Learning to be alone

I’ve had this post sitting in my drafts for a long time and finally scheduled to write it this month, little did I know how relevant it was about to become! This is not about the current pandemic because tbh I don’t have anything useful to add to that conversation. I also want to preface that this post won’t be as depressing as it sounds (ha). I just wanted to talk about how important I think the period in your life where you become a single adult for the first time is. There’s a lot to learn at that time, and you come out better for it. So really, this post is about growing up, I suppose.

When I first moved out of my parents’ house to go to uni I was in a long-term relationship which then became a living together relationship and I think having that during my transition to supposed “adulthood” was a nice safety blanket. I got to stay in an emotional and personal bubble of familiarity while I figured out all the other life things I now had to do. That was good for me in some ways but I also felt like it kept me in a sort of naive spot emotionally. It was my first long term relationship and I was so into the idea of being someone’s girlfriend that I lost myself in the ‘us’ – which I think is true for most people’s first relationships. I recognise that sounds wanky, and who do I think I am? Certainly no Elizabeth Gilbert.

For most people, I suppose moving out of your parents’ house is when you first experience this independence, for serial monogamists this may happen later in life but eventually, you have to learn how to be cool with yourself as an individual. It can be a rusty transition, you have a lot of time alone in your head where you get to overthink and doubt yourself and get frustrated etc. But I think (and hope I’m right) that after a while on your own you figure out what you want, and more importantly what you don’t. Again I recognise the wankiness of saying you have a better idea of who you are but it’s not actually wrong. I think in future relationships you’ll be more assured of what you bring to the party and hopefully still hold on to that, even when you become an ‘us’ again.

I guess all I’m trying to say is trust the process cause if you can’t love yourself, how in the hell you gonna love anybody else?

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