Before I met my boyfriend, I was constantly in a whirlwind romance with short-term flings, hookups, and friendships with benefits. I was single for five years; it seemed like I was always on a first date, but it never lasted as longer than a couple of days. I remember my single life full of lonely nights, anxious thoughts of uncertainty, and constant avoidance of even the mere sight of happy couples. But I was also working on myself.
I remember reading as much as I could, watching videos on YouTube so I could learn new perspectives from faith. The work I did when I was single has been the core foundation of my current relationship. For every escalated argument, there is an immediate apology that follows. For every recurring issue that arises, a 5-10-minute sit-down discussion is planned. Being alone for five years taught me patience, to embrace differences, and to love as hard as possible; it’s certainly been the secret to my success.
Here are three more reasons how my single life has helped my relationship to stay as grounded as possible.
1. It’s Taught Me the Importance of Staying True to Yourself
Relationships are stereotypically known as a partnership between two people. Being single taught me there is still equal value in the level of individuality with the one you’re dating. Being alone has shown me that there is immense power in staying true to who you are. I’ve learned that in order to have a healthy relationship with someone else, you cannot lose yourself in the romance. Being single empowers who you are now, and who you’ll slowly start to become. Celebrating every doubt, fear, and withhold you have about yourself and turning them into your strongest qualities. Overall, it’s taught me the importance of never losing sight of who you are, how self-love will never stop even in the happiest of relationships, and how you will always be yours before you are anyone else’s.
2. It’s Taught Me How to Properly Solve A Problem
When it comes to arguments and misunderstandings, we as a society are used to seeing two people who look like they want to rip each other’s hair out. Single life has taught me that problems should never be ignored, as dealing with them the minute they arise is the best way to ensure they never come back. Being alone has taught me not to be afraid when things become difficult. It’s taught me to stand firm in the midst of chaos, and to fight for the things that matter most. Overall, it’s shown me the importance of accepting the worst, but hoping for the best. It taught me how to maintain the levels of respect and love for the sake of the one you love, and how to always apologize when you’ve done something wrong.- We truly are only human after all.
3. It’s Taught Me Compassion
To have spent five years of my life admitting my faults, facing my insecurities, and turning my weaknesses into strengths undoubtedly transformed me into a more compassionate person. None of us will ever be perfect, therefore I’ve learned that expecting too much from someone is completely absurd. Being alone has enforced the base of my relationship to constantly feel what the other person feels, especially if we dared to cross the boundaries of respect. It’s taught me how to pick my battles wisely – how sometimes letting go of who’s right in the argument will eventually succumb to what the right thing to do is instead. Overall, it’s shown me the value of surrendering, selflessness, and loving someone unconditionally.
Six years ago, I never thought I’d be writing about how being alone was good for me. I never thought I’d promote the importance of becoming honest with yourself, but I also never thought it would lead me to my dream relationship. To be honest, I could not be prouder of everything my relationship has overcome these past couple of years. I couldn’t be happier to be with someone who is as strong as their heart is. And I couldn’t be more pleased with the journey I’ve trekked, as everything did truly work out in the end.