We all can think of at least one person who preaches that they are independent. They attempt to exude this sense of pride that they have about being on their own and not “worrying” about having a significant other. That they are comfortable enough in their own skin that they don’t need to fear that they don’t have someone with them and that they are perfectly fine taking care of themselves, but when it comes down to it, are they really independent or all talk?
There is nothing more maddening than someone who tells you that they are independent, but they are far from it. The people who say that they are okay with being single, but are on every dating app known to man. The individuals who claim to be single, but always have a person lined up for the next relationship. The ones that frequent the singles nights at bars in a desperate search to find someone to make them feel good about themselves. The ones that find themselves going after the wrong person for them all together just to create a little bit of drama and thrill in their lives. While you may be single and feel as though you are confident, this, my friend, is not independence.
Most of the time these people are confusing financial independence and pure independence. When you are financially independent, you don’t depend on someone for materialistic things. Your home, your bills, your fun is all on you because you are using your dollars to make those things happen. Pure independence is being able to stand on your own two feet and feel like a whole, complete person without needing someone else by your side. You aren’t always seeking attention from other or using someone as a crutch to keep you from falling apart. You aren’t desperately seeking any match that you can find on a dating app to take you out on a date or in fact, aren’t looking for anything major at all. You are completely comfortable enough in your own skin to spend a Saturday night at home in your pajamas watching reruns of the Golden Girls with your pets.
While it may seem apparent to people looking in from the outside that you are in fact not independent in the way that you think you are, sometimes we like to tell people these things in hopes that it might rub off. That maybe if we tell enough people that we feel this way it will eventually rub off and we will start to believe it ourselves. A little reverse psychology on yourself if you will, but the problem with that is, what if you never find that freedom to be comfortable on your own? What if you always find yourself looking for someone to fill that void instead of filling that void yourself?
It took me a long time and a lot of heartbreak to be able to find the comfort within myself. A lot of “me” time to find what I need from myself in order to make myself happy and not look for comfort from someone else, but the journey was well worth it. Before you invest yourself into a relationship, you have to be comfortable on your own. If you are never able to find that independence, your relationship is going to start on the wrong plateau and is essentially being set up for disaster. I’m not saying that your relationship is going to fail, but I know you will be a lot happier with yourself if you are able to have your own confidence, without a significant other giving it to you. It’s time that we take back our independence and figure out what makes us happy.