“Can I please set you up?” she asks.
“I ended a relationship four months ago,” I reply.
“Yeah, but he just wasn’t right for you; it’s time to get back in the game!” she exclaims.
I adore my friend for her caring nature and wanting for me to be in a fulfilling and healthy relationship.
At the same time, there is a period after a relationship ends that is a calling. It’s a calling to recalibrate and to fall back in love with being alone and what that means.
A relationship requires effort, a toxic relationship exhausts and depletes us, and a healthy relationship opens our eyes to the things that still need our attention. (And if the connection isn’t strong enough, it will end.)
I met a great guy, and I had a great couple of months with him, but I found myself questioning the depth of the connection. He ticked all the right boxes, but I ticked only a few—both of us had wants that I felt neither one of us could truly meet.
I came to find that as much as we had the goodness of friendship, trust, and loyalty, my demons started to rear their ugly heads.
The things I once thought I had conquered wholeheartedly came back with full force, and I was confronted with situations that required me to prove how far I had come in recovery. (Hi, my name is Mandy, and I’m a love addict.)
I am not ashamed to admit that in many of those situations, I failed, miserably.
I am no stranger to pain and heartache. In fact, there were years I utterly spent content in those emotions because beyond logic, they became my safe space, and I entered into a plethora of relationships. But most of them were born from toxic codependency.
Then I was confronted with what a healthy relationship was, and I found myself a fish out of water. I struggled to connect in an authentic way without the desperate need to push away, smother, or cause unnecessary drama.
It’s a mindf*ck.
A wise friend of mine once said, “Mands, it’s all f*cking necessary,” and those words have stayed with me. I carry them through every goddamn experience I have.
It’s all f*cking necessary.
Please, can single people stop being harassed to enter into relationships when we are reveling in that in-between space?
There is a massive part of me who loves being alone.
I love the freedom of being able to make my own choices, to do what I wish, when I wish. When I feel healed, when I feel ready, or when I meet someone who I can connect with on a level that I deem worthy, then hell yeah, I’ll be all in.
Until then, leave me in my delicious solitude. I’m not unhappy, and I’m not lonely—I’m only enjoying myself.
Let’s also start encouraging this period of growth and healing.
Instead of offering to set someone up, tell them how proud you are of their growth and commitment to the needs of their spirit.
Encourage them to fall more and more deeply in love with themselves and what they love to do.
I truly believe if we all do this, we’d connect much deeper, we’d love that much harder and healthier, and we’d be of more benefit to one another.
Maybe then there wouldn’t be an endless stream of terrible relationships that end in destruction and we, as single people, wouldn’t feel external pressure to conform to an idea that a relationship will save us.
You are your own hero, remember?