- Marissa George
Four Love lessons i have learned as a single girl
If you would have told me back in high school that i would be single for all of my 20s i would have laughed in your face. You see, it was in High school where i concocted my 10 to 20 year plan, that included a husband and at least 1 child by the time i was 30. Fast forward to now, 30 (almost 31) and that future i fantasied about as a teen makes me cringe, yet i am still hopeful that these things will come to fruition. Why am i telling you this? Well.... because i know that this time of the year, right between winter and the anticipated blossoming season spring, can brings alot of happiness to some (the potential of new relationships), and anxiety for others (single no matter the season ). If you are single, it is almost expected that you will be some what annoyed by all the "love" in the air, and the "maybe you will find someone " comments that you constantly hear.
I definitely use to be (still am sometimes still)the anxious mess of a girl, dramatically laying on my bed as if the world was about to end because i was everything single. Thankfully my behavior and view of my single life has changed, and no it is not because i am tired of waiting, or just gave up. I changed the way i viewed myself, and i changed the way i viewed love in general. When you are single it is all to easy to view love in a singular context of romantic love, rather than all the possibilities of love we have all around us. I learned to look past my current relationship status and focus on everything else i have going on in my life. Stephen R. Covey, the author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People wrote, “To change ourselves effectively, we first have to change our perceptions". Perspective is when you are single. Without a positive perspective , bitterness and/or desperation can take control of our lives.
For me to live as a changed person with a positive perspective i had to learn hard lessons (and no i did not have to date all the wrong people to learn them), and i had to recognize what those lessons have taught me. Here are four lessons i have learned as a single girl.
Lesson 1 : Do you love yourself?
Yes i know, every single article online, in magazines, and in books talk about self love, and i am sure you are sick of reading it. However, it is talked about for a very good reason, it is one of the most important lessons we have to learn, and continue learning throughout our lives, single, dating, or married. Loving one self does not mean selfishness, but an acknowledgment of your worth. When we know our worth, we set boundaries when necessary, we exude confidence, and we are don't waste time on anyone or anything that will bring down our worth. Loving yourself is much more than a single girl over used mantra, it should be the only way to view ourselves.
Lesson 2: You do not have to date everybody.
One of the most annoying advice, and in my opinion the worst advice a single women can get is to "just date". What does that even mean?! It usually alludes to going on a continuous string of dates, without much thought about whether or not the person is really worth going on a date with. Lets be real for a second....everyone has the potential to go out and date anyone. The problem arises when compatibility is put to the test. This misconception that without an extensive dating log, you are not experienced enough to be considered for a committed relationship, or you lack the know how to date all together, or the best lie of them all, that you can't know love without heartbreak... is FALSE. Wisdom does not always come after folly, sometimes your intuition is enough for you to steer clear, or you learn by other peoples misfortunes. So to summarize, you do not have to date around, or have bad experiences to learn valuable lessons about dating and relationships.
Lesson 3: Understand what love is, and isn't.
If you have every watched the bachelor, or bachelorette, the word love is thrown around like a used rag at a bargain sale. It always blows my mind how our culture has become so nonchalant about a word that should never be taken for granted, or out of context. Think about the amount of times per day , you say that you "love" something, do you actually love it? or are we just so desensitized to what love actually is that it has become another thing to hashtag. To love is to connect deeply and wholeheartedly. Its intense and it is supposed to be, because more often than not it is self sacrificing. Take the time to think before you say you love someone or something, understanding and recognizing the difference will add more value to your relationships when you say it.
Lesson 4 : Acknowledge the love around you.
Your single status does not mean that you are void of love, or incapable of love, or that you have to chase love. It is literally all around you. This was one of the most important lessons i have learned on mt single woman journey; i have love in my life and it is definitely worth appreciating. Yes of course romantic love is going to be different than the love shown towards friends, and family but like all relationships it requires patience, respect, honesty and trust. Attributes i believe should be used in all relationships regardless of their genre. Start appreciating what you have, and spend less time worrying about what you do not have, regardless of when your single season will change. Start anticipating more personal growth, accomplishments, friendships and happiness to come your way. Create the life you deserve without waiting for someone to create the life for you.