Being Single: Turning Down The Perfect Man
Editor’s Note: Today’s post is written by Therese Schwenkler. Therese writes for the young & confused at www.theunlost.com, proving that good advice doesn’t have to be boring or uncool. Her mission: to bring more & better direction to today’s mainstream. She tweets at @tschwenkler & is uber cute. Also, you should find out why she’s getting naked for 3,373 people every week. – Lauren
About a month ago, I turned down the perfect guy.
He was sweet and trustworthy and strong. He loved dogs and kids and he was ready to settle down. This guy had his stuff together.
Oh, and he was sexy, too.
But I just knew that I had to break things off.
For one, I’d met him mere weeks after my ex and I had split up, and my heart was still just as broken as my faith in love had grown to become.
For another, despite all the great things about him, I just knew he wasn’t it. For a month or two we’d had our fun, but there came a time when, for reasons I won’t detail here, I just didn’t see a future. Yes, there came a time when I knew I had to break things off.
Let me tell you – the old me never would’ve done this.
In fact, the old me has never broken up with anyone at all — not ever. Not when she knew that the relationship was wrong. Not when she was lied to. Not even when she was cheated on. You see, the old me was incapable of standing on her own. She clung to others as if her life depended on it, as if she couldn’t survive without another. This is all the old me knew.
The new me, though – the new me knew differently.
The new me remembered how I had hurt people in the past – how I had kept one guy around who I never saw a future with simply because I couldn’t stand to be alone. This was a guy who’d adored me and who would’ve done anything for me, but I could never appreciate who he was. When I was lonely, when I was bored, when I was sad, I would call up “the guy.” The rest of the time I would blow him off. At the time I didn’t realize how inconsiderate and how selfish this was. My attention was never completely there; I never treated him with the respect and consideration that each one of us deeply deserves.
The new me thought of all these things and more.
A few nights later I was out with the perfect guy, smiling as he wrapped his perfect arms around my waist. I stared up into his beautiful eyes and I just knew what had to be done. As much as I didn’t want to be alone – as much as I wanted to have him there for those lonely nights when I needed a hand to hold, I just couldn’t do it. I didn’t want to like him “enough.” I didn’t want to keep him around just for the heck of it. He didn’t deserve that, and it wouldn’t do me any good, either. I wanted to become the new me, that person who was stronger and wiser and kinder, even if it meant hurting someone in this moment – and even if it meant being on my own.
So I told him the truth. It wasn’t an easy thing to do; I can tell you that much.
It also wasn’t an easy thing to be without him. Some nights, I felt like I needed someone to lean on. I wanted to call him up, to fall into his embrace, to hear him say he wanted me near.
But I didn’t. Instead of leaning on him, I leaned into myself. I leaned into my sadness and my fear and my loneliness. I leaned into life. I leaned into God.
A month later, it’s still hard for me to be on my own. There are still days when the sadness washes over me and when I find myself aching for the completion of another, for the comfort of a warm embrace. More than anything, I miss having somebody.
At the same time, though, I’m happier than I’ve ever been. When everything was said and done, I felt proud of the woman I was becoming – a woman who, for the first time in her life, was learning to stand on her own. A woman who was capable of treating another with the dignity and respect he deserves, and who was no longer content to keep a person around to lean on instead of to love. I came to see that only in standing on my own for a time could I be molded into that person I was meant to become, into that person who’s whole and complete and who’s deserving of the man that’s waiting patiently in my future.
In the end, being single doesn’t have to be a loathed event that’s forced upon us. It can also be a choice – a choice that we make not only to strengthen ourselves, but out of respect for another. In making this choice, and in taking the path that’s harder when we know it’s the path that is right, we are becoming better women.
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