Being single definitely has its perks, the obvious one being the ability to date anyone, but also being free to be selfish with your time and emotions.
Singleness is a necessary step in dating because it allows you to step back and think about what you want out of relationships, and to recover from relationships that didn’t work out. However, it’s not completely easy to be by yourself after being with someone, especially if you’re coming out of a long-term relationship.
I was in a relationship with my previous partner for 5 years. We met in university and we were so in love with each other that we thought that we would end up married by our late 20s. He was my best friend, we lived together and we did everything together. My friends and family always made a fuss about our inseparability, and they also expected us to get married.
Fast forward to present time, which is our late 20s, and we realized that we had grown apart as people and no longer shared the aspiration to be together forever. So, we broke up.
At first, being single was difficult. I dealt with the grief of losing someone that I loved and adjusting to being by myself. With time, it gets a better, but I must admit that I miss having someone to come home to every day. I had gotten used to the community I had built with him, so coming home to an empty apartment is depressing.
I have been dating here and there, but I feel like there’s a big difference between dating someone and being part of an “us”, an authentic team where the other person loves you completely, with your flaws and all. I miss being a part of a team, to the point where I find it difficult to do grocery shopping for myself because I’m used to shopping for me and him.
I miss having a constant companion to do stuff with. I do have good relationships with my friends, but friendships change over the years. It’s no longer as easy as going to someone’s house to chill and watch series the whole weekend like we used to do in university. The love is there, but life has its own demands that take us in different directions.
I miss meaningful intimacy. It includes everything from sex to being truly loved. There’s a special part in the heart that I believe only a romantic partner can fill.
I miss the little things that telling stupid jokes, having someone to moisturize my back, comb my huge afro when I’m too lazy to do it myself and having someone to massage my tense shoulders after a long day.
Even though I miss being in a relationship, I’m enjoying the experience of singlehood. It feels like a much-needed vacation after a tough year at work. I’m growing in my understanding of myself and love, and that feels good.
*image from We Heart It.