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Why I'm Single and Not Ready to Mingle (Yet)


Dating. Courtship. Relationship. Partnership. Marriage. Whatever you call it, I want something like it. But I don’t think I’m ready for it. Yet.

Let me explain. (And by explain, give you a brief history of my dating past. Buckle up. It’s going to be a bumpy and emotional roller-coaster ride!)

I was a late bloomer. And by late bloomer, I mean, I developed fine physically, thank you very much, but as far as dating: I didn’t have my first boyfriend until I was 17. I remember being so scared of turning 18 without having my first kiss that I just grabbed the guy I was “dating” (if you could call it that) by the shirt and kissed him, so I could at least get that out of the way. (How is it that most of my friends had already been kissed, especially as kids, and I hadn’t??) The relationship lasted a few weeks and ended rather dramatically at my 18th birthday party, where I ended up crying at home with two friends and my mom over it. Fun times! (Fun fact: as a couple we were both super emo then and made a delightful emo couple. Just all black, hoodies, and eyeliner.)

From there, I’ve had other relationships. My first serious one was when I was 18, and it was one of those where we would break up and come back together every few years. He was a great boyfriend (at first) and I was a terrible girlfriend (at first), but by our final time together our roles had switched and we finally saw after so many tries that it still wasn’t working and we (meaning he) broke it off. He was a really nice guy and put up with so much from me, that he honestly deserves a medal. (For the first parts of the relationship, not the second. For the second half I deserve a medal for putting up with his wishy-washiness and him being still hung up on the girl he dated after me the first round we dated.)

From there, I dated on and off, meeting people back in the days of actual online dating, not apps. They didn’t work out, but that was okay. I was at a point in my life where I was like, “I’m just going to date and see how it goes and if something sticks!” And then I met someone, started dating, and ended up getting into a relationship with them. And moving in TOGETHER. Quite quickly, actually.

I thought I knew what I wanted (and the same with him), but in reality, it didn’t turn out that way. It was great at first, but when you first start dating and make a serious commitment like a "living with each other" relationship, you find out a lot about the other person and yourself. We were total opposites with only a few things in common, and the relationship just wasn’t right (in my opinion. He was as happy as a clam, apparently, and couldn’t see how unhappy I was), and we broke up. The aftermath was messy and awful and I still have some of the text messages he sent to me afterwards to remind myself of how NOT to handle certain situations, say, like a breakup. (Screen shot those as reminders to yourself, people. Trust me, you may need to see them in the future to reassure yourself you made the right decision!)

My very last relationship was another on and off one with a really sweet guy, but it just didn’t seem to work out either. I won’t go into it too much, but we both had some personal problems that we each had to work on, and no matter how hard we tried, I think we both realized it was better to put ourselves first than try to make a relationship work. He was a great guy and I wish him nothing but the best! And I hope he feels the same about me, too. (Plus, he still has a book I lent him, and I never forget a book I let someone borrow. Ever.)

From these past relationships, I learned a bit about what I wanted and didn’t want from a relationship. Isn’t that the point of dating? To find the person you want to be with forever? Your best friend? Your partner in crime? So why am I not ready to date again just yet? (Besides, of course, the above examples. I mean, just reading them makes me so tired and sad that I spent so many years metaphorically trying on hats that just weren’t my style. Is that a nice way of putting it? I think so! Too nice for certain fellas, anyway...)

It’s honestly because of where I am in life. I know what I want, but I’m not ready for it yet.

And why is that, exactly?

Because I’m still figuring out myself, mentally, and figuring out my future and what I want it to be (don’t judge, we don’t have it all figured out at 18, okay?). In one of my relationships, I always told my ex that it was okay to put himself first. But I never put myself first. And our relationship didn’t work out because I gave too much. That’s not going to happen now. I know now that I need to put myself first sometimes, and as a result, maybe that means it isn’t the best time for a relationship right now. And that’s perfectly fine.

"Singledom is so underrated" scratched into the bathroom door inside the British Museum when I visited it a few years ago. I feel you girl who wrote that. I feel you/ That Weird Girl Life 
I truly feel that in a relationship you need to know yourself. What you want out of life, for you, for your family, your partner, etc. But most importantly for yourself. What are your goals and dreams? What do you want to achieve? What do you want out of life? Because despite everything else, you come first. Your health, your well-being, is the most important. When you’re in a relationship, you have another person to care about as well, and sometimes you lose yourself in the relationship. If you’re not okay with yourself and where you’re at in life, your relationship with your significant other isn’t going to flourish, because you aren’t flourishing. You have to put yourself first and love yourself first. That’s the key.

I hope that one day I’ll be okay with myself and in a better place to be able to start dating and have a relationship (because unfortunately you have to date to be in a relationship first. Ugh. It’s so annoying) with someone. But as for right now, I need to focus on me, and my needs, to be whole and happy (remember how I said you have to love yourself?). Because being in a relationship won’t heal what’s bothering me. Only I can do that, it’s not the partner’s responsibility. (Though I’m sure they’d try to help if you were in a relationship and going through something!)

If you’re not in a relationship or dating right now, try not to worry about it. Focus on you and what you need out of life. If it’s your health, focus on that. If it’s school, financial, or family, or just your general happiness, it’s okay. There’s no law saying that you have to handle everything at once and then throw dating and a relationship on top of it. Dating and relationships will always be there, but you need to be your best self before you get into a serious commitment. Relationships are a lovely and beautiful thing, but take a lot of work that you may not have the time or effort or even patience to give right now. And again, that’s okay. It’s what I’m doing right now, and I know that when it’s right, love will come my way. And I’ll be ready for it when it arrives. (God willing, fingers crossed, throws salt over my shoulder)

From every past relationship I’ve had, I’ve learned something about myself, and I’ve evolved and changed. And despite some experiences that have felt like they’ve scarred my heart, I’m so grateful for all of the experiences that taught me (even the bad ones). I know now that I need someone who can understand my mental illness and the quirks that come along with it. I also know that I need someone who can grow and change with me, too. Because no matter how old you are, you’re always evolving. I also know I want someone who is kind, compassionate, loves to read, is hilariously funny to make me laugh on bad days, and have some sort of British accent (not required, but will be strongly considered above other applicants). Also, must love cats. That’s a deal breaker.

(Did that feel like some sort of nanny list that the Banks children made in Mary Poppins, and then Mr. Banks tore it up and tossed it into the fire, and then magically the perfect nanny aka Mary Poppins turned up? Is that going to happen to me? Am I putting all of this out into the universe via the internet and then the perfect man is going to float down from the sky via an umbrella with a talking parrot at the end of the umbrella handle? *Gasp* Probably not, but wouldn’t that be a fun meet cute story instead of the typical, “we met on an app and he wasn’t a murderer, now we’re engaged! Yay!”?)

So that’s why I’m currently single and not ready to mingle quite yet. (Despite popular rumors, it’s not because I’m a screeching harpy. That does sound like fun though!) How do you feel about putting yourself and your current needs first before diving into dating and relationships? This is just my personal opinion and what I feel like I need right now, but I know other people have gone through personal things in life and have found love during difficult times and made it work.

Let me know what you think in the comments and also wish me luck on my personal journey of working on myself and hopefully finding love one day! (And braving the world of dating apps. Because apparently that’s how you date these days. Oh geez, that’s another blog post for another time, I think!)

Stay Weird,
Emily

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17 comments on "Why I'm Single and Not Ready to Mingle (Yet)"
  1. Such a lovely post, you'll definitely know when you're ready I never had my first boyfriend/proper relationship until I was 21 I was so happy I never rushed into anything before that. My perfect guy floated into work, we were work friends and now 3 years on we have our own house.

    Hope you find the perfect man when you're ready <3

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Michelle! Aww thank you! And that's wonderful to hear! I'm glad you found him when YOU were ready! That's the way it's supposed to be :) And thank you so much for the kind words. I know it'll happen when it'll happen, when the timing is right!

      Thank you so much for reading and your lovely comment!

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  2. That is a really healthy attitude to have about dating. I like you am not ready to be in a relationship. I am happy to be working on myself, my physical and mental health and wanting to build a career. A relationship will come along when I am ready. Thank you for sharing your experience in such an open and honest post! Xx

    Lauren | www.bournemouthgirl.com

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    Replies
    1. Hi Lauren! Thank you so much for saying that! I was kind of worried that people might judge me for this or think I wasn't open to love. I am, but maybe just not right now. I'm glad you're focusing on yourself, which is the perfect thing to do at any time, really. But you're right, when YOU'RE ready, a relationship will come around! And you'll be happy and healthy when it does <3

      Thank you so much for reading and your wonderful comment! It means a lot to me!

      Delete
  3. Great post, I really enjoy reading it and agree with you that people first should know their self before start relationship. Many people believe that partner will make them complete and start relationship, and end up disappointed.

    New Post - http://www.exclusivebeautydiary.com/2019/11/beauty-of-listening_10.html

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi! Thank you so much for reading and commenting! I'm so glad someone else agrees with me! I didn't use to think that way, but now I'm glad I do so I can be know myself and my worth and be ready for a relationship when it comes. <3

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  4. I am with you about the single life right now. I think it's totally fine that you are a late bloomer. Sometimes, it is better that way. My peers at 25 already have their 2nd kids and I am here without a boyfriend. Take this opportunity to learn more about yourself. It is better to be single than to be in an unhappy relationship. I'm focusing on me right now and doing what I want isntead of having to take care of someone. Sending you lots of love!

    Nancy ♥ exquisitely.me

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    Replies
    1. Hi Nancy! I completely agree with you! I'm the odd one out in my friend group. I'm not married or coupled up and I don't have any kids. But right now I'm fine just being with myself and learning about what I want in life, without anyone distracting me. And I'm with you on that it's better to be single than to be in an unhappy relationship! I'm so glad you're focusing on yourself too! Only good things can come out of that, I think :) Sending lots of love back! Thank you so much for your wonderful comment!! <3

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  5. There is nothing wrong with being single when you're older and not yet ready. I started dating young and I wish I hadn't and just focused on school more. It's much better to focus on you and learn to be happy by yourself before you jump into a relationship!

    Hannah | http://www.hannahthemaddog.com

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    Replies
    1. Hi Hannah! Thank you so much for reading and your for your lovely comment! I agree! Though I'm jealous you started dating young- I guess I want what I didn't have, haha. But I'm happy with my decision now to focus on myself and figure myself out before going into a relationship. Hopefully it'll help in more ways than one someday! :)

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  6. Great post lovely. I think it's so important to have self-care and self-love before getting into a relationship - you'll find the right partner for you when you are ready. I'm sending you so much love! 💜

    With love, Alisha Valerie x | www.alishavalerie.com

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    Replies
    1. Thank you, Alisha! I'm glad you think so too! I know it'll help out in the long wrong, and honestly, I don't feel like I'm missing too much at the moment, as far as dating goes (I'm afraid of dating apps!). Thank you so much for your kind and lovely comment. <3

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  7. You've taken such a good approach to this. I reapply appreciate your honesty, and respect you for talking about it. I think it's important to find and look after ourselves before jumping into another relationship.

    When you're ready, you're ready and don't let any force you.

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    Replies
    1. Hi Nyxie! Thank you so much for saying that! I really does mean a lot coming from you. I'm glad people are understanding where I'm coming from, since some other people in my life are just waiting for me to jump into dating and a relationship. And your last line was so true! Thank you for saying that! <3

      Thank you so much for reading and commenting!

      Delete
  8. Self-love and self-care should always be a priority for every person. Thank you for the lovely post!

    Lots of love ♥ January Girl

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Liz! I completely agree and I'm glad you think that too! Thank you so so much for reading and commenting! It means a lot to me! <3

      Delete

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