Redefining Single: Let go of your insecurities

by Kristyl Smith

So, I’m a single woman and I’m happy, but it’s been a long time coming.

I’m 21 and I have been single for three years. Pretty common, but for someone who moved away from home, came to college in a high-school-sweetheart relationship, and passed through several circles of friends, it’s been a rough couple of years.

I was constantly bombarded with articles claiming more educated women were less likely to get married, which infiltrated my thoughts and manifested into fears. I attempted to transform into the ideal wife-able woman; however, I also demanded my mate have certain qualities to match my awesomeness. As a result, I was subconsciously determined that my ultimate awesomeness would be achieved by romantically attaching to an equal.

Time after time I was disappointed, let down and dissatisfied with not only my partners, but also with myself. I endured long droughts wondering when my prince charming was coming to cure the heartache. I constantly compared myself to other women in relationships and questioned why I wasn’t one of them. What was wrong with me?

My dating life has been a soap opera roller coaster ride. I took myself through some hard, but much-needed lessons to get to the speed I’m at now—cruise control.

One of the toughest lessons I learned was though I could not control my partners or their actions, I can control how I reacted to them, what I accepted and how I let things affect me.

Rejection is a hard pill for anyone to swallow. The negative emotions are amplified when you search for reasons why rejection occurs.

In an attempt to stop focusing on what was wrong with me, I listed countless pros and cons to place the blame on others. Nonetheless, such comparisons are irrelevant when two people simply aren’t compatible.

What I failed to realize was my expectations of my partners had nothing to do with them personally. They did, however, have everything to do with what I thought I should have. Not only was my prince charming of the semester not royalty, but my castle was a fictitious edifice built around insecurities.

People have the right to be who they are, even if they don’t live up to my expectations. I could not recognize (or appreciate) who my partners were because I subconsciously wanted them to be someone that would make me feel better about myself. Once that was exposed, I was off the roller coaster.

The point of single life is to learn how to organize your thoughts, categorizing the ones you need and discarding the ones you don’t. Dragging your internal conflicts and insecurities into a relationship creates confusion and disappointment for everyone.

A woman can often be so eager to give her all to someone else. It’s in her nature to be nurturing and loving. To top it off, this college life can get down right lonely at times, and that is OK to confess. This phase is about discovering, nurturing and loving your authentic self.

Sometimes, you have to get lost in your own thoughts to find the core of your internal conflict. It’s important to ask yourself the right questions and give honest responses.

You may find you want a relationship for the wrong reasons.

So, if you haven’t already found your special someone, I encourage you to remain single, enjoy yourself and take more time questioning your own beliefs about what you want and why. The better understanding you have of yourself, the more comfortable you can be as a single woman. I promise the right partner will appreciate all of your hard work.

Our greatest discoveries are not what we find around us, but what we find inside of us.