Written by Contributor Writer Layla McKinley
A few days ago I stumbled upon an article that really hit home for me. I’m 25 and totally content to be single perhaps for the rest of my life. So many people my age are trying desperately to find love and when they come across someone such as myself that could care less one way or the other, they think that it’s because we are afraid or irreparably emotionally damaged. But that is totally not the case. Not to steal the writer’s thunder here but I will say that I am absolutely okay with being single because sometimes relationships make you lose yourself. Relationships make you compromise and that’s fine until you compromise so much you lose sight of your own goals, hobbies and pieces of who you are. I’m not afraid of love, I’m afraid to lose the things I love about myself if I fall in love with someone (aside from myself). But without further adieu check out Zara Barrie’s take on the matter:
I’m 29 years old and single as f*ck.
I seem to be one of a few girls over the ripe old age of 25 who is NOT knee-deep in a pool of panic regarding her single state.
In fact, I’m so blissfully single that all of my “coupled-up” friends and concerned family members have mustered up a slew of complex theories in hopes of hypothesizing and making sense of my single status. The wonderful cast of caring creatures in my life seems to be collectively under the impression that I’m direly afraid, utterly fearful and truly terrified to be in a relationship. They seem to think I am laden with underlying issues that I have buried deep within myself, racking me with a debilitating FEAR at the mere prospect of falling in love. That I’m oh so frightened of having my heart smashed into a million little pieces. That I’m untouchable and guarded as a result of an unspoken trauma. That I’m shackled by my own inner demons and, therefore, don’t want to expose my vulnerability. That I dare not allow anyone into my fragile orbit.
While all the aforementioned theories of my singleness are fabulously dramatic and make me appear to have the tragically glamorous luster of the fallen damsel exhibited in old Hollywood movies, they aren’t even close to the crux of the truth.
I regret to disappoint the masses, but the truth is actually quite boring.
I’m enthusiastically single not because of an unhealed emotional wound. I’m single because I don’t want to be boring. I know my single sisters-in-crime know exactly what I’m talking about because we’ve all watched our most unexpected friends fall victim to these appalling symptoms.
It’s when the most beautiful gem of a girl allows her ambitious fire to be snuffed out by the heavy weight of her newfound relationship. It’s watching the woman you admired most let her sky-high dreams, glorious ambitions, hair (and even waistline) GO whilst in “love.” It’s witnessing the most formerly spectacular outspoken female on the planet all of sudden never leave the comforts of her couch because she’s in “love.” It’s the blow we feel deep within our hearts when, out of the blue, our most loyal friend stops having time for us because she’s too busy wrapped up in the sheets with her new partner.
It’s the thought of trading in our wild, fabulous adventures for monotonous nights tucked into the sofa with Netflix. I can’t help but ponder: Why do people get so boring when they become a couple? I cherish the impulsive, colorful, ambitious and self-sufficient life I’ve created for myself with all of my being. So am I the problem? Sometimes I lie awake at night and wonder — what the f*ck is wrong with me?
Did I not get the memo? Was I sick the day we went over how “relationships change you” in school? Because the older I get, the more often I watch my friends unfold into faded-out versions of the vibrant girls they once were. Is something supposed to genetically shift after the age of 25, when the idea of having a “good time” is as simple as settling for less, being asleep by midnight and never embarking on a solo adventure to a foreign country again? Because none of that appeals to me. Not a trace. Not a hair.
The truth is I would love to fall in love. There is no adrenaline rush in the world more profound than falling in love. I crave and long for intimacy with a soul who understands me. But never at the expense of myself. Is anything worth sacrificing a life of excitement for? Can’t I have both my beautifully free independence and a loving, stable relationship? After all, it’s not love I fear. It’s a life of mediocrity.
I’m not afraid of sharing my life; I’m afraid of misplacing my priorities. I don’t fear letting someone into my world. I would love to have a partner to share my life with. I have a lot of love to give. What I fear is losing sight of my ambitions. I fear allowing the laser focus I have honed in on my career, friendships and family to dissipate in the thick of a relationship.
I’m not afraid of getting attached; I’m afraid of becoming detached from my friends.
The notion of being emotionally attached to another human being is quite beautiful to me.
I would love to meet someone who knocks the wind out of me, a person whose touch my body craves and words my ears long to hear.
I’m afraid of doing what I’ve seen so many others do: gaining a deep intimacy with their partner but losing the incredible connections they have cultivated with the amazing people in their lives.
I’m not afraid of letting go; I’m afraid of letting myself go. I don’t fear allowing my heart to get swept up into the intoxicating arms of love. In fact, I’m pining for it. I do fear letting myself go. All of me: my pride, my personal style, my health, my drive to wear heels and adorn myself in lipstick, my sky-high career ambitions and incessant impulse to travel.
I’m not afraid of feeling fire; I’m afraid of losing my spark. I welcome the fiery feelings of a passionate romance. I’ve never been a girl who is afraid to feel. In fact, I embrace all feelings — even the bad ones are worth it to me. I’m afraid of losing my spark, my inherent charisma — of morphing my unique personality into someone else’s.
I’m not afraid of getting hurt; I’m afraid of forgetting how to flirt. I see so many couples who seem to be more like college roommates rather than romantic partners. They don’t flirt with each other; they have lost their playfulness. I don’t ever want to be in a relationship with someone I don’t have a flirtatious dynamic with.
I’m not afraid of allowing myself to be soft; I’m afraid of losing my edge. I don’t fear letting my guard down with someone, and I’m not scared to open up (to someone I trust). I’m afraid that in doing so, I will give all of my power away. That I will lose the fierce independence I’ve worked so hard to attain and value so deeply.
I’m not afraid of staying in; I’m afraid I won’t go out anymore. I’m past the point in my life where I have to go out every single night to feel like I’m living my life to the fullest. I don’t need to go out every night, however, I fear being a hermit who never leaves her partner and the safety of home.
I’m not afraid of moving forward; I’m afraid of being held back. People say being in a relationship is about growing up and “moving forward into the future.” I would love to build a life with a partner but never at the price of compromising my personal growth.
I’m not afraid of being comfortable; I’m afraid of being complacent. I’m not afraid to get “comfortable” with someone. I’m afraid of getting complacent with a comfortable life and losing that relentless drive that fuels me to nosedive into new experiences.
I’m not afraid of having sex with the same partner; I’m afraid of not having sex at all.
Nothing scares me about only having sex with one person for the rest of my life. What does scare the f*ck out of me is a sexless relationship. The whole “let’s have sex once a month” ordeal doesn’t cut it for me.
I’m not afraid of loving you; I’m afraid I won’t love myself as much.
I’m not afraid to love you; I want to love you.
I’m afraid that once I do fall for you, I will stop falling for myself.