The holidays haven’t even begun yet, but it’s almost like this question comes included with the invitation to join the family party. The long heard, feared question of many fellow singles for the next couple of weeks.
I’m tired of saying: “No, Mom, not this time.”, so often that I’m already starting to test the waters for the day I will date someone that I want to bring. So I try out answers things like: “No, but it will be a girlfriend anyway.” or “How many partners can I bring?”, “Can he bring his kids too?”, “He’ll spend the holidays over with his family in Asia.”, … Because as a bisexual, poly-amourous and travelling being, I never know who I’ll end up with eventually. So I try not to set any traditional expectations, as me not bringing home anyone for Christmas is already a pretty exotic and weird rebellious thing. xD
I wasn’t happy in my last long-term relationships, and even though the attachment was a really tough one to break… (which usually happens when there is emotional abuse and you believe this is the best you deserve) I knew I could not stay in the same situation and expect a different outcome. So I broke up and I chose to learn how to FLY* freely (*First Love Yourself’).
Sometimes I feel angry and sad, that over the past 3 years of being single, I still attracted a lot of toxic and abusive people during dating. Then I wonder if anything has even changed in my vibrations and the pattern of attracting these partners...
But fuck YES. I loved and was loved over those years, I had amazingly connected intimacy, fell hard for people in countries I left not much later, some love transformed into a friendship and some love was one-sided or not heard.
There are moments of ‘weakness’ when I freeze and forget I’m aware of my boundaries now. Where I lose my ability to express them and my needs.
These situations teach me where I still have things to heal and to look at. This doesn’t mean I failed. This doesn’t mean I won’t ever get what I want. This doesn’t mean I don’t deserve what I desire. And there’s always some sense kicking in faster and faster every time that makes me realise it’s better to let go. And most of all…
It means I’ve been raising my standards!
I’m not writing this article to tell you about the struggles and then to finish with how I ‘succeeded’ in finding that partner. Because I haven’t yet. But I have already learned a lot from being single and I want to share a few of the side effects I found in raising my standards (Or bringing them where they should have been all along).
The first one: you might stay single for a prolonged amount of time! Or at least relatively to what your surroundings are used to and think is appropriate for you… ‘For your age…’, ‘You are a good relationship therapist, how come you haven’t found a man yet…’, ‘Don’t you want kids?’, … It’s hard sometimes to not want to fulfil this image of what’s expected from the outside, as being in a relationship is often perceived as being successful and being single is a failure or it cannot be by choice.
Another side effect is that you’ll have to learn how to deal with loneliness. I’m not talking about desperation or ‘needing somebody’. Even though I love spending time by myself, travelling and living alone, I sometimes miss the companionship of someone who’s there to laugh with my jokes, to share freshly cooked food with and to spoon me asleep. I do have friends with whom I can do this, but it is frustrating sometimes when I have to do without.
Listening to that hurt voice would NOT bring me a good alternative. I’ve been there in the relationships I had before. I had someone laying next to me, but it brought me headaches and tears. It often made me feel more lonely than I’ve ever felt during those times I was single. Because they were neglecting me, not making me a priority, …
So let’s not transform frustration into desperation, by thinking the alternative to being single is only bliss. With that attitude, you usually end up with less than what you deserve.
The last side effect of finally raising those standards (where they should have been from the start) is feeling you’re cutting off people too soon. If people can’t handle your honesty, think you’re ‘too much yourself’ from the start, or they don’t put in any effort, don’t pull or push. It’s just showing you a natural selection of people who are not worth your time or energy. While in the past I gave people too many chances, time and dealt or entertained with their bullshit… So now it feels sometimes I cut people off too fast because I got used to holding on too long.
Some of my friends can’t follow anymore with the names of the people I’ve been seeing. They laugh it off as I switch partners as quickly as the moon switches shape every cycle. But I rather meet new people and befriend them after one single date if I feel we don’t match, then by giving them their twenty-second or thirty-eight chance.
So, I’m going into the holidays single and curious to try out a new relationship in 202?.
And if you’re curious about my standards: I appreciate people sharing or aspiring traits like honesty, braveness, living/ loving from the heart, commitment and passion.
Keeping those values high right there where they should have always been... and in the meanwhile being just happy by myself!
(Oh, and if you want to watch some Christmas themed movie/series that is not about only happy joy joy lovy couply thingies... I thought the Norwegian series ‘Hjem til jul’ (on Netflix) was really funny!)