Single taboo.

We have come a long way as New Zealanders. Gay marriage is being legalised around the world, people are openly discussing transgender issues, and we are living our lives the way we want to. We feel so liberated, forming our own opinions about these issues. Except we aren’t.

I like my life a lot, to be honest I wouldn’t have it any other way. It is packed with the people I love, the hobbies I enjoy, the study that I do and the full time job I’m thriving in. I get stuff done and I never have enough hours in the day. And yes I am single.

This doesn’t make me incomplete, I’m not half of a heart staring out of the window waiting for a match to my half. I am whole.

I prioritise surrounding myself with other whole people who live wonderful lives; some are single and some are not. This doesn’t make me envy any of those that are happily taken and I rarely feel like I am a third wheel when I spend time with them.

If I ever did feel that way, then it is either them or me of which I would cut them loose or seek some serious help.

As a singleton, I don’t actively seek relationships but I don’t repel them either. I’ve had some come along and some leave, and if one did then so be it but it is no more of a big deal to me than finding the right shoe in my size.

Don’t get me wrong, there are times where I feel alone and question what is wrong with me, and when you look in the popular culture magazines that focus on who is together and who has broken up, I feel like the last sane person in the world. Where does the obsession stem from to ensuring relationships are the prize and everyone needs one. And furthermore, why are those of us uncomfortable, confused and sympathetic when we say we don’t have one nor want one.

Perception in society states that if you’re single, you’re unhappy and if you are in a relationship you’re happy. Given how many people live their lives happy and fulfilled as singles and how many settle for the wrong relationship for the ‘taken’ title, proves this isn’t true.

Many think that if you are single, it means you are hopeless at finding someone. The reality is however that I think I’m in a smarter position to wait for the right person to come along rather than settle for something that doesn’t feel right. Give yourself acknowledgement for committing to this philosophy and recognising what you deserve.

The most important relationship you can have in your life is with yourself. If that one isn’t healthy and happy then none of your others will be.

There is great difficulty that comes with finding a happy, healthy relationship and unless you haven’t taken the time to define what that means to you, how do you recognise a good thing when it comes along?

Those negative relationships we once had don’t always just end. Sometimes you will stay in touch with someone you shouldn’t even be with in the first place to feel a sense of belonging, and sometimes you carry emotional baggage into your next relationship from those bad experiences you had previously. This can’t help anyone as there is no use in settling into a relationship that doesn’t feel right when it could potentially sabotage what could have been the right one that passed you by.

Reflecting on yourself is also important. Accepting that sometimes you need to change is a big step to achieving inner confidence and worth. Sometimes I come across as rude but really I’m just shy. Worrying about saying the wrong thing or having high impossible standards that no one will ever measure up to. And the harsh reality is that you could find the perfect person, and you have no need to find the negatives or question everything but you are too afraid to jump into the unknown, and then it turns out they aren’t interested in you, and trust me that makes you feel even worse.

Of course, you can improve on yourself every day whether you are single or not. But I am a firm believer that being single allows you to focus on what is best for you and allows you a great deal of freedom to be able to reach your goals. And this way when the right one comes along, you will be ready with open arms. I will admit, I have had my fair share of regrets and some I have really enjoyed until it all went wrong somewhere. I am scared because I am so comfortable with how I live my life day-by-day that diving into change may leave me heartbroken picking up the pieces once again. But I continue to hold out hope that when that person comes along, it won’t be that big of a jump because it will just feel right.

Someone who is worthy of your love and sharing your life will never put you in a situation where you feel you have to sacrifice your dignity, integrity, your life and your self-respect to be with them.

Those relationships will never hinder you or the life you’ve previously lived, rather it will enhance it. But good things take time and you nor I should never feel bad for waiting for it no matter how long or short the wait is.

I believe humans are programmed to find love and share their life with someone, everyone deserves to be loved and to feel love because love is universal. But you don’t find love, love finds you in the strangest of places even when you don’t expect it. Once you start chasing after your dreams and your passions, love will find you. So start chasing.

My heart has been bruised and sometimes I make it more of a big deal than what it is because I have invested so much time and thought into it. But after it all, I don’t feel traumatised, and I know I will find love. Staying open to it doesn’t just involve attracting a new relationship; it’s about being open to life.

Although relationships haven’t really been my forte, I’m getting there. I have spent portions of my life in high school and throughout university pining over a man, getting over a man, crying over a man, and wishing for a man. But you just have to trust the process. Every heartache is just preparing you for the person you are meant to be with. Have faith that sometimes, things just don’t work out with someone in the present because they are meant to work with somebody else in the future.

I want the white picket fence, the husband and the children one day. And that day will come I’m sure of it. Thirty years of marriage between my Mum and my Dad has taught me a lot and has aspired me to find that for myself. The love they have, the support they give, the interests they share and the smiles on their faces proves it is possible one day.

But remember, the most important love is the love you have with yourself. Once you’ve mastered that, the rest will come. All the pieces will fall into place exactly the way they are supposed to. The journey of love is not a destination, rather, it’s one that is brewing inside of you every minute of your life.

For now though, I am happily single and this is for all those single ladies who need a bit of reassurance.

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