Updated: Mar 10, 2019
I want to address the subject of relationships and the misconception we grow up with that implicitly states that you're an out front failure if you're not in a couple. Nothing could be further from reality.
I was in a relationship a few months ago and, by the time I decided to end it, I was emotionally, mentally, and physically drained (financially would have followed, if I hadn't called it quits). There's no need to go into details about what went wrong, since this is a blog thought out to improve lives; not a gossip column.
All I can say is that I look at my emotional state now, and compare it to when I was in a couple, and let me tell you: the level of peace and happiness that I experienced while I was in a relationship doesn't even come close to the one I am experiencing in my life right now. Don't get me wrong; I lived very good times with that person, and I am deeply grateful for the happy times we spent together before the problems started, but deep down I knew that there were things about his personality that were at odds with my values, but I just decided to ignore them and give love a chance. However, I sadly learned that love is not enough to make a relationship work. How much are we willing to sacrifice for love? Are we willing to give up our dreams? To forget our ambitions? Are we willing to compromise our values? Do we surrender our own happiness? What happens when there are darker obstacles? There are many people (including myself) who fall deeply in love with someone who is not only wrong for them, but damaging. The person might be abusive. They may suffer from an addiction that you cannot tolerate. And then, they start bringing out the worst in you (this was starting to happen to me, after I had fought so hard to reach a level of peace and happiness that took me many years to achieve).
Hence, I pose the following question: How many of you have decided to settle for relationships that, deep down you know are headed nowhere, but you decide to stay in them nonetheless because you're too afraid to face whatever realities are waiting for you outside of that relationship? That, my friends, is called COMFORT ZONE! And I'm sorry, but I'm not a person who was born to live in it. In my experience, that comfort zone can get pretty damn uncomfortable when you don't see the energy and time invested in the relationship being reciprocated, and then your health starts to suffer in one way or another (constant tiredness, stress, anxiety...). It's either that, or knowing that your partner cheats on you but you decide to stick around regardless. Or maybe he/she abuses you (emotionally, mentally, physically), but you decide to stay in spite of that abuse. Or maybe you both reach a point where you argue more than you enjoy being together. Deciding to stay in such a relationship denotes nothing but a lack of self-love and self-respect. However, some people prefer to put up with all of that rather than have others point the finger at them saying: "Oh, look! There goes the spinster!" Not me, thank you very much. My self-love is above and beyond those silly opinions.
Don't misinterpret me; it's not like I don't want a partner in my life at all! On the contrary: I think that I've reached that point where I finally feel ready to give my all to my partner in crime. However, not having a partner doesn't hinder my happiness and doesn't limit my activities either: I take myself out on dates, I go to the movies, I do yoga, I stay home doing nothing but binge on Netflix and put on beauty treatments, go for a swim or just relax. I do things I love doing, regardless if I have someone else to do them with or not.
I am not afraid to go to a restaurant and ask for a table for one; to sit there for hours enjoying my meal looking at the crowd and sipping a glass of wine while getting lost in my thoughts. That for me is a real pleasure. I enjoy my own company as much as I enjoy the company of my best friends. Because I am my #1 bestie. I have to live with myself 24/7, so I'd better be!
Yesterday, for instance, I went out for dinner and had a great time: I started eating my meal in the outside terrace of my current favorite restaurant (the weather was super nice after rain had been in the forecast). I derived the uttermost pleasure in sipping down my glass of Spanish red wine, dipping my sweet potato fries, and spreading my red tuna tartar over small pieces of croutons. Just being able to afford such a nice meal in such a beautiful place is a blessing in itself. Why would I be sad for not having a partner sitting beside me at the dinner table? I would love to share my meal with someone special though, but while that happens, I'm not going to deny myself the pleasure of enjoying my own company over a delicious dinner. I refuse to let my life depend on someone else showing up to live it to the fullest.
I wanted to end this post with a couple of dictionary definitions (don't worry; it's not an academic lecture! LOL). It's just an exercise for you to understand my current relationship status: you, my friends, have to understand that there's a big difference between "loneliness" and "solitude":
SOLITUDE: "The state or situation of being alone"
LONELINESS: "Sadness because one has no friends or company"
See the difference? The word "sadness" is nowhere to be found in "solitude". My state is that of solitude; not loneliness.
I thank God for having a family that loves me and who constantly worries about me being 5,000 km away from them and friends who love me and support me unconditionally. I am also grateful for the love as deep as the ocean that resides in me; willing to be shared as soon as I find the right person. In the meantime, I give out this love not only to my family and my friends, but I put it in every deed I do: from the meal I lovingly prepare to nourish my body; to the intellect and energy I put into performing a job I absolutely love in the best way possible; to writing these lines in the hopes that, if you ever feel like you need my words to get you through a tough situation, this love soothes your soul.