When my son was a baby, his dad and I ended up in a long-distance relationship. We had been together for four years at that point, and I truly thought that we would be getting married one day. After two years (of failing) at the long-distance thing, I decided it was in the best interest of everyone involved to end it. That was nearly a year ago.
Since then, I have friends who think that I really need to get out there and start dating. They think it will be good for me. But honestly? I have absolutely no desire to date. It’s really not a priority for me right now. It may sound like a cliché, but I’m really using this time to focus on myself and the things that are important to me. I spent so many years in a relationship that even when we weren’t physically together, I still thought of us like we were. After six years, I kind of forgot how to be an “I” and not a “we.” It’s important for me to feel like “me” again before I can even think about bringing someone else into the fold.
I like being single. I have always been the type of person who is okay being by themselves. I guess it’s because I grew up as an only child. I had to rely upon myself to be my own source of amusement, and as I got older, I just got more and more comfortable with being alone. I like being independent, not having to answer to anyone, being able to make my own decisions, and not having to run anything by someone else.
I can decorate how I want, eat what I want, come and go as I please. I can stay up all night and not worry about keeping someone else up. I can do all of the things I don’t like to do when someone else is home, like dance around to cheesy ’90s pop music. I don’t have anyone questioning me on how I spend my money, and I don’t have to worry about sharing the closet. I can spread all of my toiletries out in the bathroom and pluck my brows with wild abandon. I’m relearning who I am as an adult.
I spent most of my 20s in a relationship, and I am a much different person now at almost 31 than I was at 23. I approach life differently, especially now that I’m a mother and have someone else to be responsible for.
Casual dating was never something I was good at. Even when I was younger, I could only focus on one guy at a time until it inevitably crashed and burned or came to an end organically. It takes me time to get over people if I really cared about them, so I don’t think that I could just date around. Plus, I’m 30 years old, and a mom, so I just don’t have the time or emotional energy to be casual anymore.
My son and I have created a really special relationship, and I’m not ready to let someone else come in and change that. I also would be afraid to introduce him to someone and then have him get attached and the relationship not work out. My son would be crushed and likely wouldn’t understand why this person wasn’t in his life anymore. He doesn’t have a close relationship with his dad since he lives across the country, so he attaches to male role models quickly. I couldn’t break his heart like that. I know that it’s close to impossible for me to find that one person whom I want to seriously date, without maybe having to go through a few duds, and I just don’t feel ready for that yet.
But what about sex? My friends all seem to think that since I’m not getting laid that I must be dying inside. Honestly? I’ve turned that part of my brain off. It may sound crazy, and of course, it’s not easy, but I know that it will all work itself out when it’s supposed to. I was a virgin until I was 20, and even then it was something sporadic until I was in a relationship with my ex. That’s not to say that I don’t miss being intimate with someone, because I mean, hello, I’m human. But it’s something that I can’t worry about right now. It’s not a priority. When it’s supposed to happen, it’ll happen. I’m not going to sign up for Tinder to please my pals.
One of the best things that has come out of being single is how much I’ve been able to focus on my career. It has really paid off, literally and figuratively, and that has been invaluable for me as a single mom. My schedule is a little more flexible these days, so I was able to begin really focusing time on my writing career and actively pursuing it. I am now (finally) at the point where I have made it into my career. I absolutely love it, and I don’t know that I would have found the time or motivation if I was also in a relationship.
I know that when I’m supposed to find love, I will find it. It’s like Diana Ross said, “You can’t hurry love, you just have to wait.” I appreciate the concern my friends have for me because they just want to see me happy, but for the first time in several years, I am truly happy. I have an amazing kid who I don’t think I could love any more than I already do, I have a career that’s finally beginning to take off, which is what I’ve been working toward for seven years, and I have a great emotional support system from my friends and family. A man would just be the icing on the cake at this point, and for now, I’m cool with a naked cake.