Relationships: Why I don’t mind being single

Photo courtesy of California Psychics

Photo courtesy of California Psychics

I’m sure I’m not the first person to admit this, but third-wheeling isn’t fun. Even though it makes me incredibly happy watching my friends fall in love, it always sparks a little bit of jealousy. Throughout middle school and high school, I’ve watched as my friends got in and out of relationships, went on dates and cried over boys and girls. I listened to their problems and gave advice even though I am not the most credible source, and that was fine with me. 

I have never been in a relationship, kissed someone or even went on a date, it just never happened for me. And I never cared. Until other people did.

It wasn’t until high school that everyone around me became obsessed with wanting a relationship. Whenever my friends and I were talking about the subject and I admitted I don’t have any experience, it was usually followed by the condescending “you’ll find someone eventually,” or worse, they said they feel sorry for me. 

Even though I didn’t agree with them, their responses made me feel self-conscious. So when I found out that someone I liked was also interested in me, I jumped at the opportunity to turn it into something more, when in hindsight, it wasn’t what either of us wanted.

We talked for months before I even admitted I had feelings for them, and their response was that they’re a bad influence on me and that I should stay away. Big red flag, I know that now, but at the time I just didn’t care. But then they asked to meet up alone, and I got cold feet. I canceled the plans two days before and wrote them about how I wasn’t ready for a relationship, to which they responded that it wasn’t what they were looking for in the first place. This happened last year, and we haven’t talked since.

This experience caused me to reflect a lot on my way of communicating and what I actually wanted. Did I really want to date this person or did I just want to check off a box and feel like I belong? Did I like them or the person I wanted them to be? The answer to both was the latter, and once I came to terms with that and what I truly wanted, I was able to live more freely.

I felt more comfortable building relationships with people without the constant pressure of impressing the other person. I was more comfortable letting my true personality show and the friendships that came from that were much more authentic that way.

I learned that right now, I don’t want or need a relationship. This realization allowed me to take a step back from the romance-obsessed society we live in and helped me focus on things that mattered to me such as school, finding new hobbies and finding out more about myself.

I am not writing this to discourage anyone from dating, or because I’m upset I’m not “getting any”. I’m writing this because I wish someone told my younger self that there is nothing wrong with not wanting to date and waiting until you feel ready and because I want to be that person for others that feel the same way.