It is both saddening and amazing how so many people wear their singleness as a badge of self-hatred. In jealousy and envy, we gaze upon the married, engaged, and taken relationships, even those of animals, and somehow twist that bitterness back on ourselves. I, too, was guilty of such things. Then, one day, Star Wars decided to come out with yet another trilogy, starting with The Force Awakens, and I had to come to a decision.
It was nearing the end of 2015. I was dealing with those same holiday vibes, wondering why I still didn’t have a woman. I was growing tired of being alone. It was especially hitting me now that I had a movie I wanted to watch, and no one to watch it with. Due to my schedule, or a lack of interest in Star Wars from my usual movie friends, I had no one to go to the movies with. I could either go to the movies by myself for the first time, or I could wait another week or so, hoping that somehow, with holiday parties and family get-togethers, one of my friend’s schedules would open up to watch the movie with me.
I’m an introvert. I’m not big on having too many people around me and I’m not big on having a large circle of friends. Even now, I see only three people at least once a month. I don’t get out much, and I have no desire to, unless I haven’t seen one of my friends in a while. Living like this feels like loneliness sometimes, but since 2015, it has hardly ever felt that way.
I really wanted to go see Star Wars opening week, so I decided to go by myself. Not only would I go alone, but I would also go get a meal afterward on my own. Two first would take place the same day. I have to admit, the idea wasn’t my own. My friend had told me about his many misadventures that started off as solo trips, so I was intrigued about the possibility of something amazing happening on my own solo trip. I planned out the entire day to specifically spoil myself and do what I wanted to do. I didn’t get some grand misadventure, but I walked away with something far greater.
I won’t lie, it was depressing leading up to the day. I was upset that none of my friends were able to come. I was upset that I didn’t have someone special to have fun with. I felt a little foolish and pathetic for not having enough friends to fit into my life. I was accustomed to companionship outside of the home. I was hurting. All of that changed when the movie started.
I had nervously ordered my ticket for one, sat in line alone for my popcorn and candy, and sat in my seat, on my row, by myself. I was upset. It felt like there were hidden judges pitying me for being out alone. I just wanted to get it over with. Then, the movie played, and just like any other time, my mind was taken away. I immersed myself, unbothered, into the setting and watched the stories unfold. The best thing about it: there was no one to whisper in my ear or tap me to distract me from the movie. It was grand.
Watching a movie in the theater alone was just as thrilling as having watched it with someone else. I didn’t realize it would be, and yet here I was with life-altering information. If that could be enjoyed alone, what else?
I went to a restaurant alone right after. I wanted cheesecake. As I said, I was treating myself. I went into that crowded place alone, ordered my meal and cheesecake, and enjoyed my time sitting by myself at the bar. I didn’t have to drink. I didn’t have to talk to anyone. I just enjoyed my meal. Eating my meal alone did not alter its quality.
That was all it took for me to realize I can actually enjoy myself all by myself. Since then, I have done several things alone. I’ve watched countless movies on no one else’s schedule. I’ve eaten meals from restaurants I wanted to try when I wanted to try them. I visited sceneries I wanted to see, without company. I was golden all by myself.
I didn’t realize how good my company was beforehand. I was accustomed to doing things with other people. It was refreshing to know I could do things alone. It wasn’t a curse. It was a blessing. I realized life can be enjoyed ‘alone’, and I say ‘alone’ because at no point in my travels was I ever truly alone. I’ve only felt alone. It’s a feeling, not a reality.
That, in turn, has helped me face the pressure that kept telling me I had to find love, get married, and be with someone. I have been teaching myself to love myself more. It’s not like I can’t make friends or be with someone special. It’s just that for certain moments, it won’t be available. I have to accept that, just like I had to accept it for Star Wars. It doesn’t mean I’m lesser of a person, it just means that for this moment I have to go it alone, and that’s okay. I welcome these moments. They allow me to prove to myself that I am in love with me. I thrive better with each chance.
Since then, I have gotten more comfortable living life on my terms. If people can’t make it, it doesn’t mean I can’t do it. I’ve seen people travel alone, hike alone, fly alone, and thrive alone. Though being alone is an illusion, it helps to know that even if it feels real, I can deal. I had to learn to value and love myself more than I valued loneliness.
Nowadays, I’ve found several ways to enjoy my singleness. It is more a blessing than a curse. Are there days when I feel lonely? Yes. Are there days when I wish I had a love to wake up to and spend my day with? Of course. Am I going to let those feelings of absence cause me to miss out on another awesome moment to love on me? Not anymore.
As singles, we need to learn to appreciate ourselves. We needn’t be so caught up in our singleness that we miss the blessings of it. I understand that as an introvert, I am more capable of enjoying my alone time. To my extrovert friends, don’t get so caught up in your time with others that you can’t be by yourself. Everyone, please don’t let the feelings of loneliness have you spending time with someone that will only hurt, manipulate, or waste you. You can’t make the most of togetherness if you don’t first learn to love you. Once you are okay enjoying your own company, get out there and have fun.
While I wait for my spouse, I study others on how to be a good husband. Being a third, fifth, or seventh wheel is a lesson to learn, and boy have I learned from some couples. While I am by myself, I come up with ideas to make my time with friends more beneficial. How can we have more fun next time? The greatest thing about being single is the ability to pursue whatever passion or anointing God brings to me. I wouldn’t have found or understood these things if I was always chasing connection. Every connection isn’t beneficial. Some connections are distractions.
Singleness is not a burden. Singleness is not a mark of shame. Singleness does not equate to no one wanting you. Singleness is an opportunity. It is an opportunity to further examine you and learn how to love you and value you. Don’t waste the opportunity. Learn to enjoy your company. You are an amazing person. Tap into that potential! If it was easy, everyone would do it! Question is, can you afford to not do it?
Give yourself a chance to better yourself and be better to yourself. Being single, or, married folk, being alone is a grand opportunity. Next time you feel lonely, go and spoil yourself. You might find that love you’ve been hungry for lying dormant within yourself all this time. With all things else, there’s Jesus Christ. Ask Him to pour onto you the love you so desire. He just might surprise you.
I love you,