Being Single is Okay, Great, and Even Powerful

So as I mentioned in my last post I’m single again. I’ve had some conversations with some people about what happened. But what it comes down to, is that I know I’m happy being single, and if I’m not happy with a man, there is only so much work that can be done before I go back to living a single and fulfilled life, rather than a stressful coupled one.

Part of the reason I’ve been writing about being single, solo, and dating, for all of these years is because I’ve always wanted to help others celebrate and normalize that being solo and unpartnered is not only okay and fine, it’s pretty awesome. I grew up in a place where people get married at 22. While I try not to judge, if you get married at 22, that’s you’re own decision, it’s like if you’re not married by 25, you’re unlovable. And being childless at 32? Oh dear god, I’m sure the whole town is still shaking their heads whenever I visit.

I spent my high school and college years in very serious long term relationships, because mostly that’s what I thought I needed to do. While certainly, neither was physically abusive, I certainly stayed in both my high school and college relationships much too long. I felt suffocated, controlled, and unhappy. My college relationship was a disaster, and I spent the better part of 4 years figuring it out. It’s the biggest regret I have in my life— staying too long and not learning to be happy being single.

And now I’m single again. He banked on the fact I’d stay. He’s a great person, but just never learned to be a great boyfriend or partner, and that’s what I’m looking for. He banked on the fact that once you’re in a relationship, you should stay in one, and I have different ideas.

“I need a partner who wants to come pick me up after I’ve been gone for a week. Who remembers my bday. Who comes to see me when I’m in the ER. I have to stop pretending someday that this will be you. Because it’s not.” This was my breakup text to him.

I write all this today to hopefully continue the normalization and conversation of encouraging you to not stay in relationships when you aren’t happy. That could mean so many things. I don’t claim to know what it’s like to be physically abused, dependent on someone, share children with someone, and I certainly understand those things create complications, but please remember, don’t stay with anyone you’re not happy with. Work hard at making it work, sure, don’t just give up every time things are difficult, but please do not stay with someone, especially someone who is mentally or physically abusive. I promise you will be okay. I promise.

Of course you all saw the Ray and Janay Rice video, and you probably heard about her defending him. This upsets me to the core of my being. I don’t attempt to put Janay down, or understand, but please, if you’re in a bad relationship, get out. Just get out. Live your life solo and safe.

-Melinda