I used to dream of finding ‘The One’. Now, I realize that being single is not a curse, but a blessing in disguise.

For as long as I can remember, I’ve been fed the narrative that finding ‘The One’ was the ultimate goal in life. The movies, the books, the songs, my own friends and family — they all seemed to be in unanimous agreement that to be whole, to be truly happy, you needed to find your other half.

This belief was so ingrained in me that I spent the better part of my 20s in a perpetual state of searching. I jumped from relationship to relationship, always looking for that magical spark which would signal I had found my perfect match. But no matter how hard I tried, nothing ever felt quite right. And each failed relationship chipped away at my self-esteem, making me question if there was something fundamentally wrong with me.

Then, after another heartbreak, I decided to take a break from dating. I told myself it was just going to be a brief hiatus — a chance to lick my wounds and regain some self-confidence before throwing myself back into the battlefield of love.

But as weeks turned into months, something unexpected happened: I began to feel more content and fulfilled than I had in years. I used this newfound solitude to learn more about myself — my likes, dislikes, dreams, and aspirations — untainted by the influence or expectations of a partner.

I started to realize that I didn’t need another person to make me feel complete. That being single wasn’t a curse but rather a blessing in disguise. A chance to grow as an individual and truly understand what it meant to be self-sufficient.

This revelation came as a shock. I mean, how could it not? It was contrary to everything society had taught me about love and relationships. But despite this initial surprise, it felt liberating.

Now that it’s been over three years since my decision to stay single, I am more self-assured and happier than ever before. But what has been even more interesting is how my perspective on relationships has changed since I took a step back from dating. Let me share with you the insights I’ve gained on this unexpected journey.

Embracing solitude: My journey to self-discovery

When I first started my journey of being single, it was a bit of an adjustment. I had become so accustomed to always having someone by my side that the thought of navigating life alone seemed daunting. But I was determined to make the most of this period of solitude and use it as an opportunity for self-discovery.

I began by spending time on activities that I truly enjoyed but had somehow neglected in the pursuit of finding ‘The One’. This included reading, painting, and even learning a new language. The feeling of engaging in these activities purely because they brought me joy — not because they were shared interests with a partner — was empowering.

I also became more aware of my emotions and learned to sit with them rather than seeking comfort or validation from someone else. This was challenging at first, as it meant facing some uncomfortable truths about myself. But with time, I found that it led to a deeper understanding and acceptance of who I truly am.

In addition to spending time with myself, I also made a conscious effort to nurture my relationships with family and friends. In the past, I had a tendency to neglect these relationships when I was in romantic ones. Being single, however, allowed me to invest more time and energy into these connections, which brought a different kind of fulfillment.

Perhaps one of the most significant things I did was take a step back from the dating scene. By not actively searching for ‘The One’, I freed up mental and emotional space that allowed me to focus on my personal growth.

Now that I look back, being single has been one of the most transformative periods of my life. It gave me a chance to get to know myself better and understand that I am whole on my own. However, it’s essential to acknowledge that this is not the narrative that society often promotes when it comes to love and relationships. In the next section, I will delve into why I believe we often hold onto the notion that we need a partner to be complete and how my journey has led me to see things in a different light.

Challenging the notion: You don’t need a partner to be complete

If you’re anything like me, you’ve been fed the narrative that you need a partner to be complete. This belief is perpetuated by movies, songs, and even by well-meaning friends and family. It’s a message that’s echoed so often that it can feel like an irrefutable truth.

But my journey of self-discovery during my single years challenged this notion. I realized that the idea of needing someone else to feel complete was, in fact, a misconception. It was during the quiet moments of solitude that I discovered a strength and wholeness within myself that I hadn’t known existed.

This isn’t to say that relationships aren’t important or fulfilling. They definitely can be. But they shouldn’t be seen as the only path to happiness or completeness. As I navigated my life solo, I felt empowered by my independence. I learned to find happiness within myself and not depend on someone else for it.

Moreover, being single allowed me to establish a strong sense of self — an identity separate from anyone else. This self-awareness made me realize that I am “enough” just as I am. It eliminated the need to seek validation or affirmation from a romantic partner.

I think it’s crucial for us to challenge the belief that we are incomplete without ‘The One’. This perspective not only sets unrealistic expectations but can also lead us into relationships that aren’t truly fulfilling.

In the next section, I’ll share how this newfound understanding led me to make significant changes in my approach towards relationships and dating, and how these changes have enriched my life in ways I never imagined possible.

Navigating relationships: A fresh perspective

Having spent a significant amount of time being single and embracing my wholeness, my perspective on relationships and dating drastically changed. I no longer viewed them as a means to fill some void or make me feel complete. Instead, I came to see them as something that could complement my already complete self.

This shift in mindset was transformative. It made me more selective about who I chose to spend my time with and enter into relationships with. I was no longer willing to settle for relationships that didn’t bring joy, growth, or positivity into my life.

If you find yourself in a similar situation, yearning for ‘The One’ to feel complete, I encourage you to challenge this notion. Take time for yourself, learn who you are when no one else is around. Cultivate your interests, pursue your passions, and build strong bonds with friends and family.

It’s okay to be single. Being single doesn’t mean you’re lacking or incomplete. It can be a time of self-discovery, growth, and building a relationship with the most important person in your life – yourself.

When we stop looking for ‘The One’ to complete us and start embracing our wholeness, we open ourselves up to healthier and more fulfilling relationships. We become capable of building partnerships based on mutual growth and shared joy rather than neediness or fear of being alone.

In the final section of this article, I’ll share some practical tips and strategies that helped me embrace my solitude and build a fulfilling life as a single individual. I hope these insights will help you in your journey towards embracing being single as a blessing rather than a curse.

Stepping back: Embracing personal power and societal myths

My journey taught me some invaluable life lessons that go beyond just the realm of relationships. It made me realize the importance of taking responsibility for my life and the situations I found myself in. Despite the societal narrative that I needed ‘The One’ to be complete, I chose to challenge this belief, and in doing so, I felt a surge of personal power.

What I discovered was that a lot of what we deem as ‘normal’ or ‘true’ is heavily influenced by societal expectations, cultural programming, and even parental expectations. When we learn to think for ourselves and question these imposed norms, we begin to live life on our own terms.

Here’s what I learned:

  • It’s essential to acknowledge your current dissatisfaction or struggles. It was only when I acknowledged my discontent with my constant search for ‘The One’ that I began my journey of self-discovery.
  • Reality needs to be faced, not masked by blind positivity. Being single was initially daunting, but facing this reality head-on led to personal growth and empowerment.
  • Pursue your desires and ambitions, not those imposed by others. My decision to stay single was met with surprise by many. But it was my choice, aligned with my needs and ambitions.
  • Question societal myths and expectations that limit your potential. The notion that one needs a partner to be complete is a myth that can limit your personal growth.
  • Embrace the journey of self-exploration to reshape your reality. My journey of being single allowed me to explore myself and reshape my understanding of completeness.

Each step in this journey was a practice in self-improvement and self-empowerment. It allowed me to align my life with my true nature, breaking free from societal expectations.

One resource that I found particularly helpful was the Love and Intimacy Masterclass. This masterclass helps you reframe your relationships, build an effective relationship with yourself, and debunk the idea of “the one”. It’s been an incredible tool in my journey and could be beneficial to anyone who finds themselves in a similar situation.

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Tina Fey

Tina Fey

I've ridden the rails, gone off track and lost my train of thought. I'm writing for Ideapod to try and find it again. Hope you enjoy the journey with me.

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