A Perfect Relationship...

01:52 0 Comments

“My alone feels so good, I’ll only have you if you’re sweeter than my solitude” 
Warsan Shire


It’s not a word I have been overly familiar with in my life. It’s not a word that has been readily accepted in my family, either.

Coming from a traditional Afrikaans family, marriage and children has always been the ultimate goal. You could be a doctor, a business owner, a street sweeper. As long as you attach yourself to another human being, then you are considered successful.

Following this mandate, I started looking for my “significant other” from a very young age. Blinded by the idea of love, and motivated by the quest to achieve my purpose in life, I got married way too young. I thought it would be like a “Fifty Shades of Grey” love story, and I believed that I would finally be whole.

4 years later reality struck: I was a young divorce that was brought back to earth very hard. After 10 years of being in a relationship, I found myself alone. I thought I would fall apart. What now? Where now? Who am I?

However, the truth is that I finally found the silence to ask the right questions. What happened to me during those years? What did I become, and what did I achieve for myself? How do I survive on my own? What do I do to pass the time? But the most important question was this: why not enjoy being alone when you have the opportunity?

Now, after more than a year of being on my own, I can finally proclaim to the world - and my family - I am embracing the single life.

I can spend time doing exactly what I want to do. I can watch soapies at night, because I like seeing John Black come back to life...again. I can have a smoothie for dinner, or go to a club in the middle of the week - then come home late and finish a bottle of wine. I can walk around naked, singing Alanis Morissette as loudly as I want.

I have also found some other benefits to embracing the single life:

No compromising: You can do whatever you want, without having to consider pleasing somebody else’s needs. That’s right. You don’t have to give anything up, or let anything go. Indulge in being yourself and doing what makes you happy.

No explanation: Not only can you do what you want, but you can do it with no constraint and without having to explain why, where, when, why and how much.

No guilt: In relationships we often give up our own happiness in order to ensure our partner’s permanent smile. In singlehood, you don’t have to feel bad about being selfish and taking care of your own happiness first. “You” comes before “Your”.

Finding yourself: People often lose their own identity when entering into a serious relationship. This is natural - “you” becomes “we”, everything is shared and compromises are made to nurture a lasting relationship. But when you are single, it is your time to shine. Take all the credit, try things your ex would have hated and spend more time doing the things that defines who you are.

Emotional independence: Learn how to let your emotions go, how to keep your emotions in, and to just have emotions without having to explain or justify them. Singles don't have to explain why they feel happy, sad, angry, tired, moody, crabby or frustrated to anyone. Feel free to feel every emotion you have inside of you and not have to respond to anyone else about them.

These days, I like to don my Soviet jeans and viper shoes (my jeans fit so much better now that I have time to go to gym) and go walk around the local market (my ex hated this as he thought it was too dangerous). I go to some cheesy clubs on a Saturday night, wearing my beautiful heels and shortest Soviet dress, because I don’t have a guy telling me I look inappropriate. I do shopping whenever I want, for girly decor and pink slushies.

And this is just what I like to do. Decide what your own list is, and then do whatever your heart desires and everything you need to do to get to know yourself. Learn everything you can—the ins and outs of your personality, every little idiosyncrasy. Embrace being alone, without feeling lonely. Try having the perfect relationship… with yourself.