Home→Forums→Relationships→Happiness on your own
- This topic has 3 replies, 3 voices, and was last updated 9 years, 2 months ago by Cyd.
December 24, 2013 at 12:29 pm #47514SamParticipant
So I am in my mid 20s and have never truly had a proper relationship. Recently I have been working a lot on making myself seem more approachable and to finally see what it’s like to have a mature relationship. Over this past year there have been a few guys (at different intervals) whom I felt I had a connection with. However, each time I have experienced a pretty big dose of rejection. There have been many factors to list, but I took each of these rejections very hard. It was incredibly painful, and every time it felt as though there is something wrong with me and that it is as if I do not deserve any happiness. I legitimately fear putting myself out there again, investing in getting to know someone very well, getting fully attached, only to be told that there can’t be anything more. It has been a pretty big blow to my self esteem, since we all look for validation. I realize I do this too much, because my self worth is 100% dependent on people’s responses. It is torturous and I am starting to feel like I am going out of my mind.
What I wish is that I could somehow learn to be happy just being single. But how do I convince myself to be okay with that, since for the past 2 decades I’ve been bombarded with this ideal that a woman needs to be in a relationship? Especially at my age, it feels like this is the moment I should really be out there dating. My fear of ending up alone is starting to consume me. I just want some piece of mind. Is there anyone that might have some helpful advice?
Thank you in advance.December 24, 2013 at 4:20 pm #47516LindsayParticipant
A couple thoughts… First, you are still SO young. And I don’t mean that in a patronizing way or as a way to invalidate how you feel. What I mean, is that you have no idea how much your life will and can change in the next couple years. You still have an enormous amount to learn about yourself. I’m 33, and I could not imagine how much my life has changed between 25 and now, or even 28 and now. Personally, I take comfort in that fact. It means that if I’m not satisfied with something, it will eventually change (and probably sooner rather than later). I don’t know what it might change into, but I can do my best to grow and learn and situate myself to best handle whatever comes next. So, right now, as a single girl in her mid-20s, you are in a PERFECT position to work on self-love and self-compassion, and to work on your passions, or to figure out what some of your passions are, and to PUSH your boundaries. Do stuff that intimidates you (especially non-relationship stuff!).
Second, I totally understand that we ladies get an extra dose of “you should be married/have a boyfriend/ have a date.” I can’t fix that. BUT, what helped me become more okay with being single is the realization and acknowledgement that relationships do NOT make me happy. Yes, there are some great highs and I’ve had some good ones. But, I’ve also been perfectly miserable in relationships and never felt more alone. For me, that is one of the worst feelings in the world. But it also helped me realize that having that boyfriend/fiance/husband does not fix the problem of being alone or unhappy with myself. It actually fixed nothing.
There is also the issue of what to do when you do find yourself in a relationship, which is only a matter of time. No matter how great a relationship starts out, or seems, it is not going to last, even if you are married with kids. I don’t say this to sound bleak, but rather to point out that getting the pretty ring or having a cute boy on your arm to bat your eyes at is not a panacea. And any residual issues that you have being comfortable with yourself are going to crop back up, and it might be brutal when it does. Personally, I’ve learned (well, I’m continuously learning) to embrace the fact that my relationship is not bulletproof. I embrace that it will end one day. I don’t know if that will be tomorrow, or in 6 months, or in 50 years on my deathbed. But it will end. And I want to enjoy it while I have it. I think it makes me appreciate it more. But I also think that I am ABLE to appreciate it more because I know that when it ends, as much as it’s going to hurt, I’m okay on my own. I am enough.December 25, 2013 at 6:41 am #47531SamParticipant
Thank you, Lindsay, this is exactly what I needed to hear 🙂
Somehow we are all led to believe that relationships fix everything, but ultimately you are the same person with the same insecurities. No one can fix that for you. I guess I thought that somewhere along the lines, it would be nice to have someone by my side to support me through my ‘journey’. There are all these things that I would like to work on, and it’s true that I didn’t want to be alone in that process. There have been some things that I was able to change, and which made me happier about myself, but when I noticed I was still alone it was starting to make me think that I didn’t try hard enough or something.
I can understand what you mean when you say you can still feel very alone in a relationship. So it’s good that you brought that up because it puts things in perspective. Having an accepting attitude seems to bring you a lot of peace instead of consuming you. So i will continue working more on my own passions and dreams and try to focus less on things that I do not have.December 28, 2013 at 6:23 pm #47777CydParticipant
I understand how you feel as far as seeking validation to enhance your self esteem as well as being rejected. Don’t think rejection means you are not worthy to be loved at all. It just means you are not compatible with the person you are seeking love from. They may not be able to meet your needs and you may not be able to meet theirs. It doesn’t mean you aren’t worthy of love. Everyone is worthy of love, That is a generalized standard. Even the dirt on the ground is cultivated and cared for. I also understand that in your current developmental stage and period in your life you feel inadequate because you aren’t in a relationship and most people in your same period of life maybe are. Everyone grows at different rates. Me being an introvert, I was born being happy by myself but at this point in my life (21) I want to be in a relationship as well. Most of my friends are in their second long term relationship or are engaged or married and I have yet to be in my first .I have also been in relationships where I have felt alone and miserable and better off without the other person. Do not compare yourself to other because when you do that you automatically focus on the things you lack rather than the things you have that others do not. Never tie anything unstable to your self esteem. No matter what you go through, what you have, what somebody says about you, etc your self esteem shall always be high. No one is responsible for your self esteem but you. That means that the only opinion about yourself that matters is yours. Keep pressing 🙂