I’ve been ‘dating’ since I was 13 years old, well before I knew what dating actually meant. Back then, it was pretty much just me making out with my first ever boyfriend Arie for the entire 2 hours and 23 minutes of Pirates of The Caribbean and every movie we ever watched. Ahhh, that was an easy time in my life.
Since then, so much has happened. There have been some definite doozies and some very, very real feelings over the years but this isn’t a blog about finding love in a hopeless place. It also isn’t about feeling ‘complete’ because you’ve met the person of your dreams.
This is a blog about recognising the importance of self-love and nurturing yourself enough to actually enjoy being single.
There was a time, not so long ago, that I couldn’t think of anything worse than being on my own. The idea of not having someone to love, a girlfriend to cook for or someone to come home to after work was so depressing that I jumped from person to person, settling for whatever came my way to avoid being alone.
I’ve been asked 5 times in the last 2 days how I actually manage to enjoy not being in a relationship, as if I ought to change my name to Susan and be desperately seeking fulfilment in the form of another person. Should I be floating around in despair without any sort of affection and completely alone, hating every minute of my loveless life? Because, I’m not.
In fact, outside of the loss of my father, the last 12 months have been the most rewarding and life changing, thus far. Without a girlfriend, I have made huge discoveries about who I am as an individual and figured out just what to invest my time and energy into so that I can live a full life.
I’ve been on dates and have spent time with some incredible people in the last year and I’ve made some some poor choices too but that is all a part of the journey.
One of the big mistakes for me is seeking comfort in people who can only be described as piranha’s who have reached their final human form. Here I stand though, stronger than ever and with a greater sense of self and guess what babes? I can and will take all of the credit because #singlelife.
Sharing love with another being is beautiful and rewarding in its own special way but have you ever stopped to think about just how much love you are keeping for yourself? So many strong, incredibly self-aware women that I know and adore, have lost their identities to partners the moment they become committed.
After watching How To Be Single with some of my favourite single babes, it became very clear that the end game was to actually better yourself so that someone would love you. Somehow a movie that could have easily been about self adoration was more about figuring out how to convince someone else to love you and not to find and love yourself, just as you are Bridget.
It is an incredible disservice to humankind to spend any energy teaching ourselves that without someone to spoon, or hunt for Pokemon with, or Netflix and Chill/are you on the pill? with, we are somehow less than.
The truth is, I would rather be single and loving myself sick than lose myself to some ridiculous notion that I’m not already an entirely whole and complete person, without the love of another.
I can and have and probably will again – like many of my sisters – eat an entire tub of Ben and Jerry’s and not have to worry about sharing. Sometimes we choose to groom and other times we bask in the glory of what feels like a full body onesie made entirely of human hair during the winter.
We make spontaneous decisions and go on random adventures without discussing them with anyone first. We don’t have to pretend to be into whatever weird shit, terrible band or schedule a significant other may be navigating. We also don’t need to sit through conversations with your old Aunt Janice about ‘when the babies are coming’.
Let’s be very clear though, just because we aren’t committed to sharing our lives with someone in particular doesn’t mean we aren’t being adored and/or sexually fulfilled. We’ve got batteries and hands and attractions to people of any and all genders to explore and let me tell you, we are exploring. Single sex – don’t shoot me couples – may just be the most liberating and mind altering sex there is.
Suddenly, you’re free of inhibitions. Obviously you need to feel safe and comfortable but when you do, it’s just you and other consenting adults who want to get freaky and blow off some steam with no strings attached.
This means you get to go home to your perfect little sanctuary with your expensive linen and $80 candles and you don’t have to get mad when they leave their shit lying around everywhere. Look at you Pocahontas, discovering things you never knew you never knew.
The term Masturdating has become a real thing and I for one, could not be happier. Not to be confused with masturbating – although very healthy and I would recommend to any and everyone, daily – Masturdating is the act of going out alone. Seeing a show, going to a gallery or eating at a restaurant in the company of the best babe you’ve ever met, yourself.
Just so you know, people aren’t sniggering at you and spoiler alert; you aren’t Bette Midler in The First Wives Club, so calm down! It’s actually really fucking lovely, I promise.
The point that I am trying to make is that you have everything you need, in you. Relationships are fun and wonderful and blah blah blah but you don’t actually need one.
Buy a townhouse and decorate it entirely with antique furniture and drink copious amounts of flavoured tea if you want to. Go wandering through whatever urban jungle you happen to find yourself in. Pack a bag and book a ticket overseas, travel and explore and discover what actually makes you tick. Get a dog, love it and let it love you.
More importantly, find the love that you deserve by looking in the mirror. Not ‘in the meantime’, or just until you meet someone, but always. You are going to be the longest relationship of your life. Make it count. Love your own damn self!