As a girl in her early-mid-twenties, being single can seem bleak. I’ve been told by many that I’m lucky because I’m free and can really set out to do whatever it is I want to do. I have no ties, nothing to hold me back from traveling the world. (Although, being a teacher doesn’t really fund the whole “wanderlust” dream.)
Despite this beautiful freedom, sometimes I have a hard time really believing that it’s all it’s cracked up to be. The majority of my friends are either in serious relationships, engaged, or married (some with a baby on the way). This is beautiful. And I try to be both sincerely happy for them and also content in my own current place in life. There’s nothing I hate more than a single person who drones on about their loneliness.
But sometimes the dating world can be daunting.
I don’t consider myself very picky; I can like genuinely anyone. However, I rarely share my feelings, either because they aren’t strong enough to confess, or because I want to avoid conflict at all costs. As I recently wrote, I told a longtime friend that I had feelings for him, and it didn’t work out like I expected it to. Needless to say, I wasn’t pleased and the marriage/love thing that many of my friends were enjoying became even more of a sore subject.
I was still nursing this heartbreak a few months later when I went to a friend’s wedding. Many of my close friends were in attendance, the bride and groom were stunning, and the ceremony brought many to tears. There I was, sitting by many friends, yet feeling all alone, and I thought to myself, “Is this ever going to happen for me?”
This carried on for a little longer, until I had a serious talk with one of my best friends who is (shocker) married. I had spent the past two years liking this guy, and I was speaking to her about how I really thought this was different, how I couldn’t believe that I was so wrong when I believed it was so right.
She also had an experience of a two-year relationship she genuinely believed was meant to be. Their breakup caused her a tremendous amount of heartbreak which seemed like it would never end. Yet, three(ish) years later, here she was: happy as can be, with another man who is her husband.
She had been through a terrible ordeal, she spent time on her own to realize more about herself, and then, eventually met someone new. Now she’s married to a man whom she loves. Watching this progression gave me hope for my own future, and taught me to appreciate where I am now, a place where I can grow and become who I am on my own.
My friends’ relationships have become less of a reminder of what I don’t have, and more of a reminder of what I will have, if I have trust that life has good things in store for me.