WHY BEING (UNHAPPILY) SINGLE IS A FIRST WORLD PROBLEM
I used to waste countless hours ruminating over why love continued to evade me.
Most of my time was spent scouring bars, looking for a man that might temporarily fill the gaping void I felt inside.
Like a dog with a bone, I refused to drop the misguided notion that the acquiring of a romantic relationship would somehow fix my life.
And yet there was an ever-present uneasiness lurking in the pit of my stomach that maybe it just wasn’t meant to happen for me.
In an attempt to suffocate this nauseating thought, I became chief cheerleader of my own ridiculous romantic escapades, all of which were doomed to fail from the get-go.
There was the time I woke up in some godforsaken hellhole of a flat in an armpit of south-east London, not a clue how I got there - or who was lying in the bed next to me.
There was the incident with the beautiful Italian boy at Egg nightclub in King’s Cross (who of course turned out to be the resident coke dealer).
Not forgetting that sad drunken Saturday back in my thespy days while I was performing at The Globe as part of my drama school training…
Having just draped myself over the middle-aged man playing Lord Capulet (as he was sat next to his wife - I swear I didn’t know!) I then proceeded to launch myself full throttle at the actor who used to play Martin in Eastenders, totally unaware that my best mate had just given him a blowie at the back of the stage.
Humour and self-ridicule were temporary tonics to distract me from my loneliness - and they worked.
For a while.
But loneliness is a relentless fiend; she’ll always claw her way back in to your consciousness eventually - usually around the time dawn begins to pierce the inky night sky (and there’s no escaping the fact it’s time to call it a morning).
I wish I’d realized back then just how much of a wasteland I was creating of my life through the craving of something I was in no way ready for.
I wish I could’ve valued the space and solitude I’d been gifted with more, rather than frittering away every spare moment trying to close the gap between where I stood and my next relationship.
I wish I’d fully felt just how fucking good I had it.
Yes, I was single.
But, I was also healthy, solvent, and loved.
That’s more than can be said for the majority of the world’s population.
Thank God I got the lesson the second time around.
What I learned was this:
It’s the connection your soul’s longing for, not the relationship.
Most of the time, the struggle of singledom is more rooted in the fear of being excluded from the tribe than anything else.
We choose to believe that without a plus one and two names on the tenancy instead of one, we’re somehow being left behind.
But left behind from what, exactly?
Where is everyone else going?
Because – from ashes to ashes… no?
Love is not a race.
There is literally no finish line, except for the imaginary ones we conjure up in our mind:
Moved in? Check.
Dog, baby, second baby, breakdown? Check, check, check…
No matter what you manage to tick off the arbitrary timeline associated with romantic relationships, you never feel like you’ve ‘arrived’ when it comes to love.
There’s always the illusion that another baby, house renovation, car, holiday, therapist will make you finally feel… here.
But they never do - not for more than a hot minute, anyway.
The only thing that has ever successfully distracted me from the insatiable quest for more in love and romance is when I remember to STOP and look at the magic in what I’ve already created in this field.
There is nothing more satisfying and uplifting to me than the savouring of happy memories born from time spent with my beloved – or belov-eds (because there has to be more than one for romantic love to stand a chance).
And if I could step in to a tardis and go back to 2010, I’d head straight to Shoreditch – where the 24 year-old-me would no doubt be wandering the streets looking for impossible love in the arms of an impossibly inappropriate drunken stranger.
I’d take her by the hand, sit her down on a bench with a kebab and a can of coke, and let her know that one day the future her will be so sad she chose to piss away this precious time alone on such meaningless, transactional exchanges – when she could have been (healthily) reveling in all the freedom at her fingertips with the people who actually loved her.
Reader, please promise me this:
Whatever your current romantic situation, don’t squander it fretting over the fantasy of what you don’t yet have.
Focus on what is here for you in this moment.
Embrace it with open arms.
And believe me when I say that it’s from this humble state of appreciation – when you genuinely need not one thing to be different in order to feel good – that love will find its way to you.
I’D LOVE TO HEAR FROM YOU:
Let’s put this in to practice:
Share with me below ALL the things that are working well in your life right now.
What you focus on expands, baby ;)
Love Persia xxx