I could be single if I wanted to.
Since I was about 12 years old I have been dating.
This sounds crazy, I know. I began my dating endeavors when I was 12 years old and dated that same person until I was 18 and in college.
Then, when I got to college I was enamored by my best friend and actively tried to pursue a relationship with him for about six months until it inevitably failed.
Now, I am in a new relationship that is bright and very loving.
However, I have come to realize through my few relationships that I could be considered a “serial monogamist.”
I am constantly dating or in an exclusive relationship. Don’t get me wrong, the only relationships worth mentioning have already been stated above, which is not that many, but it has come to my attention that I have been seeing someone more often than not since I was 12.
I know what you’re thinking; the same things I always think when I see people who are constantly dating.
“They must be afraid of being alone.”
“They must be insecure.”
“They need to focus on themselves for once.”
I get it. I have seen it. But I don’t think I fit in that quota.
Although I have been in long-term relationships for most of my adolescence and adult life, I do not believe in the slightest that I need to be with someone.
I’m just the commitment type.
I’m not ashamed of it. I don’t have a fear of being alone. I don’t feel vulnerable, and I don’t consider myself to be needy or clingy.
I don’t need the comfort or security of a relationship, but I want it. I have the ability to uphold a relationship while still finding myself.
These days the dating scene is depressing. Everyone just wants casual sex or thinks they deserve praise for being single.
Everyone thinks they are too good for a relationship because they don’t need anybody, and they are so empowered by their single lifestyle and having “freedom.”
Now, being single isn’t a bad thing as long as you’re happy. Just like it’s not a bad thing to choose to be in a relationship (as long as you’re in it for the right reasons.)
I do believe I have only chosen to date people for the right reasons.
I did not choose to date any of these guys just because it was easy meeting new people in college. I did not choose to be in a relationship so I could get stuff out of dating them.
I did not choose to date people because they showed the slightest amount of interest in me. I did not choose to continue to date people just because I was with them for a long period of time.
Those would be the wrong reasons to date.
For me, there is a lot to be said about being the “relationship type.”
I have learned valuable lessons about myself and what I want in a partner from each of my relationships and friendships I have had.
Throughout these relationships, I have always told myself I do not need a boyfriend, but I am lucky to have one.
A common misconception about being in a long-term relationship or being a notorious dater is that I don’t know myself.
However, I believe all my relationships have been mature and had the right amount of freedom to help both parties grow.
While in relationships I still have learned how I like to spend my time alone.
I have still been able to get to know myself.
Over the years I have discovered that the best part of my days is jamming out in the car alone. I have learned that doing art alone in my room is when I feel the most comfortable in my own skin.
I have learned that reality shows are just a thing for my friends and I, not for my boyfriends and I. I have learned that I will probably never get the courage to dance as crazy as I do alone in my underwear.
I have learned that I am moody. I can get hangry. I am opinionated.
That is OK though.
So, yes, I am a notorious girlfriend. But that is not all I am.
I am so much more.
From the few times I have been alone and while I have been in relationships I have found within myself, and not with the help of a partner, what I want to do with my life and what kind of person I am becoming.
You can discover yourself in a relationship.
You can be comfortable being alone, even if you are labeled as “taken.”
I am me. I am comfortable being me in a relationship or if I was single.
Image via favim.com.
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Emma Laughlin is a lover of life. She is a Communications and Marketing major at Western New England University and hopes to make an impact on the world someday through her compassion for other humans (and a dash of sarcasm).