“Being single sucks!”, I thought as I rolled around in my bed alone day after day. This was back in 2021. I’ve grown up since then. I wasn’t interested in anyone, but I hated being alone. I was on a healing journey, uncovering my authentic self. After all these years of dating here and there, I realized that there are stages to being single. This is a self-love saga, the journey of becoming the love you desire so badly. It’s been hard, terrifying at times. I was scared no one would ever love me until I stopped caring and started loving myself. There are stages to it all.
Here’s what I have learned along the way:
- Stage 1: THE FUMBLING. This is around the time you end the relationship that doesn’t serve you and promise yourself you’ll never settle again. In this stage, you meet someone good, but you’re not ready for that. There’s so much inner work to do and if you get tied up with someone, you’ll repeat the same mistakes as in the past. So you dedicate yourself to the inner work. During this time, I was too broken to welcome someone into my world. I knew I wasn’t myself and I didnt want someone to fall in love with this lesser version of me. Connections in that state smelled like co-dependency and I could not… I had options, amazing ones at that. I wasn’t ready. I realized that you attract what you are and I was too hurt to trust what I was attracting. I was in the middle of developing my spiritual gifts, diving into my life’s work and really practicing self love even when it felt like self inflicted pain. So I decided I needed time. Many people look at me and wonder why I am single, but they don’t realize that I just don’t share when I am not single. I find it distasteful to post about every connection that comes through the door.
- Stage 2: DESPERATION. Around this time, you’ve done enough inner work, but you’re still not ready. However, you don’t want to hear that so you go out and force connections even if they aren’t there. “I want a to be in a relationship now!”, is the anthem. You’re left thirsty wondering if you’re destined to be alone. Then you get annoyed with the options and you realize that it’s easier to focus on yourself and your family than it is to search for love. I wanted a connection so badly, but I was still deep in the spiritual work. People who jump from relationship to relationship don’t know themselves well enough. I was in limbo. I was also working so hard in my business and in the community. There was no time for a relationship. Plus, I wanted someone spiritual who would understand my mind and my gifts. I was picky and it was irritating to say the least. I felt like I could settle for just anything, but I knew I would be dissatisfied.
- Stage 3: OH Well! This is when you just start doing what you want when you want. You develop a friend group and focus on the relationships that are in your life. You begin to truly enjoy your own company and the loneliness starts to be a little less overwhelming. You realize nobody is coming to save you and you just stop caring, while also really caring and wishing upon a star or the moon. I had a few really handsome men tell me they were interested, but somethings were lacking. I was successful and they were babies. I just couldn’t bring myself to raise a partner. I would rather be alone than to parent someone who isn’t my kid.
- Stage 4: Sparks. At this point, your lack of effort attracts a connection. You think it’s “the one”, but it’s the first real connection in so long. So you fumble around in the sparks until you make a mess of it all. Then you realize that you forgot how to flirt and nurture a connection. You realize how much of a mess you still are. When that ends, you get excited about finding a love on a higher note, with a more mature you. You know the work you need to do. I didnt know what to do when this connection hit me. We were magnetic, like one person, the same person. It activated my spiritual gifts, made me see myself more clearly, and made me realize that I was pushing people away.
- Stage 5: The Training. You start cultivating your energy, learning how to do better, flirting a little more. You begin to open yourself up. This wasn’t easy for me. I felt like I had years of baggage I was unpacking. So, I stayed closed enough to protect myself but open to what was out there. That is until I was a little exhausted by the lack of emotional intelligence I was running into. The dating game gets tiring and I don’t even waste my time or energy getting to know many people. I am very picky about who I give my energy to.
- Stage 6: The Turning Point. At this point, you’re open but not desperate. The life changing love shows up and sweeps you off your feet. They meet your family, do all the nice things, tell you everything you want to hear, before showing you the red flags you’d love to ignore. This has to be the one right? You have a choice to make: sacrifice that instinct or let it go. At this point you kind of hate how much inner work you’ve done because nothing goes unnoticed. That’s when you get a reality check. What used to take you years to recognize as red flags becomes apparent in weeks. This is the agony… Do I stay or do I go? And just like that, you are forced to walk away or try your best at least. This is the life changer, the love that you wanted but can’t have. The person you want to hold every night, but know that their love would hurt more than it heals. This is the person you want to see the best in, but you’ve already seen what you needed to see to know that it won’t work. This is the “Do you love yourself more than you love them.”, kind of love. Leaving brings a pain that makes you throw in the towel, because you know you’d rather protect yourself than subscribe to another painful saga of love that was destined to fail. When this love hit me, I told God I never wanted to fall in love again. I’d rather not feel the hope than to have it stripped from me. It was painful. I still have moments where I can’t breathe. But you have to do what’s best for your heart. After all, who will protect you if you don’t?
- Stage 7: Fuck It! This is the stage where you want to be alone. There’s no reason to close off, but no reason to stay open. You realize that you don’t need to be in love or to love. You just accept that you are doing this life without a partner. So you begin to cultivate habits that feel authentic. You start taking care of yourself like you never did before, because after all, who is going to help you when you’re sick or in old age. You want to be sharp for your career. You want to be your best for life. You focus on friends and family. You stop carving out space for the “one day” scenario. Like “one day” I might have a partner so I don’t want to get too consumed with my own world. blah blah blah. All of that washes away. You end up looking better than ever and loving yourself in ways you never had. This is the stage where “single life” becomes a tagline and you just accept it without worry. You ignore the direct messages and the flirting unless it’s a potential friend or good energy. Other than that you don’t care at all. You don’t want any of it. If anyone ever shows up to love you, they better have white flags hanging out every pocket, waving them in your face. Otherwise, B Y E.
Through it all you discover yourself in ways you never could if you were to get into a relationship. I started to question why I ever wanted to be in love in the first place. I laugh at how I used to meet people and wonder if they were the one. At a certain point, I just got really good at making friends and navigating the needs I have with the people in my life. The crazy part is that the options that I’ve had were royalty in my city. Im a successful business owner and community architect, one of the most eligible bachelorettes around. It just wasn’t right. I haven’t been ready. I was learning to love myself completely.
People who just meet me tell me their stories of relationships that have come and gone and I just keep mine close to the chest. I can’t talk about the people because we all have big reputations and it would just lead to rumors. The reality is that we all have love for each other and just like everyone else, some love doesn’t last and that’s okay. Nobody is a bad person. Some things just aren’t meant to be. It’s not about whether or not someone is good, it’s about whether or not they are good for you.
When you raise your standards, your options get better. The hardest part for me is seeing someone I cared about settle for just any love, hoping that it would be satisfying. After all, I want what’s best for everyone. It takes time to find the best. It takes a personal responsibility to align with your best self so you can be the best. When you know what you have to offer, not just anybody deserves that. Why waste your time parenting a partner when you can uplift and bring out their highest self? Some things are energy drains and what’s the point of spending your life in a relationship that doesn’t bring out the best in you?
My presence is peace and I bring it to whomever welcomes me. I have answers for problems and I know how valuable I am in someones life. So why would I compromise my mental health, to be loved? Why would I compromise my peace of mind for a partner? I’d rather be alone than compromise my value, even if being alone strips me comforts.
The thing about being single is that you’re forced to love yourself in ways that you never thought possible. The loneliness comes in waves, but when it comes you know exactly what to do. You develop a routine to get present and to love yourself in those moments so you don’t have to consume yourself in any sort of painful emotion. You put that energy into projects, presence, memories, art, goals. You become a refined masterpiece as you navigate your inner landscape.
You learn how important a solid support system truly is. You learn how to lean on your connection to your spirit when you need it. You learn who you are when no-one is looking. It’s a beautiful thing to be alone, to do what you want when you want.
It’s like heaven on earth to find peace in presence and to trust that it’s all working out. I know myself so well now. I know what stretch I like. I know what I need to eat to be clear headed. I know how to maneuver through procrastination. I know what I need when a certain mood hits. I don’t know if I have ever, in my life, experienced this level of self knowing. And when you truly get to know yourself, you improve what you don’t like because you know you aren’t leaving you. Nobody is coming to save you. There’s nothing you can look for outside of yourself. You have to get better every day for you.
So I used think “being single sucks.”, but what’s the alternative that could be any better than this? I doubt that there is one.
Here’s to loving yourself enough to improve every single day. Don’t wait on someone to save you. YOU SAVE YOU!
With The Deepest Love,
Paige Elliott Vidrine