Relationships are super.
Someone to cuddle with on the regular? Sign me up!
Someone to break bread with every night and dates every weekend? Stoked!
Someone who loves me and appreciates the way I love them back…what could be better?
But somehow I’m happier when I’m single. It’s not because I like alone time or because I delight in playing the field—and I’m not comparing singlehood to bad relationships.
I’m talking about loving, carefree, exciting relationships with sexy, smart and 100 percent dateable people.
Do these types of relationships stress anyone else out? Or is it just me?
What I’m noticing is that my confidence in myself wilts and my overall happiness declines when I’m in a relationship. So why does my self-esteem seem to only stay strong and steady when I’m single? Why do I suddenly feel shaky and unsure when one person wants to give me an on-demand dose of warm and fuzzies?
I love warm and fuzzies!
The only culprit I can identify for this phenomenon is fear—ugly, relationship-ruining fear.
Somehow it seems easier to impress the whole wide world than my lover.
When I’m in love, I have something to lose. When I’m single, I may not always have someone to hold, but I have control. I have myself, my family and my social life. I have my hobbies, my dreams and let’s not forget I live in Hawaii!
Not much of this changes without my permission. There is nothing to fear.
Oh, but throwing a living, breathing, free-will (not to mention super sexy) human into the mix, changes everything.
This person is really shaking things up.
Let me be clear, I don’t toss out my friends or any part of my life when I’m in a relationship. I never have and I won’t stand for anyone who asks that I do.
But stirring in this magnificent person into the already perfect “cake batter” of my life causes this cook to get a bit panicky. What if I don’t have all the ingredients or add them in the right amounts? What if I don’t act right or I stop working out or I can’t put in enough time to keep everything perfect? I could try and bake a perfect cake and my lover could decide to jump right out of it and go running like the gingerbread man!
One thing’s for sure–my social life will never dump me. My favorite line from Pretty Woman comes to mind, where Vivian shouts, “I say who, I say when, I say…who!”
When I’m single, I know where I stand. I’m confident in my talents, looks and charisma. People regularly compliment me and I know that I’m attractive and desirable. I know that if I wanted a date tomorrow, I could probably land one. To be fair, I know that the date will most likely be a dud, but at least that’s predictable.
We probably won’t like each other—no big deal. I’m in control—my life stays the same, and delightfully so!
When I’m single I can be myself. There’s no one to impress.
I can slouch, go without makeup, burp and fart and I’m not letting anyone down but myself. Even when I don’t like it here, Singletown won’t banish me. I can stay as long as I want. Who’s the boss here? I am.
You can’t even step to this!
Yes it’s true, one shouldn’t be in a relationship with anyone who doesn’t allow you to be yourself, but who-I-am, changes. How long do I have to stay the “me” that attracted this awesome new mate? Can I show you my insecurities? Sure maybe, but when and how much? Great. Now I’m calculating my “me-ness” and how much someone sees.
Was I even “me” when we met? Maybe not.
When I’m single, I don’t need hello and goodbye kisses every day to feel cherished. A chat with mom in the morning, lunch with a friend and a snuggle with my roommate after work and my love needs are met.
When I’m in a relationship it means I have attracted someone special. Whether I was smart, pretty or fun, I did something to make someone really happy. Now they want to be around me—a lot. They want to relish in the pleasure of my presence. I better keep it up.
I better stay stunning!
When I’m in love with someone and committed to them it means I love them above all others—they’re my new favorite. This person is the bee’s knees! Top notch! The cat’s pajamas! How could anyone be this talented, smart and attractive? And how could this impressive someone want to spend their life with little ol’ me?
Agreed, I am awesome, but we all know I showed them my best side when we met.
How long until my other sides fall out of my pocket? I have lots of sides—hairy sides, dirty sides and sandpapery sides.
When I’m in love with someone, I think to myself, “You’re so cute. I better be cute too.” I see other women who are prettier and smarter than me and I wonder why he keeps coming back my way. When I’m single, I don’t compare myself to other women. I could really not care less. Why do I care now?
It’s because could lose my love to one of them and that thought can be a daily dose of disturbing.
Being awesome is more fun when there’s no effort. I like being awesome for the fun of it. Not because I need to impress my love.
When I’m single and awesome, it’s all for me. And when I’m not awesome, nobody leaves.
So what to do? I honestly don’t know. Maybe I’m not ready for a relationship. Maybe I’ve not been in a relationship with the right person. Maybe I have some work to do on myself. It’s probably all three.
But I’m writing this note to myself today after being a serial monogamist for my entire life. I have no business being in a relationship until I get this figured out. Stay where it’s light and fun. Stay single. Stay awesome.
And who cares how the cake turns out—it’s fattening anyways.
Author: Lealyn Poponi
Editor: Renée Picard
Image: Mateus Lunardi Dutra/Flickr