Why I Don't Want To Be In a Relationship
I used to get lonely when I wasn’t in a relationship. We all do. It’s natural.
But I let that loneliness propel me to advance relationships prematurely. Because I thought I was ready. But I wasn’t. And you can’t force ready.
So I have stopped convincing myself that I am ready for what a relationship has to offer. Because I’m not.
Maybe I will be someday. Maybe I won’t. Maybe it’s something less traditional. Maybe it’s just like the relationship books say it should be. Or maybe it just is what it is. When it is.
It’s just not right now.
“Relationships are important, but stay focused on all the things that are important. Figure out what you want.” — Daren Kagasoff
Timing is Everything, But You Can’t Force Timing
I’ve made some bad decisions in relationships. I don’t know if there is anyone who hasn’t. But I know why I made bad decisions in the past.
I forced timing. Because I insisted to myself that I was ready for the next relationship. But I usually wasn’t. I was just lonely.
Timing in a relationship is everything. Two people can be very good together, but the timeframe just doesn’t work for whatever reason.
And we can convince ourselves that the timing is amazing. But timing is predicated on so many different factors. Health, job, family, obligations, geography — it all matters and it can all prevent proper timing.
When the timing is not right, it’s just a matter of time.
The Intersection of Freedom and Space
The problem is that the need for freedom and space does not actually intersect. When you want them both and need them both, they can’t be confined to a relationship.
If I say I just want to do whatever I want, whenever I want, it tells me I am not open to considering another person as a partner. Because it wouldn’t be fair to them.
I know it’s possible to have freedom and space in a relationship. But you have to explain it. Or talk about it. Or compromise to get it. And I don’t want to.
I’ve been in a room with a lot of miserable couples in my life. Ones who you know were just arguing. Or don’t love each other anymore. I’ve been one of those couples. But I never want to be again. For any reason.
So I choose to be free. I choose to diagram my own space — both functionally and temporally. It feels good.
“Loneliness is the poverty of self; solitude is the richness of self.” — May Sarton
Alleviating Pressure and Responsibility
When you aren’t in a relationship you can say things that you would never say in a relationship. Unless you are me of course. And you don’t have the ability to lie. So you tell the truth. And it can be hard.
But I don’t want to be responsible for another adult. It’s too much pressure. My kids aren’t in college yet and they are where my focus lies. And as much as we like to say we never become a burden in a relationship. We all have been. Because we want to feel like someone loves us. And relying on them, sometimes too much, makes us feel that — temporarily.
I don’t want to help a partner with directions (because there is Google). I don’t want to ask my partner what they want to eat just so they can say whatever I want (because it’s never whatever I want). I just don’t want it.
Relationships, at all stages, are full of pressure. What is this? What are we? Are we still seeing other people? When is the appropriate time to meet your kids? To go on a trip together? What about meeting your parents? To move in together? To get engaged? To get married? To have kids?
No. Just no.
For me. It’s a personal choice.
If I am being honest, sex is what drives me back to relationships a lot of the time. I think it’s loneliness for companionship at the time because I really do enjoy a nice relationship built on mutual respect and trust. But sometimes it’s more primal. And subconscious.
I can convince myself that it’s not, but looking back it could be. I have been experimenting with the idea of celibacy for a period of time. So that it’s off the table. Because sex and love are different for me. They can coincide beautifully, but still they are very different. And for each person, the differences vary. What it means is different based on the person, the context and the timing.
If you think about how much easier dating would be if sex were off the table, it’s shocking. People would actually be themselves. Instead of acting like their best self to get laid earlier. Or pretending they really want to actually Netflix and chill.
What if there were no judgments surrounding the timing of sex? People would be more free. And stop withholding a passionate upheaval because it was too soon. Because sex doesn’t have to be love. It can be. But it’s not required.
The General Response
I’ve heard it before. Someone must have hurt me. I must be really angry inside about something. Sorry. No. I’m good. Why does everyone think there is an explanation for everything, beyond the straightforward truth? It’s weird.
I am not against love. I love seeing other great relationships. In person and even fictionalized in a show or in a rom-com. There are plenty of days when I want that again. But that’s my mistake. And I know it. So now I would like to avoid it.
I am not abnormal. A lot of people feel like this, they just won’t tell you. I like having full control over my decisions. I like not having to consult someone. And that doesn’t mean in a relationship I act like that. It means I appreciate being on my own for what it is. Today.
Tomorrow is tomorrow and we all don’t know what tomorrow brings.
People who live and die by their love relationships “feel bad” for those of us who are happily single. Because we are missing out on so much. But that’s them. They are the one that fears being alone so much that they want to shift the burden to you. F*ck that.
Am I scared of love? No. Not at all. Am I scared of getting my heart broken? Honestly, not really. Am I just scared? Maybe. Fear could be what put me back into relationships before I was ready. FOMO on “the one.” Which I don’t even remotely believe in. But when you are feeling lonely, you want them to exist.
The Rejection of Loneliness
You don’t have to feel lonely if you are alone. Untethered to another human being in a relationship. There is a difference
For the first time in my life I am making a conscious choice to reject loneliness. I am telling it to just go f*ck itself. Because I am happy. I am growing as a person.
And relationships aren’t built overnight. Or from viewing dating profiles. They are built when we give of ourselves to another. What’s inside. The real us. Not the best self version you created on your profile.
That version is loneliness. Because you don’t really like long walks on the beach. And you, you don’t really enjoy sports. What about you, you only put those books down there because you wanted to seem well read — you really prefer to read Us Weekly.
You don’t have to be someone else to be loved. You have to love yourself first, for who you are. If you can’t, why and how will someone else do it?
You don’t have to reject loneliness if you don’t want to. You can wallow. You can cry. It’s ok. Sometimes that sh*t feels really good. Until it doesn’t anymore. And it’s six months later and you still feel like that.
The Final Questions
If you aren’t comfortable being alone, why do you think a relationship will solve that?
Shouldn’t you first be comfortable with yourself, by yourself?