I used to have this ongoing fear in the back of my mind that I would die alone. That no one would ever want to stay with me that long, the famous words said in every couples vows when they get married, “Till death do us part.” For me, I’ve always seen my relationships as having expiration dates. Some stay longer than anticipated, only to become sour milk at the end of it all. Others I knew right away that it wouldn’t work, not even giving it a chance to go bad. Then there are some that still stick around even when you know you should get rid of them. But something about it makes you hold on, even though it’d be better to throw them away and move on. I guess I’ve just never been good at being by myself.
When I went through a bad breakup a couple of years ago, my perception on everything related to love changed. I saw myself as damaged goods that people only wanted to play around with for a bit and then go on to someone better, more intact. I told myself that there was something wrong with me for not making the relationship last and that I didn’t deserve to find something great or even close to what I had thought was already perfect in my mind.
I became a serial dater after that, constantly feeling the need to be with someone. Because after having that experience for such a long time and having it easily taken away from me without any warning, I thought I couldn’t go on without that familiarity. And it worked for a little bit, but then I just kept the same pattern of flipping through guys faster than I would the pages of a book. Unfortunately, they all had the same ending.
In all honesty, I never gave any guys I dated a chance because I put my ex on such a high pedestal that none of them would be able to reach. And I know now that that wasn’t fair. Because it allowed me to self-sabotage not only every chance of something possibly going good but I ended up hurting myself more because of it.
I think when you go through such a rough breakup it makes it hard for you to want to see that silver lining. To think that there’s something positive that can come out of such a terrible circumstance. For me, I didn’t give myself the chance to do that, to fully heal. I leaned on strangers with trusting eyes to comfort me and when I got what I thought I needed I left.
I’ve spent the past two years trying to fill the void of a person who once made up my entire world by trying to find someone else. But that’s the problem right there, I didn’t know how to be by myself. To be completely and truly alone.
I didn’t know what it would take for me to realize I needed that, but then that silver lining happened. I got rejected by someone after the second date. Yeah, I cried, but it also changed me in a way for the better. And I have to say even though it’s been just an embarrassingly one week of it, I know that this is what I need.
I don’t feel the need to reach out to someone from my past only to have those recurring memories flood my mind. I know now that it’s wasted time on someone who doesn’t deserve it anymore. I don’t want to beg for attention towards someone who can’t reciprocate even a quarter of what I’m willing to give. I don’t want to spend my nights laying on my bed swiping through a bunch of people when I can spend that time focusing on myself right now and my passions.
I’ve come to realize the difference between being alone instead of being lonely. When I’m alone I’m able to reconnect with myself. A person I didn’t know even existed until I stopped and appreciated myself for all that I am. I’m able to have the power to know that at any time I can change the way things are and if I want to date then I can. But none of this gives me the utter sadness I felt in my heart two years ago. It’s a different feeling; freeing.
I won’t lie and say there aren’t times when I want to revert. To text that ex, download those dating apps again, or feel sad that everyone in my life and even on my social media knows how to get love right except for me. But I know that this is what I need right now, and maybe it’ll last for a little bit or maybe it’ll last for a while. At the end of the day thought, I did this for me, and I may be alone right now but the last thing I feel is lonely.
Most likely writing in my journals or notes in my phone, burying my face in a book, at a concert, laughing or eating fries. Recent college graduate with a ridiculous dream of wanting to write for a living.