Should I Be Alone Instead of in a Relationship?
You might be wondering if you should be alone or single. Know that it is ok to be single and it is ok to be alone, but how do you know if that choice in life is right for you right now? Consider some of these major points that will help you determine what is best for you at this stage of your development. Many people find great joy in exploring single life and turning their energy inward.
1. You’re Dating to Make Other People Happy
he biggest red flag and indicator that you should be alone is if you are simply in a relationship to make others happy or for some measure of status. Maybe your parents want to see you with someone, but you’d rather be alone or you just aren’t feeling them. Well, guess what? It’s your life and you deserve to be alone if that is what makes you happy.
If your parents are pressuring for you to date or get married, put on the brakes. Maybe they want you to have kids now because they wish to be grandparents, well, that’s not cool. Throw tradition out the window and know that you are an independent woman of the 21st century. It’s your body and your choice. If you’ve told them that you don’t want a boyfriend or husband right now and they aren’t respecting that, maybe it’s time to create some distance. Your parents might just be trying to protect you or projecting what they think is best for you, but that doesn’t make it what’s truly best for you, after all.
Many people have met someone by the time they are 30. After that stage in life, the dating pool does tend to shrink, but things are totally changing. Hey, we aren’t living in the 1900s. There are plenty of single women and men in their 40s - in addition to their 30s and 20s - it’s not like the olden days. There are options down the road and guess what, you don’t need a boyfriend or husband to complete you. Some people choose to be unpaired for life, and that’s fine. Bottom line, don’t date if you do not want to. That’s your decision, always.
2. Your Life Partner Is Not the Right Fit
So, maybe you’ve always had a partner or been dating and have never known what it is like to be single. Does the thought of being single scare you? Maybe you don’t even like the person you are with but it beats being single? Well, that’s not a good reason to date. You’re wasting not just your time but their time, too, and that’s kind of selfish. Let’s face it, you don’t know what to do with yourself when you are single or maybe you don’t know how to support yourself. You will need to figure it out then - it’s time you made yourself happy, establish your own hobbies, and do you.
Get into running, painting, reading, or working out...think of the things you have always wanted to do. Figure out how you can get that dream job or move out on your own and support yourself. Maybe you can move in with roommates and save some money. Whatever it is that you choose to do and pursue, establish your independence. Don’t just stay with someone because they are supporting you, especially if you are unhappy with them. It’s not worth it and you’re just using them- not cool. Go back to school and get motivated, or get a job and start somewhere.
3. Your Partner Is Abusive
Are you wondering if you should be alone for a less talked about reason - does your partner abuse you? If your partner is calling you fat, ugly, hitting you, or making you feel worthless and like you can’t meet anyone, you have to leave. This behavior is extremely manipulative. Psychological, emotional, and physical abuse is all abuse. It’s time to get out, get help, and even save your life. Your partner is simply manipulating you into staying with them. They are insecure and want to keep you around by making you feel close to nothing. This actually speaks to their insecurity.
If you think that no one else will want to be with you, understand that it is because your abuser has worked hard to damage your self-esteem. You are not unworthy, you are great, and the negative things they have to say about you is simply a lie. This planet hosts billions of people and guaranteed 1 in a billion will want to be with you. That’s a fact.
If you are experiencing physical abuse, please reach out to an emergency hotline to help get out of your dangerous and damaging situation. And guess what? You didn’t cause this. Your partner has worked hard to bring you down. You will find love and it doesn’t have to involve abuse. Many women and men need help with getting out of relationships where there is domestic violence present. Those that get out of bad relationships are thriving and happy. You can experience this kind of self-love, too. The road will be tough and you will have to be patient, but you will find your sense of peace and your confidence again.
Reasons to Keep Dating
So you are dating but you’re not sure if you should be single or alone? Here are some indications that you might be on the right path and shouldn’t give up so soon. Learn how to align with what you want.
1. You Want a Companion but Don’t Have Time for Dating
Maybe you really want to date but you are so busy with your career and work or school that you don’t have time. You may have been telling yourself that you don’t have time for quite a while now, and you’ve really started to believe it. You might be telling yourself that once you get less busy, you will be able to date in the future. Well, that time may never come.
So, keep at it and keep dating - find a way to make time for it if it’s important for you. Find a partner that is just as busy or aligned with you on what they need to do. Let them know that you value your career and achievements but still want the relationship to work. If they’re the right person, they will understand.
2. You Were Hurt in the Past
Say you were hurt in the past and don’t want to date anymore, but really want a connection with someone. At some point you are really going to have to open up your heart again and try. Love brings on pain, this is a known, but being alone can be even more painful down the road. It depends on what you’re all about. Get to a place where you are whole and can open up to love again. You might just be surprised.
3. You Are Worried No One Will Be Attracted to You so You Don’t Try
You are going to need to repair your self-esteem first before going out in the dating world. Yes, a lot of people are superficial when dating, but true relationships are all about the connection. Someone, somewhere in the world - Mr. Right or Mrs. Right - is going to love you. You will never know if you don’t take a chance, so put on your best, get ready, and put yourself out there. All you can do is try. Practice affirming words of appreciation in the mirror - you might start to believe in yourself.
4. You Are Hoping Someone Will Ask You Out First
If you are a hopeless romantic or hoping someone will ask you out first, so you don’t really try and are just waiting for the right moment, it’s time to make a move. Times have changed and shy people can get a long way in the dating world with the advantages of the internet. Random interaction is less common these days with all the online media and community. If you are waiting for the magic moment you faint into your lover’s arms, well, it probably won’t happen because that’s unrealistic. It’s time to start connecting. Join an online dating app, a fun group, or even a singles group. Put yourself out there and test the waters.
5. You Are an Introvert and Like Your Private Time
So maybe you are an introvert, you do want a relationship, but you worry that having a partner will take up time and energy and you won’t get to recharge. Is this why you’ve been avoiding dating because you like your personal space, right?
Well, you should still date and perhaps meet another introvert or someone who understands your needs and boundaries. It’s important to explain your needs when you first meet people. If you don’t like texting but prefer talking on the phone, simply explain that, or vice versa. If you like going out and socializing but also require a certain number of alone hours per day, explain that too. Introversion doesn’t mean you need to shut yourself off from the world, you simply need to embrace what you’re about.
6. You’re Way Too Picky
So maybe you are way too picky and always find something wrong with the person you’re seeing. You might like this but not that, and so on and so forth. Well, that’s not fair. Waiting for Mr. Perfect to come around might take you a lifetime. You might still be sifting through many, many guys in the process. You might wind up being 55 with 15 exes and still not have found Mr. Right. Is that what it’s really all about? No, it’s not, so check your expectations.
There’s nothing wrong with having expectations and being able to identify Mr. Wrong, but you want to be aligned on Mr. Right. There are men out there who will bring you flowers and plan fancy dinner dates in the early stages, but long-term relationships aren’t just about the courting phase. You should like a guy that is compatible with you in many areas, treats you well, shares your joy, and more. In long-term relationships, expect to get annoyed with each other. Conflicts naturally arise and things are never perfect. You have to work through them to make it last.
Of course, if you like being single and like casually dating, then great for you - you’re allowed to keep doing it. That’s your life and your choice. But if you’re feeling lonely and stumped on dating, maybe look inward and consider if you need to change something about yourself. You might be alone but wish to be coupled up. You might wish to date but don’t mind being alone. It’s all up to you.
This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.
© 2020 Briar Lewis