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I'm at that age where the majority of my friends are in serious relationships, many of them are engaged and now the countless amounts of weddings have begun.
I am not in that boat, honestly, I'm swimming miles behind the getting hitched boat everybody is on. Ok fine, most days I'm not even swimming behind it; most of the time you can find me relaxing belly up soaking the rays. I can hear the echoing of disappointed people who feel sorry for me when I tell them "nope, I'm single, it's just me!"
But here's what I want you to realize about those of us who aren't hopping on the boat; it's not a bad thing to be floating around single.
I have been in and out of relationships since I was 15 and experienced my first love. Had you asked me then what I would be doing when I was 26, I would have told you I would have been married, working my dream job, making my house a home and planning to start a family soon. Well, now being 26 I am nowhere near that, with no man in sight and quite frankly, I'm ok about it.
I've been in all sorts of relationships. When you're younger it's no big deal if you're single, casually dating or in a serious relationship. If anything, you're encouraged to explore when you're in your early twenties in hopes of finding your person.
It wasn't until in my early-mid twenties that I began to see how eager people were for me to be in a committed relationship. I began seeing a terrific guy that I met at work. At the beginning of us hanging out we discussed what we were looking for & what we wanted both finding we were on the same page. For the nearly 2 years that followed, our relationship was private, hiding behind closed doors. Neither of us met each others families or friends, nor did we go out on formal dates. Instead, we spent our weekends relaxing, binge watching movies, talking, laughing or sometimes content in the silence of just being there. It didn't bother me, at the time the relationship was exactly what I wanted & I was happy getting to know this guy in my life.
People looking in often had much to say when my vagueness about him wasn't what they wanted to hear. They felt like I was somehow roped into this kind of relationship & that I was being used. They didn't understand how I could be willingly & quite happy in the relationship I was in. When I stopped wanting the same things as him, we ended it. If I could do the whole relationship all over again, I would. And I still to this day will tell you how wonderful of a guy he is. His ambition & passion has inspired me to make goals while chasing my dreams.
Just because I wasn't in a serious relationship during that time does not mean my love life is taboo. And just because I am single at 26 does not mean I am doomed to a lifetime of loneliness.
Here is what I've decided. While so many people are desperately wanting me to find my guy, I've realized I don't want to settle for the sake of shutting up the whispers of those around me. I hate the fact that people assume that I can only find happiness with a man by my side.I have come to the realization that 26 is the time to be selfish in the ways of finding myself & figuring out my place in the world.
In the past 4 years I have started my own small business, one that might not be global or making me a millionaire, but instead it gives me happiness & fulfills me in ways I couldn't of dreamed. I have decided to get back to my roots of volunteering and in a few short years have climbed my way up to running the largest community event in my town. An event that has placed #1 in our metro area & #2 in all of NY & NJ this year. By running this event, I have pushed my limits, conquered my fears of speaking in front of massive crowds, being vulnerable & sharing a very personal story.
Aside from my accomplishments, I have pushed myself to become more independent, self sufficient, open to trying new things. I've been more serious about making goals, life plans whether it's 1 year or 5 years out. I've been dedicated to fining myself & making myself the best person I could possibly be. I have done all this without a man by my side. I've done it all by myself with my family & friends supporting my independence and encouraging me throughout it all.
Now I'm not saying that every single day I am content to not have a boyfriend. I fully admit that I text my single girlfriends venting about where the heck my man is hiding especially when engagement, wedding & baby photos of our peers flood Facebook. I would love to have a guy to share all my happiness with, to have nearby when I'm having a bad day or to simply have somebody who is happy to spend time with me. I would love to walk hand in hand, take adventures or crawl into bed to be the little spoon at night. Which yes, is one of my favorite things.
I feel that becoming myself now will only help me in my future relationships. Figuring out who I am, challenging myself, accepting my independence, my flaws, my sarcastic humor will help me be a better partner. If I am sure of myself then I know I will be more inclined to open up to somebody else which has always been a tremendously difficult thing for me to do. Continually gaining confidence in my personality and my strengths will make me more accepting of all the wonderful things my mystery man has to offer me.
Now, I'm not putting down those who have done what I'm doing while in a relationship. I believe everybody needs to do what's best for them & how it's best for them. My friends who have done this while being committed & who are now getting ready to get married, I still wish them all of the happiness & love the world has to offer. The path that worked great for them, was never the right way for me.
Here's what I would love. I would love for people to stop assuming that I'm single because I have some major flaw that pushes every man away, that I'm incapable of committing or most importantly, that my happiness relies on a man. Being single does not define me, being alone does not mean that every moment I am lonely, and my happiness is all mine to create & define.
So just remember that when you ask somebody if they're seeing somebody & their response is nope; don't assume that it's an awful, end of the world, desperately sad thing. Just don't assume at all.
My name is Kristina and I'm the founder of Love Struck. Read about how Love Struck came to be, see how I make it happen or just read a random thought I just might have! Anything can happen at our blog & I wouldn't have it any other way! It's time to get Love Struck, and what better way to start than right here!