I am a firm believer in true love. I do believe that there is someone out there for me who will eventually sweep me off my feet and make me wonder why I ever settled for anybody else. There is a man out there for me, with whom I will celebrate countless anniversaries, Valentine’s Days and birthdays. There is a man with whom I will be able to get through any fight, distance or hardship, knowing that nothing will ever change. There is a man out there with whom I will share an unbreakable bond, held together by the deep desires of love.
But not today.
I don’t want someone I “won’t be able to imagine my life without.” I don’t want someone to “have my whole heart.” I don’t want someone to be “my whole world,” or “my rock,” or “my better half.” I don’t want somebody who can understand me better than I can understand myself.
I want to feel whole. I want to be my own rock, my own anchor, my own soul mate. I want to understand myself better than anyone else can. I don’t want to look back and hate myself for altering my future for someone else when I know I wasn’t ready to.
That’s why I don’t want to find the man I will love forever today. Or tomorrow. Or the day after that.
For those who know me, you know that when I fall, I fall fast and I fall hard. I am a hopeless romantic who wears my heart on my sleeve. I simply love the idea of being in love. I can’t remember a time in my life when I didn’t have some type of interest in a guy. I love having a “texting buddy.” I love feeling desired. I have gotten hurt a few times, but I always pick myself up and try to move on. Moving on is hard for me, though, simply because I love being in love. I’ve called guys my “better half” and my “rock.” I’ve convinced myself that I couldn’t picture my life without them. I’m starting to realize now that that’s the last thing I want in my future relationship. Especially as a young woman in my early 20s. Before I enter into any serious relationship, I need to feel like I’m complete. And I need to be able to feel complete while completely alone.
Too many women depend on men to make them happy, and I would be lying if I said I haven’t done that myself. At this point in my life, I don’t know how to be completely independent when I’m in a relationship. I know many girls who can be, but personally, I don’t know how.
I have dreams. I have plans that only involve myself. I’m at a pivotal point in my life; I get to decide where I go from here. I can travel, move across the country and make stupid spontaneous decisions, just because I can. As of right now, there is nothing holding me back from where I want to take my life (well, having a bit more money might be nice, but I’ll figure that one out eventually). I don’t want to find my true love yet. I’m not ready to settle, and I’m not ready to alter my personal plans for someone else. The only thing I’m ready for is discovering where my life takes me post-grad. I’m ready to move across the country. I’m ready to make new and beautiful memories with the people I’ll meet along the way. But I’m simply not ready to fall in love again.
As my college career is coming to a close and I’m starting to find out what I want for my life, I’m beginning to realize that I never want to fall for a guy whom I consider to be my “better half.” I don’t want a better half. I want to be whole. I want to consider myself and my happiness as more important than any relationship I will ever be involved with. Does this make me selfish? No. This makes me able to know that I can and will be happy alone, no matter how many heartbreaks might come my way.
Some people marry their high school sweethearts; some of my friends have done so or plan on doing so. And I love them for that. I think their relationships are healthy, and I have loved watching them grow independently, even though they have a significant other. I admire them for that. There is nothing wrong with already finding the person who you want to spend the rest of your life with at a young age. You can still live a complete life with a boyfriend/girlfriend by your side at age 22. But I know myself enough to know that I’m not at the point in my life where I can do that.
I want to imagine my own life. I want to be able to navigate through life’s exciting opportunities and devastating disappointments independently — and if and when a guy decides he wants to join me, I’ll still be able to have the peace of mind that I can do it alone. I will be able to imagine my life without him, because at that point, I will have already done it alone.
Many of you may read this and view me as a loner. Or maybe you’ll think I hate the idea of love. Believe what you wish, but neither of these assumptions is true. Like I said before, I can’t wait for the day I find my true love. I can’t wait to be able to look a guy in the eyes, say “I love you,” and know that it means “I love you forever.” I can’t wait for a guy to love me, challenge me and support me emotionally every day for the rest of my life. That day will come, but I haven’t lived enough yet.
I’m 22. I have too many stupid decisions to make before I decide my fate. I have the rest of my life to find the guy who gives love a whole new meaning for me.
That day will come. Just not today.
By Beth Cormack, Unwritten