This last Saturday (10/3/15) I was in the NBVO Swingers Tournament in Santa Monica. I was having a really great day being out with friends and getting exercise in the hot sun. Before the finals began that day, I heard from a friend of mine via text message, let’s call her Stacy, who relocated to another state. She moved to a new state because she believes that her new city is ‘her’ city that feels like home to her, and partly because she was done with dating SoCal guys for many of her own reasons.
Since her relocation I have followed up with her and it sounded like the dating scene isn’t what she thought it would be for her. I decided to introduce her to one of my guy friends who is a sous chef in her new city. I had no intentions for this guy friend to be her next boyfriend or for even a romantic date but thought it best for her to meet nice men that are in her area for networking/friendship so she can see where her thoughts and aim need to remain, and not let them plummet due to loneliness.
So I reached out to this guy friend and asked if it would be okay if for a female friend of mine got in contact with him he said sure. Again, I never intended for this to be the start of a big giant romantic relationship. Regardless, my guy friend’s delay in response, which is just normal practice for him for responding to everyone (me included), really irked Stacy. She contacted me during the tournament semi-finals to let me know that she was not happy with the fact that it took him a week to answer. In reading the message, I felt her unhappiness call to me and knew I had to be present for her, so I asked her, “What’s the problem with that?”
She went on to say that it’s not okay that it took so long for him to answer. I felt it was time for me to help my friend adjust her perspective. See, I’ve been noticing lately that people look at being single as a disease to ‘cure’ and not as the gift it is for each of us.
I took the time, the best one can via facebook chat, and let her know that reading too much into the situation is causing her to have expectations that are already upsetting her. Instead, she shouldn’t be thinking about this as a romantic date, or anything close to that. It’s simply two busy people meeting in a very busy city. Whether something further takes place is a variable they would both discover once they are face-to-face. Until then, the jury is out. I also informed her that it takes him days or even weeks to respond to my messages.
I think it was that moment where my friend took the opportunity to reassess because she agreed with me. I told her that she is an awesome person and shouldn’t be waiting around for anyone. No one should. She should be going out and having a fun life, and the guy that she’s looking for will eventually surface. When she asked me the question, “Don’t you ever feel lonely?” I paused to reflect and answered honestly.
“It strikes on occasion,” and I explained to her that I am well aware that my purpose in life extends far beyond matrimony and I know that I’m supposed to help humanity on a larger scale so that allows me to maintain my focus on what’s truly important in my life right now (read: me, and changing the world). I make friends and go on dates along the way, and everything that I do holds my interest because I choose it. I didn’t get into this beach volleyball league in order to find a man. I chose it for myself because I enjoy the feeling of being competitive in a friendly setting, of practicing good sportsmanship, of making new friends, and being outside in the sun to get fresh air, as well as for the exercise it provides for me.
It should really show my intent had nothing to do with dating based on the fact that my co-ed doubles partner is a happily married man! 🙂
So when she asked me about loneliness, I encouraged her to find her purpose and to be proactive about living it every day, to be happy before she meets the right guy, so she will have no problem attracting him. The right partner is supposed to add to our happiness and not be all of it. That puts a lot of pressure on one person, and that’s unfair. I reassured her to do what inspires her, and to take risks now, which is the right time to do it before she does get married and have kids. She now has the freedom to do whatever her heart desires.
It would make me sad for her if she lets this phase of learning and growth pass her.
Your single years are supposed to be adventurous, carefree, fun, and sure a bit of a struggle at times, but definitely not spent waiting for someone to show up. It’s during this time you can work on really establishing yourself in what you want to do in life and your career so that planning will give you options later in life when that right partner does come around, whether you want to continue a big career, change careers, retire at 28 because you are a tech genius, or leave the work force because you married said tech genius.
Now is the time to learn how to deal with conflict with different types of people, and to refine your communication skills in order to learn how to be gentler with your words so you know how to speak to your partner. Discover new interests beyond the ones you already have, and find out more about the extent of your own likes and dislikes. As a result of all this growth and change, you will meet the right person and you will both be very thankful that you found each other because you will come together as two whole people and not as co-dependents.
I am so thankful for all the experiences I’ve gone through before the right man for me has shown up. It’s those experiences give me confidence that I am ready for that relationship when it arrives, and that I can clearly communicate with my partner sans nag or whine. My next relationship is going to be a very happy one, even though I know I will miss the freedom of singledom a little…most likely not enough to have a desire to return to it, immediately, but the bottom line is: You are not supposed to spend your whole life waiting and missing out on adventurous opportunities, but by living fearlessly!