Living single in a #CoupleGoals kinda world
“Alexa, play single ladies by Beyonce”
The Millenials reading this will understand what I mean when I say it’s “Cuffin Season.” For the “old heads” (hey, mom 😉), “Cuffin Season” starts once Summer ends. Essentially this means the single folks are on the hunt for someone to snuggle with during the colder months. Generally, those situations end right before it gets warm again. It’s a cyclical process, really. One that gets real old, real fast.
My participation wasn’t warranted this year & I’m comfortable in that space 💆🏽 So far, my 35th year has been a year of reflection. I recently walked away from a year-long situation that taught me a lot. I have been a serial monogamist since my early 20s. The longest I’ve been single was about a year and a half (or so). That was right after my relationship with my youngest son’s dad & staying single was quite the feat for me 👏🏽
Social media can exacerbate the “loneliness” that comes with being single. Every other post is #couplegoals 👫🏽 Couples vacationing, dancing, doing Tik Toks, proposals, marriages, buying Birkins, gushy chapters for captions, the list goes on 😓 Quite frankly, it can be exhausting if you aren’t mentally and emotionally comfortable being alone.
For me, I enjoy seeing the posts and yes, I get envious at times. Do you realize how much more lit my IG page would be if I had a man who contributed his own amazing personality?! 🤔 😂 In all seriousness, I’m wise enough to know that behind many of those posts are one or two unhappy people – merely perpetrating for the ‘gram. If it isn’t real in real life, I don’t want it 🚫
As I’ve gotten older, I’ve realized that relationships shouldn’t define me. I’m guilty, like many other women, of losing myself with the man I was dating 😔 I found it to be even worse once I became a mom. I know my fellow moms can relate – giving so much of ourselves to our partners and children while neglecting our own needs and desires. It’s defeating.
But to have a fulfilling, successful relationship with someone else, you have to have one with yourself first 💯 You have to put in the work and heal from past traumas before moving forward. Heal from past traumas – I’m saying that one more time for the people in the back 🗣️ Many of us don’t realize the weight trauma (in all forms) bares on us and our partners until it’s too late. If you know this, then why repeat the cycle?! That’s the definition of insanity.
Please know that this concept applies to both men and women. From my perspective, I see it more frequently with men, especially Black men. I’ve met (and dated) men who didn’t do the work necessary to heal from their past. Whether it’s heartbreak from love or childhood trauma, they didn’t heal from it but then tried to embark on a relationship. It hardly ever works.
So do the work. Otherwise, you will find yourself attracted to those who are like-minded or those who you hope can heal you. Either way, it’s a recipe for disaster 🙅🏽 Living a life full of joy and peace, one that is not defined by the people you date is attainable with just a little self-worth, self-love, and self-work. Trust me, it’s well worth the effort.
Settling and compromise aren’t synonymous
In my wiser years, I’ve also realized that I don’t have to settle when it comes to the major things that impact me, my life, and my children in the long term 👎🏽 I’m willing to compromise for the right man, but as I’ve gotten older, I’ve learned that there are just certain things I’m not willing to waiver on when it comes to considering a man as my future husband. Relationships involve compromise, but they shouldn’t involve giving up your morals, beliefs, etc to make your partner happy.
Nor do I believe in staying with the father of my children for the sake of my children (hence why I’m no longer with either of my baby daddies 😜). Growing up, I remember seeing married couples who were clearly unhappy – stay together for their kids. Then once their kids were old enough, many of those couples got divorced. It’s quite sad. Giving up your life to provide your kids with what society deems as the right thing for them.
It’s bullshit. I mean, I GET IT and I understand why the older generations did it. But in this day and age, if your relationship is really THAT bad, kids or no kids – get the fuck out 🏃🏽 I’m almost positive that many of the folks who watched their parents have an unhealthy marriage would have wanted their parents to be happy, even if it meant them not being under the same roof.
So be willing to compromise, but don’t walk into a new relationship blindly. Be firm about what your expectations are and don’t waver. We all deserve what we want. There are too many damn people in this world for us to settle with one who doesn’t have much to offer in the grand scheme of things. Remember, it’s about the future, not the present. It’s easy to get caught up in what your partner provides for you in the now, but it’s what they can provide in the future that really matters.
Normalize having “off” days
To be perfectly honest, being single during the holidays is tough. Last night, I was watching Christmas movies and started getting emotional because you KNOW those are full of sappy moments 😭 And, I occasionally wonder what my life would be like had I stayed with a particular person or if I was married. Would I be happy? Would I feel as fulfilled and emboldened to live life as I want? I used to envision my wedding day, but that has since become a blur 🥴
At times, I cry. 35, unmarried, with 2 kids from 2 different dads is not how I saw my life play out. Albeit, the tears are but for a few moments because, you know, motherhood 🤪 But feeling this way is normal and we should normalize feeling those emotions. We should normalize all of us having “off” days because life happens. We should normalize it as much as we should normalize breastfeeding in public! I have learned to allow myself to feel lonely or sad, BUT I don’t let it overthrow my days. After all, I’m only human.
What I’m learning in my 30s about love and relationships is that everything happens for a reason. With confidence, I can say that my past relationships have contributed to the phenomenal woman I am today 😁 I am comfortable in the space that I am, even if it means being single. I have learned so much about myself along the way and have been able to better identify my non-negotiables.
More importantly, I’m able to walk away from any situation that does not align with the energy I surround myself with. And if it doesn’t serve me (figuratively speaking), then, bye-bye! I walk away knowing that what is for me will happen in God’s time ⏳ Gone are the days that I remain in a relationship just to say I have something. That isn’t healthy nor progressive for anyone involved.
All too often, humans project and plan around a life they think they’re going to have. The reality is that God/Universe has already preordained our destiny. Every moment we experience is just a stepping stone towards our future. It is when we accept this reality that we can find happiness in being single.
At the end of the day, I’m not looking for the perfect man. Shit, I’m not even looking! 🙈 If I have learned anything as an adult, it is that the perfect partner does NOT exist. I’m simply waiting for the right man to come along and complement my already blessed life because glory to God, my cup runneth over! 🙌🏽 But if marriage isn’t in my cards, I’m at peace with that. I just want to apologize to my mom in advance though! I know she wants at least one of her two daughters to get married, one day. Oddly enough it could very well be the one who used to be anti-government/anti-marriage (love you, sis 😜)
Stay safe ❤️