me. And I hope you’re happy too, because you are a unique, strong, independent individual worthy of your own confidence and path. Don’t let any outside influence make you think otherwise.
To all my single friends: stop looking – start with you.
(There is so much cheese in this post I don’t think I am going to poop for weeks – but I hope you were able to draw something from at least one of these run on sentences.)
All my heart,