And where is love, you may find yourself asking with every lonely minute that passes by.
You didn’t think it would take this long when you stayed up dreaming about the person who was going to love you for the rest of your life when you were just a tiny human being with your whole life ahead of you, right?
Yet, somehow your whole life seems to be coming to an end as you approach 30, because it is supposed to represent some huge milestone dividing the place where anything was possible and all the places you thought you’d be by now. A job that pays well, a home, and a person to grow old with. And now, years later as creases begin to appear on your skin and only your limbs cover the surfaces of your bed, you begin to think maybe this is it. It’ll just be me.
I used to think God forgot about me, and I’m not even religious. But it was easier to blame somebody for the impeding loneliness. I used to yell at him on the evenings when sleep would not come, but loneliness found me instead. On nights when being single had lost its perks and vodka slowed the time and churned my stomach in anxiety, I would cry and raise my hands in prayer and ask why he had forgotten to make me a soulmate.
I know that was the wrong way to pray. I was supposed to ask for patience, or strength, but those things took time and spending time feeling that lonely was something I couldn’t bear any longer.
I began to wear cynicism as a protective blanket. It was easier to pretend to lose hope in romance, in love, than let the world see how hopelessly romantic I actually was. I turned my nose at love, tasted bile in my mouth whenever I saw a couple holding hands and I showed up to dates with pessimism glowing, rejecting any potential before they even had a chance.
A part of me felt that maybe I was meant to be alone. That maybe God didn’t make soulmates for all of us, as a way to build a stronger love. A love for oneself. And maybe some of these unaccompanied souls would act as martyrs for the other lonely souls, teaching them about self-love and about the strength that builds once you fight loneliness and tell it to “F*ck off.” Allowing yourself to admit that you’re okay by yourself. That this idea of being with someone is just another societal pressure.
This allowed me to give my loneliness a meaning, a purpose making it easier to bear.
It was also just another romantic idea I sold myself.
The grander the idea, the more beautiful I could make my story.
It’s not easy to admit you want love when you’re just not finding it. I know what it feels like to be completely fine doing your own thing, but desperately hoping that you won’t have to be on your own forever. To be independent, but wish you had someone to just hold you when you have had a bad day. These aren’t easy things to admit, though we may all want them, to admit these desires would bruise the ego and evoke pity from others. Pity isn’t needed, because I was always going to be fine, the difference is I wanted to be over the moon in love.
Love isn’t something you plan for. It’s not a goal you can predict to accomplish by the time you reach a certain age. I do believe it is out there. For everyone. For everyone who wants it. For everyone who has love to give. Love won’t be at that party you hope to meet someone at. Love won’t come when you’re ready or when you least expect it.
Don’t believe in anything you hear.
Love is random and weird and comes at all the wrong times at exactly the right moment. You don’t find it by being patient or trying harder, f*ck patience you’re not waiting for anyone or trying for anyone, you just keep living. Keep being un-apologetically you, break all the dating rules, be strange and unique and beautiful, but keep going. God, the universe, whatever you may believe in didn’t forget about you, so you mustn’t lose yourself to loneliness.
Just keep living, do all the things you wanted to do with or without partner, and love will find you.
Author: Yvette Alatorre
Editor: Catherine Monkman
Photo: Martin Comeau/Flickr