Dating someone doesn't mean that you're giving up your personal freedom. You can still be in a relationship but get to live your life.
“I just love my freedom and I don’t want to lose myself,” says the single lady. One of the greatest fear of the single lady is losing herself and her independence once she says “I do”. The married do not necessarily paint a beautiful picture of married, you will hear them lament about missing their old life and their inability to do what they what whenever they want.
Independence is something we take very seriously when debating the pros and cons of being single versus being in a relationship. I’ve had married friends advise me not to settle down until I have accomplished all that I dreamed about. If you ask me why I have been single for so long, I will tell you it’s because I did not want to give up my freedom too soon. But now I know better.
I still believe that it’s important and healthy for a woman to be alone for some time before settling down. I call it the incubation period where the single woman finds herself, learns what makes her happy and achieves her wildest dreams. How long should you be alone? Depends on the person, there is no universal time table for how long it takes to find yourself and become strong solo. There is, however, the possibility of falling too deep into the single mentality that you become jaded and misguided. Trust me I know. If you have been a keen reader of my column you know I am the queen of single. I’ve been single for five years straight and by that, I mean I haven’t been labeled as someone’s “girlfriend” in those years but I’ve been in situationships with men that felt very much like a relationship without the title (#SingleProblems).
While my single period has been the best time of my life, I’ve found myself falling into this abyss of the singleton where I believed I don’t need anyone. I began to feed into the misconception that I would somehow be sacrificing my happiness or my free time or my sanity if I chose to get into a relationship, and so, I’d kind of push that entire concept away.
It was so easy to think that since all the situationships I found myself in, made me feel as though relinquishing those parts of myself was absolutely necessary. Even in past relationships I had to sacrifice a piece of myself or happiness to make it work so that’s how I viewed love.
After years of self-reflection and analysis I see all this was based on a faulty prototype. I now know that love is never meant to be a reward for my sacrifice. Don’t get me wrong. Every relationship involves some compromise, but a compromise is different than giving up a part of yourself for a relationship, and I hope you can decipher the difference.
Getting into a relationship shouldn’t feel like a sacrifice all it requires is finding someone who understands your lifestyle and is willing to roll with it, not change it. For example if you are an entrepreneur you need someone that understands that there are busy days and there are easy days, if you travel a lot you need someone who is okay with your long absence or can join you and if you are a wild child, you need a guy who won’t try to tame you.
Also you don’t have to give up your time alone. We all need some alone time to re-calibrate and get our minds right. Most people suffocate their partners because they think being with them all the time is an indication of love but it’s not. True love is about being able to give each other healthy distance without fear of losing them.
However, most women feel like being in a committed relationship –especially marriage- means giving up certain aspects of our lifestyle that make us happy but that shouldn’t be the case (unless you’re talking about sleeping around). A healthy relationship should not make you feel like you’re giving up the parts of you and your life that help you feel alive. It should feel like you’re now adding someone special into the equation to share those experiences with, and that’s a beautiful thing.