At five years of age, I was dressing up as a bride while my sister walked me down an imaginary aisle. At ten years old I was pretending to be Barbie while I reenacted her wedding with Ken. At fifteen years old I was making Pinterest boards with specific floral and table arrangements for my future wedding. Now, at twenty three years old, I am working in a fine jewelry store spending most days dreaming up designs for my future engagement ring. Why is it that our entire lives are centered around falling in love and getting married? With all this energy spent making room in our hearts for someone else, how often do we remember to leave room for ourselves?
“WITH ALL THIS ENERGY SPENT MAKING ROOM IN OUR HEARTS FOR SOMEONE ELSE, HOW OFTEN DO WE REMEMBER TO LEAVE ROOM FOR OURSELVES?”
Ever hear the saying, “You can’t love someone else until you learn to love yourself?” It’s cheesy and sounds like total bull sh*t, but it’s the truth. Too many young adults rush into relationships, dating countless people for short periods of time and going back to their exes time and time again. Maybe it’s a generational thing, maybe it’s Tinder. Maybe it’s the fact that we are so connected all the time through texting, calling, and social media, we don’t know how to be alone. In the waiting room at doctor’s offices, on the train ride to work, and walking down the street most people are buried nose deep in the little translucent screen in the palm of their hands because they need something to distract them from the fact that they can actually hear their thoughts. Now that’s scary. When did we get so caught up in other people’s lives? When did we start spending more time reading their thoughts than we do listening to our own?
We often underestimate the importance of alone time. Not only does it allow us to work through problems and emotions, it gives us confidence. When the word “alone” was first created it didn’t mean “lonely,” it meant “complete.” Being alone is magical. I dare you to spend a day by yourself shopping, wandering the city, taking pictures, and eating an entire pizza without a care in the world what anyone else thinks just because you can. And I promise, when you turn off the light at the end of the day and sink into your bed, you will feel a sense of wholeness. A sense of security in knowing that you can be on your own, and you can be happy and confident.
You don’t need a man to take care of you or to define your self worth. When you are truly comfortable in your own skin, when you love yourself with all your heart, not just half of it, you won’t be desperate to meet the next guy and you won’t be worried about being single. You’ll be happy where you are, just the way you are.
And I am by no means saying that dating is bad, or getting back together with your ex is bad. People change and dates are fun. Not only that, but dates are important. I believe they help shape who we are by allowing us to discover ourselves in other people. I believe in love. I might even believe in love at first sight. I believe in being so sure the person you are with is the person you were destined to be with. But I also believe the most important relationship you have is the one you have with yourself.
So be alone. Cherish being alone. Invest in a relationship with yourself first, and love will follow.