You see it everywhere. People settling for relationships that aren’t really healthy for them, all in varying degrees.
All because they are afraid of being alone.
What is it about this word that scares the crap out of us?
Why is it that we’d rather trap ourselves in loveless or even downright toxic relationships, because we’re afraid of navigating life on or own?
Let’s try to unpack the baggage. Why are we so afraid to be alone?
There’s a reason why we have this deep-seated fear. The explanation is evolutionary.
When we were born, we were completely helpless to the world. We were entirely dependent to our parents.
And somehow, this fear has become deeply-rooted in our DNA. So much so that it’s still there even when we grow older and become independent.
Couple that with traumatic instances in our past, and no wonder why we are so scared of being alone.
But you shouldn’t let this fear stop you from waiting for someone who actually cares about you.
Even though this fear is biological, it is still unreasonable.
And it shouldn’t scare you into settling for a relationship that’s not doing you any good.
In fact, that’s one of the biggest mistakes you can make in life.
Choosing a life partner may be the single most important decision you can make. It can determine your happiness, productivity, and even your success.
Even science agrees that being alone is better than being in a bad relationship. A study from the University of Buffalo, New York, found that being in unhealthy relationships can damage your health more than being single does.
On the other hand, the longer you stay in healthy, high-quality relationships, the better your overall health will be. And interestingly enough, the study also shows that the sooner you get out of a toxic relationship, the faster your health recovers.
Learn to be alone, instead of being in a half-assed relationship.
Being in a relationship will not fix your problems. However, many believe that it would.
It’s easy to distract yourself from your own personal issues when you have someone else to think about. And you might think that’s a good thing.
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But using relationships as a band aid is a form of avoidance. Your insecurities, fear or emotional problems won’t automatically disappear just because you have someone. And another person will not be able to “fix” you, too.
You only end up having a toxic dependency to another person, while letting these feelings fester inside of you.
What it does, is create an imbalance in your personal and romantic life. And it’s impossible to make someone else happy when you’re unhappy yourself.
You have to put yourself first.
This means you have to think about your needs, your wants, and goals. Above anyone else’s.
Why is it important to be this selfish?
Because you need to be a whole person before you can love someone in a good way.
You can’t love or take care of anyone if you don’t have the capacity to do so. Before you can do that, you need to be a person who is content, someone who knows purpose, and someone who doesn’t need anyone to be happy.
It’s crucial that you have your own world, that you have your own identity, before you can think of being with anyone else.
And the only way to achieve all of this is by learning to be alone – facing and conquering your own fears, doing things that make you happy – without having to think of another person.
Once all the pieces click into place, you’ll be able to nurture a relationship that is healthy, secure, and long-lasting.
As cliche as it may sound, you can attract a good life partner only when you feel truly at home with yourself. You will be able to be with someone not because you need them, but because they add something valuable to your life.
You will be a complete person who doesn’t need anyone, but wants someone to share your life with, to weather all the storms, to celebrate your victories with, and to have someone who will motivate you to be the best, and happiest version of yourself.
Instead of being stuck in a relationship that doesn’t lead you anywhere, you should wait until you find someone who truly cares for you. Not someone who wants to change you, or someone who manipulates you according to what they want and need.
Someone who truly cares about you will understand that you are your own person, with your own set of wants, needs, and dreams. And someone who cares about you will support you in achieving all of this.
In the end, a healthy relationship is something that makes your life better. It’s something that adds meaning to your existence, but never takes away the important things that make you “you.”
So why would you continue being unsatisfied or miserable, when you can choose to wait for something better to come along? Why do you expend so much energy on relationships that don’t bring meaning into your existence?
You’re not high-maintenance for wanting someone you know you deserve. And it’s never unreasonable to want someone who is good for you.
In the meanwhile, learn to take care of yourself first. You’ll find that there’s nothing more fulfilling than being completely good and alive in your own skin.