Single. Flying solo. Spinster. These are terms that so many women are terrified of. The mere thought of being alone can send some people into a state of panic, fearful of a life without companionship and affection. I used to be that girl. I walked the line of being fiercely independent yet clutching onto relationships that were distressed beyond repair.
Until last year, I had been a “taken” woman for 4 ½ years. There was love, adventure, passion, distrust, heartache, beginnings, and endings. Somewhere between getting lost in love and falling out of love, I lost myself. While it was difficult to detach myself from the person who was so monumental to my life, it had to be done. Over the past year, I have taken a love detox and have gotten reacquainted with myself. The verdict? Being single is quite spectacular.
Although the first month or two is a shock, being on your own is very refreshing. It’s a time to let go of the past and discover what you want for yourself and in a potential future companion. Over the past year, I have gone on a few casual dates here and there but nothing serious. In fact, I have enjoyed my company more than ever. My company is far more precious then settling for someone who is not worth my time, my attention, or my heart.
If you find yourself newly single or have been for a while, don’t worry. It’s not something to fear but to embrace. Here are 4 things I have learned during my time alone.
1. Being Self Sufficient
When alone, you have no one to take care of, or someone else calling all of the shots. No more arguments over which restaurant to dine at. No more codependency. It’s you and only you. Your needs are being met because you are now the main focus. During one of my relationships, a lot of my energy went into accommodating or taking care of this person. Therefore, my own needs and happiness were being neglected. During this past year, I have regained independence and now relish in the freedom of making my own decisions.
2. It’s All About Self-Love
I have come to learn that it is far healthier to love yourself than to constantly battle with a relationship that lacks trust and honesty. During the end of some of my relationships, there were times when I would have an out-of-body experience wondering who that girl was. A girl who was once so strong, fearless, and sensible was now spiritless being treated with disrespect and disloyalty. I realized my self-worth is more important than empty words or validation. I now create my own validation and happiness.
3. Bring On the Zen
No more petty fights about not returning texts. No more worrying about what he’s really doing during boy’s night out. Single life is absolutely peaceful. Long gone are the days falling asleep crying because he went back on his word, again. This past year, I woke up happy knowing that I am in control of my environment and that I create the sunshine. I want someone to bring out the best in me, not the stress in me. With that said, relationships are meant to be easygoing and positive, not dramatic and toxic. Being single has taught me that my best self thrives in a positive and drama-free place.
4. It’s a Journey
Being alone is an absolute journey and an all around unforeseen blessing. It’s a chance to discover who you are all over again: your desires, passions, needs, and beliefs. It took a while for me to realize I was on this journey. I had to first quiet the thoughts of the past and accept moving forward. I began to think about, in a long time, what I wanted out of life and out of myself. What did I want to accomplish? How can I push myself? How can I nourish my mind, body, and soul? Being on your own not only helps put everything back into perspective, but also gives you the opportunity to breathe. I begin to get back into hobbies that I had let fall to the waste side. I took myself on my dream vacation to Bali all by my amazing self, and loved every minute of it. I also moved to 2 different countries because I could! Most of all, I discovered that it is ok to be alone. I am exactly where I need to be and that I deserve nothing but the best. In the words of Carrie Bradshaw, “single and fabulous, exclamation point!”
Have you ever taken a “love detox”? What have you gained from it?
Also by Jess: I Tried It – Laughter Yoga
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Photo: Zhana Zdepski; Jess Davis