Two hours before the start of this year I experienced a heartbreak that crushed my soul.
The guy I had been seeing on-and-off for the past three years had asked me for a “break.” This was not the first time I had experienced this kind of talk with him, but this time it was on New Year’s Eve. Two hours before midnight when I should have been preparing for a New Year's kiss, I was instead wiping my tears.
I thought things between us were fine. We had not gotten into any arguments in months. I thought we were finally vibin’ on the same wavelength; however, two weeks before Christmas I noticed a slight change in him. At first, I thought it was just me, but his cold and distant aura could be felt on the phone or anytime I came near him. He began to drift away from me day by day.
I eventually asked him if everything was alright between us and he reassured me it was, but then on December 31st he hit me with the typical, “it’s not you, it’s me” speech. I was left angry, less at him, but more at myself. I had just spent a year of my life spreading myself thin trying to chase my dreams, juggling a budding modeling career, and also making time for a relationship where I felt like I was putting in way more effort than I felt was being reciprocated.
[Tweet "Women are natural nurturers. We give and give until there is nothing left in us."]
It is not even as if men ask us to give, we just do it anyway out of love--unconditional love.
I saw the break as two things. First, it was a sign that I was in a relationship where the man I was in love with treated me more like a convenience while inconveniencing me. His inconsistent actions proved it. I realized that I had the choice to either continue to remain in this on-and-off again cycle or painfully let go and move on.
I also saw the breakup on New Year’s Eve as a sign that I should be single for the year. He of course came back trying to make things right, but the damage was already done. I was fed up. I promised myself that in the new year would be the year of me--the year to be selfishly dedicated to myself.
In an interview with New York Times Magazine, Rihanna dished about how she didn't have time for dating because she was fully dedicated to her work:
“Guys need attention. They need that nourishment, that little stroke of the ego that gets them by every now and then. I’ll give it to my family, I’ll give it to my work — but I will not give it to a man right now.’’
And she is right!
It was not until I truly began focusing on myself and what I wanted to accomplish for the year that I realized that being single has been one of the best things to happen to me.
These past 10 months have been one of the best consecutive 10 months of my life.
I have grown.
I have become more independent.
I have found happiness with just being by myself.
I’ve had more career triumphs and opportunities that I have been able to take advantage of.
I even got the chance to travel for work to Paris, and I spent an extra week exploring the city meeting old friends and making new--something that I always dreamed of, but never saw myself doing or probably would have never done if I was still in that relationship.
I feel somewhat disconnected to the girl I used to be 10 months ago, who was more obsessed with her relationship problems versus her own well-being. I feel more in-tune with the young woman I am blossoming to be.
Rihanna said it perfectly. Guys need attention and ego stroking. Relationships in general need a lot of attention to grow and build. Timing is everything. This place that I am in right now in life has taught me that it is okay to be single. Everything happens for a reason.
[Tweet "Sometimes we need to be single so that we can work on ourselves."]
We need to be single sometimes, so that we are solely committed and focused on our work, and goals and being in a happy space in our life before inviting someone to share that happy space with us.
“It’s all about falling in love with yourself and sharing that love with someone who appreciates you, rather than looking for love to compensate for a self love deficit.”
― Eartha Kitt
It’s funny and strange to think that a heartbreak has brought me blessings because it allowed me to refocus myself and dedicate my time and energy to being a happier me.
What are some important lessons being single has taught you in life?