Being in love is brilliant but even if I met the man of my dreams right now, there’s no way in hell I’d get into a relationship.
When a woman says she doesn’t want a relationship, why don’t people believe her? Every time I say it, all I get is skepticism. The assumption tends to be that I’m wounded or trying to play it cool.
It’s especially confusing for people when I say I still want to date. A woman who wants to date casually without secretly planning to trap a man in a relationship?
My male friends, on the other hand, get away with this statement without a shrug of the shoulders – something about being cavemen and their prerogative to spread their seed. I’ve been asked if I’m disillusioned with love, but I can honestly say I’ve only had wonderful experiences. My parents are mad about each other and have been together over 30 years, my grandparents over 50. Yes I’ve been heartbroken but I’ve played pivotal roles in those situations, so I don’t resent love (anymore).
Maybe I don’t want anyone to get in they way of my career? Well I’m certainly driven but I’ve learnt it’s not the only thing that will satisfy me. No, the reasons I don’t want a relationship are far more considered than that.
Six reasons I want to stay single right now…
1. I want to know myself first.
I figure if I take the time to understand who I am, then I’ll be better equipped to navigate a relationship. What makes me difficult to live with? How do I treat those closest to me when I’m distressed? What do I want for my life and what do I need from a partner? Perhaps I need someone who wants to be a stay at home Dad, or a man with a lust for travel and adventure. If I can’t answer these questions just yet, then I’m no use to anyone.
2. I want to be a great partner.
I’ve been in a relationship where I didn’t know myself. And I felt I couldn’t move forward because of it. My gut was telling me I would never give my partner what he required because I simply didn’t have the tools. I’d rather not get into that situation again. I want to be the kind of partner who offers strength, kindness and is a source of stability, not uncertainty.
3. I want to enjoy being on my own, so I don’t fear being on my own.
We’re conditioned to feel that being on your own is a worst-case scenario. There’s nothing more tragic than not finding love. It makes me wonder how many people wind up with someone purely out of the fear they’ll end up alone. I’d much rather learn to love my own company so I walk into a relationship for only the right reasons.
4. Because relationships are hard work, and I’m not willing to give back right now.
You have to be ready to compromise, to let someone else know your plans, to balance your dreams with theirs. You have to be ready to cope with someone else’s moods, to deal with the anxiety of their withdrawal. You have to be ready to get to know someone else and love his or her family. You have to be willing to give up some form of freedom. And for most of that, I’m simply not ready.
5. Because being single is a hell of a lot of fun.
The best part about being single is meeting new people. And not just the people you date, it’s mostly about the friends you make. You’re more open and willing to say “yes” to trying new things because there’s no one to hold you back with the lure of comfort.
6. Because I’m not so sure it would make me happy, just yet.
Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been very happy in love. Head over heels and planning to marry. But not knowing myself and having the time to develop my own sense of identity, I was frustrated without understanding why. It makes me certain you need more than love to make a relationship work.
And before you tell me this will all change once I meet the right guy, or that I shouldn’t close myself off from love, I totally understand that. But I think so many of us wind up marrying the wrong people because we don’t give ourselves the opportunity for personal growth. I’d like to learn to stand on my own first.
So yes, even if I met that brilliant man tomorrow I’d ask him to wait. I don’t want a relationship, I’m just not ready yet.