#TheDatingDiaries: Why I Chose To Be Single (For So Long)

By today’s standards, it’s pretty odd to not have a single relationship by the age of 28.  Someone asked me why I have been single for so long, and I think the simple answer is because…I just wasn’t ready.

The more complicated answer is because, ever since I was little, there are things I’ve wanted to do in life.  Mostly related to making an impact on the world.  I don’t know why I didn’t think I could do that with someone in my life, but for some reason, I just…didn’t feel comfortable doing that.  Maybe it was fear that I wouldn’t be able to stand up for myself and say oh hey, I want to do this thing.  Maybe it’s because…I saw mostly sacrificing relationships growing up and I just thought that’s what it meant to be in a relationship.  Or maybe I detested the idea of tying self worth to your relationship, which I saw happen a lot.  I think I’ve learned a thing or two since then, and realized, none of those things are necessarily true (or untrue), it really just comes down to 2 people and what happens in between.

But all of that has taken time.  28 years to be exact, and I still don’t even know what I don’t know about a lot of things.  Most things maybe.  Who knows.  But I have also realized I can’t wait to be perfect or finish everything I’ve ever wanted or…the 20 billion other reasons why people don’t do the things they want to do.

I remember though, that during college I felt really strange- like there was something wrong with me because I didn’t want to date anyone there.  But I’ll never forget what one of my upperclassman friends told me- she was someone I really looked up to and respected, and she admitted that she had never been in a relationship either, and hey, if you’re not into it, don’t worry about it.  I don’t think she knew how much it meant to me, but I remember thinking, well, if Sheila isn’t in a relationship and I think she’s awesome, then there must be nothing wrong with not dating anyone. I think she saved me years of pain and heartache with that one assurance.  Because at the end of the day, I don’t think you can legitimately do anything you’re not ready for.  Even if it goes against what everyone else (and their mother, literally) is doing.

So this is for all those people that maybe, just maybe, don’t feel like going with the flow.  And I just wanted to tell you, like Sheila told me, it’s ok.  It’s genuinely ok. I have no idea what the future holds, but all I can say is that I’m really glad I made the life choices I have made.  They have taken me to where I am today, and I am proud of that.

And that, to me, is one of the most important things in this world. Being true to yourself.

That’s what I would define as success.

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