I have a confession to make: I am an (EX) serial dater. I used to be a love-aholic, seeking attention from every male that stopped to look twice at me. It’s honestly pretty funny looking back, because throughout my high school and early college years, there was never a significant period of time when I was alone. My best friend definitely won’t deny this!
A little over a year ago, as I was picking up the pieces of my (once again) tragically broken heart, I started wondering why love never seemed to stick. I had no problem finding “love,” but the issue was that I looked for it in all the wrong places.
After the dramatic breakup, I began to slowly realize that the problem might not be solely the relationships I was seeking, but the person I became when entering into them. I had become type of girl who likes to give her all to another person, conforming to whoever they need me to be at that moment. My dreams were their dreams. Their plans were my plans. I had become a walking cliche. Without a relationship, I had no clue who I was supposed to be, much less who God had created me to become.
So (begrudgingly, at first) I decided to give up dating. I KISSED DATING GOODBYE as Joshua Harris would say. Instead of looking for love, I ran from it, choosing instead to figure out how so many relationships of mine had gone terribly wrong.
That’s when my heart started to see the truth: I was a serial monogamist. I loved love. I wanted my life to resemble an 80’s Rom-Com. Truly.
But while I was focusing so much on being the woman a guy would desire, I completely missed the point, and became someone who had no identity of my own. (yuck)
It’s been over a year since I last had a date, and my 14 months of singleness have been wonderful. I used to think that being alone was the worst prospect one could ever face (you’re probably rolling your eyes, and I don’t blame you.) But singleness is wonderful. In fact, I’m happier single than I ever had been in a relationship.
The absence of a relationship has taught me how to dream for myself. It has allowed me to focus on becoming a woman of integrity, instead of desperation. Being independent of a significant other has been the most incredible journey of self discovery. And I would have missed out on every bit of it, had any one of my forced relationships been “the one” that I settled for.
Now please hear me when I say that I still think love is amazing. I think relationships are beautiful, as long as two people are growing independently alongside each other, instead of becoming tangled in each other’s weeds. Marriage is a holy union that is breathtaking when built correctly. And I really would like to wear a white dress and walk down the aisle someday.
But I don’t chase after love anymore. I’ve realized that timing is truly everything, and if I am constantly trying to control my relationship status, then I’m missing the point. It’s okay to sit on the sidelines of the dating game for a while. That doesn’t mean you’re out of the race.
Maybe you’re the girl I used to be, and there’s no shame in that. Own the fact that you are a hopeless romantic, but please respect yourself enough to take a step back. Being single in your adulthood is not the end of the world, it’s the beginning of discovering your own world, and exploring who God has created you to be.
So go ahead, chase your own day dream.
I will be posting some of the little love lessons I’ve learned the hard way, and they all will be under the title “Confessions of an Ex Serial Dater.” Don’t worry, all names have been changed in the hopes of preserving identities. Stay tuned for more!