Am I Failing Because I’m Single?
An Essay by LDN
Throughout history women are led to believe that relationships validate them, their true purpose is to cater to their significant other, nurture children, and be domestic or subservient. Women have also been conditioned to wait for the “right person”or be chosen by their “Prince Charming”. Once they’re selected they are then encouraged to cater to that person and revel in the process of being a home maker. But, what happens if you are not selected? What if there is no one to cater to? Better yet, what if that isn’t the ideal model of a relationship you had in mind? Does that make you less of a woman and/or inadequate? Are we then failing because we are single?
Failure, unsuccessfully achieving one’s goals or the action of neglecting something that needs to be done. Being single is to be unmarried or not involved in a stable sexual relationship. As each question flooded my mind I began to strongly consider what I want within a relationship. The list began with; “even suited”, “well matched”, “mutual respect”, “love without judgement”, “to be appreciated (flaws and all)”, and progressed enough to afford me with the answers as to why I’m currently single. No, it isn’t because I have a list or felt the need to write one. I now have a clearer understanding of exactly what I want from a partner as well as my contribution to create a successful union.
From my vantage point relationships are investments; the devotion of love, time, effort, and even finances to someone and something that you intend to benefit/profit from. Naturally we’d like our investments to appreciate within time therefore creating a solid foundation, support system, stability, security, and the promotion of evolution/enhancement is high on the list of priorities within a relationship. Therefore it’s in the best of our interest to be loyal, remain committed to our initial investment, and bask in the fruits of our labor granting contentment a place to rest.
In a more human way any relationship I devote myself to must be one that allows me to further explore self-actualization. I’d feel awful and unjust if my significant other felt the need to change specifically for me, it’s important to note that one changing for the betterment of self is fully endorsed. However thoughts of inadequacy within a relationship resulting in forcible change would elude to an unfit match. Adaptation is a form of natural progression, throughout our lives we will adapt to new surroundings, people, and places, best serving us as a survival tactic. Which brings me to creativity, there is no form of life that would be complete without the use of my imagination. It is also conceptually appropriate within a partnership to use our minds and ideas to create something new and inventive, allowing for nothing to be stale. Throughout history we can lean on tales which illustrate people who are less fortunate yet make something out of “nothing” as well as inventions that have come to life through creative thought processes. Without creativity I wouldn’t want to continue investing into a relationship because within time stagnation could hinder the future profit.
Let me not neglect the importance of morality. Having principles, knowing what’s right from wrong, and being conscious of good and bad behavior is underrated within relationships, partnerships, and even friendships. We assume that everyone has a moral compass and for those we love we tend not to challenge this enough. Within an intimate relationship it’s more than necessary to explore morality, this isn’t through mere words but also actions and the way in which our significant other interacts, reacts, and treats others as well as ourselves.
Theoretically, if a relationship were a house, how do we then make it a home? This is directly related to our partner(ship). If we’ve explored what our ideal relationship should encompass let us evaluate what we seek in a partner. A trustworthy person is a seemingly honest individual and comes second to none. Someone who is devoted and even committed to themselves is someone I’d also invest in as they are more likely to appreciate, care for, and even love themselves in a way no one else could. This promotes independence and individual strength. Self sufficiency is something that we should all require because as we grow older the more mature and independent we should then become. If we attract those who are self sufficient we potentially eliminate the need for our partner to rely so heavily on us which lessens the pressure threshold. A caring, unselfish, and even spiritual individual is also one that is revered because their thought processes, actions, and intentions aren’t just for self. Rather they consciously make decisions with others in mind and/or hold themselves accountable for actions which negatively affect those they care about. This type of partner is generally family oriented which is very important for me as family reigns supreme within my life and majority of my prior investments (whether emotional or intellectual) have been made through the family shield. A communicator is mandatory, without communication there is no need to continue, I couldn’t entertain anyone who communicates ineffectively. This doesn’t mean to gossip or create idle chat to fill the space of silence, rather the need to explore thoughts, feelings, ideals, disdains, recognition, constructive feedback, the good and bad etc. A supportive person is an unselfish person, in turn a motivator, who will most likely exhibit emotional availability/stability. Cleanliness is next to Godliness a quote we’ve heard at least once in our life, albeit cliche or even dated having personal standards, an appetite for hygiene, and self preservation through grooming and appearance is very important.
We often overlook friendship as a prerequisite within a relationship, we get caught in the valance of romance and neglect being a friend and/or receiving one. I’d much prefer to be with a friend daily than a paramour or Casanova. With friends we are jovial, coy, creative, fun, free, spontaneous, and organically ourselves why wouldn’t we want that in our significant other? Romance has the capability of separating a friend from a lover which creates distinction between a platonic friend and a partner you are or wish to be intimate with. Lastly an adaptable person who understands the importance of compromise, flexibility, and lacks rigidity is a winner. Progression rests upon evolution, adaption, and even creativity.
Some may wonder “How even with such comprehensive lists and relationship standards is she single?” and my response is... Seeing the potential in others has hindered and disabled me previously, forcing me to think/look ahead rather than what’s in front of me. A wise man once told me “we all have the potential to be a millionaire, that doesn’t mean we all will be one...!” Ever since hearing that I’ve changed my thoughts on potential within relationships and try to focus merely on actions. As comforting as words may be if they aren’t acted upon, they are just words, and maybe even promises which are a comfort to a fool.
I’m guilty of deviating from my relationship goals and have entertained some unjust and unworthy people due to impatience, listening to what is on offer rather than viewing actions, and forcing myself to think that someone was best suited for me based on their credentials verses how I truly value them. Were these smart reasons? Absolutely not! Which is why I recalibrated and began questioning my prior decisions and practices.
Have I been neglecting relationships which leads me to fail in them? No! I have not failed in relationships nor have I been focusing on them for years now. I have merely entertained people with the “potential” of moving forward in a relationship which is a failing strategy. Especially when intimacy is the barter and feeling the need to submit your body to gain more is in question. Other focuses have taken precedence over being in a relationship as well as no longer wishing to waste time (especially) dating. I am an anti-dater, despise serial dating, and find it to be one of the biggest time wasters! The need to over communicate about personal matters with strangers who expect to know more about you in an hour than a friend you’ve known for years, having to act appropriately, and overly polite just to ensure that you’re checking the boxes of someone else’s expectations is a bore. Some could argue “why aren’t you being yourself?” Let’s face it, dating closely mirrors a job interview who gets to be their authentic self in that arena?
I’m not a fan of forced scenarios or rushed processes I have faith and understand that in being patient I will receive everything that I wish to acquire within a partner and a future relationship. Once I have interest in someone I place the necessary effort into them which includes; affirmations, a steady stream of communication, bouts of vulnerability, the sharing of time, compliments, thoughts, feelings, emotions, etc. Most importantly I challenge that individual to be better for themselves and those around them. The investment I expect of them is what they receive from me. The focus then isn’t on the concept (relationship) rather the subject (my partner).
At the beginning stages or when being courted I believe it’s important to make your intentions clear. Therefore I am not shy in illustrating that I would like to be mentally stimulated by someone I potentially wish to be in a relationship with, whom I’d be physically attracted to, possibly be intimate with them, who would also have mutual interest within me, and continually get to know that person.
Singleness has hindered me in a few ways, I tend not to need anything from anyone and rarely crave for the company of others. I also make this point apparent and sometimes communicate it with venom when I feel slighted by someone who neglects to spend time with me, I’d call it spoilt brat syndrome... distasteful to say the least. This results in me being glanced over because who wants to entertain someone who makes it explicitly clear they’d rather not be entertained? I surely wouldn’t proceed. There is also the element of independence that comes with being single and being set in my ways as I’ve spent majority of my adult years by myself. I’ve also made my house a home without a partner, guarded myself from being vulnerable, and dislike unfamiliar people within my personal space(s).
I now must explore how being single has been beneficial to me. Investing in myself and being independent has boosted my need for self reflection, which is always better when you don’t have to consult with others regarding thoughts about self or being influenced by the opinions of a partner. The freedom to do and be who I am without feeling guilty that my goal post is changed as frequently as I eat (if not more at times). Understanding how complex I can be and not having to put someone else through my indecision, life changing practices based on books read, experiences, conversations, and not allowing ignorance of any kind to limit me. The lack of pressure from another individual is also a treat that singleness has afforded me. During this journey I have had the pleasure of communicating with an array of individuals who have affected me in positive and negative ways. I am not as emotionally fluid with others when I’m off of the market, due to the respect and loyalty I have for my partner. However, as I grow older and understand how important it is for me to connect with others especially those that rely on my mental strength to assist them within their lives. I’ve come to realize that learning from others is a large part of who I am, which will be a constant yearning I have even when I’m in a relationship. This has promoted the true exploration of love; for self and others in a pure and appreciative way rather than intimacy which many translate love to be.
Although my ideals of singleness far outweigh being in a relationship it’s important that I account for what is missing in my daily life that allows me to crave a relationship. Love is an emotion you can not control, contain, explain, and even fathom at the best of times. Vulnerability is also something that I rarely am, as a single person this is largely a way of protecting myself and understanding that not everyone’s intentions are pure and/or true enough to deserve an ounce of my vulnerability. The exploration of self through the eyes of a partner is unmatched, the lessons are plentiful. Which leads to personal devotion and investment, the concept earlier explored where you reap what you sow. In my opinion being single for nearly a decade has given me foresight and time to marinate, I compare myself to aged wine which matures with age and tastes better the longer it’s left untouched.
Singleness has never been a reason to be promiscuous or loose, rather the reverse (for me at least), making me frigid and even reserved. I’m a firm believer in not giving away everything to everyone especially people who care only about what they can gain from you, rather than build with you. However, when I meet my “match” the forfeiting of my singleness in hopes of creating an even better me and vice versa is a risk worth taking.
So... Am I failing because I am single? I’m not failing because I’m single. I’m failing myself because as long as I’m single, I’m not truly being myself. I am less vulnerable than I’d like to be, harder than I wish to be, and at best do not care to invest into anyone but myself (and a select few who are close to me). I am incapable of giving my all to those I deem untrustworthy. Yet, I have faith enough to know that by design there is one special individual who will receive me entirely, with the core intention to marry and spend their life with me. I am not creating a fairytale, I am manifesting that I’ll have a friend who respects, loves, appreciates, supports, and communicates with me by my side daily, who I can call my husband. It’s important that I reiterate that I too intend to reciprocate as well as being a fun loving, understanding, loyal, and communicative wife.
It’s not far fetched to want or have a loyal relationship. We just have to focus on the concept and not succumb to temptations or the plethora of choices made available to us in this new swipe right, discard, and delete era we have become so accustom to. Don’t fail yourself because you’re single. Allow your singleness to strengthen you and use this time wisely to further grasp what you need to know about yourself. Your time will come and when it does your process will all make sense. There is not one day that I arise and think that “I hate being single.” Each day that I remain single is an additional day for me to better myself!