In this popular post from 2013, Rosie Waterland reflects on why being single isn’t so frightening after all.
My last boyfriend left me three years ago, and I have only just got over the break-up.
Not the guy – I got over that idiot a long time ago.
When I say I’ve only just got over the break-up, I mean I’ve finally stopped fighting the urge to not be alone. I’ve finally realised that being alone isn’t the terrifying scenario I always thought it was. It only took me 27 years, but I’ve finally realised that I am enough for me.
I finally realised that I don’t need anyone to save me because I can save myself.
But until I had to actually be my own Wonder Woman, I never for a second thought that I could be. I always just assumed that I would need a man to save me from lonliness and make me happy.
I assumed wrong. In the last three years, I figured out how to be okay on my own, and I ended up a kicking life’s arse because of it. Here’s what happened:
My last relationship was a total disaster from beginning to end. I remember telling Nick when we first got together that I shouldn’t be dating anyone, because I had a lot of trauma from my childhood that I needed to learn how to deal with. I self-harmed. I had the beginnings of an eating disorder. I had attempted suicide on more than one occasion. I obviously needed to sort myself out.
But he insisted. Within a couple of weeks of seeing each other he was saying that he loved me and I was the girl of his dreams and he knew that I was the girl he would marry and have babies with and blah blah blah.
Moving that fast would probably be a major warning sign for most people, but I had never had a proper family or a stable home, and hearing that someone wanted to build that with me was kind of intoxicating. He made me forget how crappy I had been feeling. He made me forget a lot of things that I needed to work on.
I had found a lonliness band-aid.
Obviously, it was doomed from the start. Anyone who says they love you after two weeks doesn’t actually love you, but I was so deliriously happy that I let myself believe it.
I forgot that band-aids are only temporary.
So when the infatuation died down and Nick began to realise that I wasn’t actually the girl he loved, I lost it. When the band-aid started coming off, I went into battle mode. I was not going to be left alone again.
As I felt him pulling away, all the problems I should’ve spent time learning how to deal with on my own came flooding back. The self-harming became constant. The eating disorder became an unstoppable force. I had daily panic attacks. And when he finally left me for someone else, I had a complete nervous breakdown, tried to kill myself and ended up in a mental hospital.