By Brittney Hemmands
Blog Content Contributor
During my twenty years of living, I have craved the same thing any other human being would crave: a relationship. It was to my surprise that 2017 marked my three years of being single. I was sitting scrolling through my pictures when I had the thought that three years is a long time, and although there were occasional dates here and there, I spent the majority of the time not talking to anyone and focusing on myself. It was weird to think about how different things were when I first got out of my last relationship. What really shocked me is how much I have learned as a person and how much change happened. In this time, I have moved from Georgia to Texas to go to college, met new friends, owned my first apartment, and found what career I really wanted to pursue. Having to deal with all of those events, I wondered what changed my mentality on my singleness and how I stayed sane knowing that the one thing I really wanted I had not gotten. So here are a few things I have learned in these three years.
SINGLENESS IS NOT A CURSE
In the beginning of my journey, I dreaded being single. Being lonely was the worst feeling in the world to me. I felt left out because all of my friends were hopping in and out of relationships and were wishing for me to find someone just as great and promising me that my time was coming. For a while, I had developed this toxic mentality and was not using the time I had to myself wisely. It was then that I realized that being single gave me the time to work on myself and to find who I really was. When I changed my mentality, a “curse” turned into a blessing.
SELF LOVE COMES FIRST
I struggled with this one for months. I continually wanted someone to love me for who I was, yet I could not even love myself for who I was. I had to embrace myself completely, from my curly 4B hair to my brown skin with scars. It was important for me to understand one thing: you cannot look for the love that you cannot give to yourself. It was at this point when I found happiness again without depending on anyone else to give it to me.
CONNECTIONS ARE NOT JUST ROMANTIC
The hardest time for me to stay content was during the holidays. I constantly saw these photos of couples and articles of fun activities to do with a significant other. I was looking at what I did not have, instead of embracing what I already had: a loving family and amazing friends. Connections do not have to just be with a lover; I could find deep connections with those I had around me already. I had to teach myself to be more grateful instead of focusing on what I lacked, and when I did that, more blessings started to come my way.
A RELATIONSHIP IS NOT THE ONLY GOAL
Having a significant other seemed like the ending the goal of my life. I would meet someone, start a relationship, get married, and eventually have kids. That was how it was supposed to go, so I spent most of my time focusing on when I was going to meet that person. I had to sit down and think, “Is a relationship the only thing I want out of life?” The answer was obviously no. I had a lot of goals and I wanted to work towards them as well. I had to learn to direct my focus to other things I could change, instead of focusing on the one thing I could not. I am tremendously grateful for this, because it helped me accomplish things I never would have accomplished if a relationship was my only goal.
Although I still want a relationship in the future, I have learned to be content in the period of singleness I am now. It can be difficult wanting something and not being able to know when it will come to you, but putting things in a different perspective helped me work on what I can do now instead of worrying about what happens later. For all of you out there that are also in a similar time in life, I want to advise you to remember these things when down. I know they will help you as much as they have helped me.
Featured image contributed by Brittney Hemmands.