I recently saw the movie “How to be single” starring Dakota Johnson ( from 50 shades of Grey). The movie is about Alice (Dakota Johnson) who decided she needed a break from her boyfriend who she had been with for four years. Excited and ready for new challenges, she moved to New York to take a job as a paralegal where she met Robin (Rebel Wilson AKA Fat Amy) a fun-loving, wild co-worker (turned bestie) who enjoys partying and one-night stands. Well, everything didn’t turn out as she planned…it turned out even better! and she definitely learned a lot.
For someone who has been single for a long time ( really long time) I could relate with Alice on her season of single. Seeing the movie made me realize how much I’ve learned (about myself and life in general). But what I’m most proud of isn’t just the fact that I’ve been single for this long—it’s how I’ve been single. In today’s world of Instagram and Bellanaija , where couples flaunt their endless romance, it is quite hard to be single. However I’ve enjoyed being single simply because I’ve come to understand the importance of growing before you move into your next relationship. in the last scenes of the movie, Alice said something about “the season of single” being the only moment you would have to yourself, its so short, soo brief that if not enjoyed, could be lost forever. (that sounds a bit dramatic but i’m sure you get the point)
When people ask if I’m dating I sometimes get uncomfortable saying No, especially because of the question that comes after. “but WHY?” A lot of people think the solution to losing love is to find another. I think that there is a lot more out there for you to discover before simply finding another relationship. So fight the urge to over explain or agree to a date simply because people are asking. At the end of the day, its your happiness that matters. But only you know what is required to make that happen. Date when you feel ready and excited about. You’ll be doing both yourself and your future partner a favor.
So for the last 500+ days, I’ve put dating on hold (sort of) and made conscious effort to show up 100% to my season of single. it hasn’t always been easy or fun. There are lots of things about being in a relationship that i miss, and sometimes being single feels straight up lonely. But I must also emphasize that it’s been pleasantly surprising and i have definitely learned a lot.
So whether you’re just entering this season or you’ve been sitting in it for a while, here are some things to remember and celebrate about embracing exactly where you are.
Now is the time to focus on YOU.
When i first heard this phrase in a church sermon I almost couldn’t believe the preacher had just said that (I mean common! I have the whole of my life to focus on ME!!! i thought to myself) But there is so much freedom in this truth. Have you ever really paid attention to people older than you? i do that all the time, i enjoy listening to their success (or failure) stories. People are dripping with regret for their lost dreams and most times its as a result of the responsibilities that stood in their way…..especially we ladies (sadly), life happens really fast for us. check out this example of a typical Nigerian lady. she finishes school, falls in love, gets married, has her first kid, then another, and another, then thats when she starts “living”. Struggling to balance work, home, husband and kids.
But as a single lady? you can do whatever you want. get another degree if you want, learn to be independent, learn to cook, travel as much as you want, learn new skills…the list is endless. Because eventually the things you learn during this season of single are the very skills that would strengthen your relationship. This is the time to fully chase the life you want to build. The ONLY time you are even allowed to be selfish. Embrace it.
Embark on that journey of self discovery
Relationships are about compromise, and that’s is a beautiful thing. But you know what else is? Being able to make all of your own decisions and discovering more about what makes you, you. There is something so liberating about making simple decisions by yourself. Also you know what you are good at, you get to discover or develop your skills/talents/gifts.
This is your season of Adventure
I discovered that I’m a significantly happier person when I’m embarking on an adventure, which to me can be any little thing as long as it doesn’t involve sitting on the couch watching TV or doing something I’ve done over a thousand times again. I love trying new things. Time with yourself is invaluable, you’re constantly discovering things that you were not aware of.
You realize you are stronger than you think
After Alice moved out of her boyfriends apartment, she stayed with her sister for a while and for some reason had to eventually get her own place- She had never stayed alone before. But with time she was good at it. Many things are easier with two people involved but when you are left with no choice you find yourself figuring it out. It can feel overwhelming at first but you quickly learn to suck it up and just get it done.
Alice also just loved the idea of being in love that she fell for every guy that approached her. Eventually she was strong enough emotionally to decide what she wanted (or did not want in a guy). you get this kind of strength from growth and self mastery, that way you find yourself not settling for any kind of person.
Its nice to have a companion that frequently reminds us that we’re loved and beautiful, but the reality is that you already are all of those things and the more you are willing to sit with yourself and learn who you are, you will eventually start to look at yourself in the mirror every morning and know that it’s true without needing anyone else to affirm it.
More seasons lie ahead.
There would be times where you would long to be with someone and celebrate events like valentines day or even your birthday, and it’ll feel like companionship is so far away. But you have to remember that You have the rest of your life to do that. But this is your season of YOU.
So while I still look forward to all that lies ahead in my future, I’ve learned to cherish all that I have right now and focus on building a future that i want. I’m not against relationships or judging you for your Instagram posts with Bae. in fact while I’m encouraging every young girl out there to embrace her season of singleness, i think I’m long over due here HeHe! I’m absolutely excited to find love…someday. But I say this with confidence from what I’ve learned: Singleness is a sweet, beautiful place that’s intended to be cherished, appreciated, and fully taken advantage of. I have definitely become a better person and i believe God always has good reasons for making us wait. Waiting is a part of life and one of God’s tools for developing people.