Friday, February 13, 2015

Stop Being Scared of Being Alone

"So what are you doing for Valentine's Day?" my roommate passive aggressively asked me one afternoon. 
"Probably going to watch Nicholas Sparks in my pajamas," I told her. "Same as always."
I'm at a point in my life where I've never felt more comfortable being alone. I'm really proud of my 11 P.M. bedtime. I'm also really proud of the fact that I don't have to share my twin bed with anybody.

The pressure to be in a relationship used to take a toll on me, like it does a lot of college students. I would often stress about it, but I was just never willing to settle for someone my heart just didn't connect with. I was never willing to settle for someone who wasn't everything I dreamed of. I wasn't willing to settle for a love that I wasn't excited about. Love isn't a thing that can be forced, measure in an amount of time, or meet a set of expectations, it just happens. And it should happen naturally, not because outside forces were pushing for it.

I have always been independent, and I have a hard time depending on someone else when I don't need to. My mother raised me to never require validation from another to feel comfortable in my skin, and for that I will always be grateful. My mother raised me to be comfortable on my own, and not feel the need to be waiting around on a man. My mother raised me to never lower my standards, and settle for a man who is sub-par.

It's a basic human need to feel loved. Besides that, everybody wants to be loved. Everybody wants someone to share the journey of life with. Being alone and being lonely are not one in the same. At this time, you may not be sharing your life with someone, but you are never alone. There is so much love in your life that you're not aware of. You just have to open your eyes, and open your heart to allow that love in. Break down the walls, and love will flood in.

It breaks my heart hearing someone I love tell me that they're scared of being alone. I hear it too much. First of all, hello, you're telling someone who loves you beyond belief that no one loves you: that in itself is insulting. Secondly, I just want the people in my life to realize that they're worthy of a love that's great, beautiful, and everything they've ever dreamed of. I never want to see anyone settle for something less than they deserve, simply because they're scared of being alone at a certain point in their life.  I think that's the problem in love: too many people are settling, because they don't think there's anything else out there. If we start sticking to the standards of what we expect from our partners, being honest with them and to ourselves, there will be a lot more happily ever afters and a lot less divorce, I think.

I know a lot of people who are notorious for relationship-hopping. The moment they have a breakup, they're planning dates, and have a new boyfriend or girlfriend the next week. The reason your relationships are failing? You don't know how to be alone! You have to first feel comfortable with yourself, if you ever expect to feel comfortable with another person. If you go through a breakup, you need to give your heart time to heal. If you jump into another relationship too fast, this is when the past sneaks its way into your future. Your old relationship threatens the new one, as you start to put up guards to block issues you had in your old relationship, from making its way into the new one. Solve them first. Don't take out problems you had with an ex, on someone who had nothing to do with it. They are not the same person. Your past should not be their future. If you go through a break up, take your time to heal, but don't be scared to love again. Sure, sometimes things don't work out, but sometimes they do. Sometimes you may get hurt, but sometimes you won't. If you never jump, you'll never fall, but if you never jump, how can you ever feel?

Love more, not less. Love fully, not conditionally. 
I never had a  Valentine for Valentine's Day, but I never felt lonely. I have witnessed so many beautiful loves in my life that have been so inspiring to see first-hand. I have had many of my own beautiful loves. Sometimes they didn't end well, but I wouldn't change the lessons they taught me for anything. I am so grateful for all of the lessons I've learned about love through first and second hand experiences. I have so many beautiful souls in my life that it is impossible for me to ever feel alone. I'm grateful to have family that I can call at midnight to tell a funny story, that isn't actually funny, but they listen anyway. I'm grateful that no matter the miles, states, and time differences that separate us, I never feel distant from any of my family members. I'm grateful for the friends who understand when I've had a bad day, and will turn up the music, and jump on the couch, and dance with me. I'm grateful to have friends where we can fight like sisters, and then get over it once someone wants lunch. Being alone doesn't mean you aren't loved. I feel such an abundance of love in my life, and I couldn't possibly wish for anything more. Once you are comfortable in your skin, and learn to love yourself, all the rest will fall into place.

I never had a Valentine for Valentine's Day, but I want a relationship full of passion 365 days a year, not just 1. And that's what I'm holding out for.

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