Happy SAD!

Happy SAD!

Ah, Valentine’s Day. The holiday you either love or love to hate. The day where it is acceptable for you and your significant other to unabashedly broadcast your love to the world or the day you are reminded you are alone and have no one to love and no one to love you and you’ll be forever alone because you suck and, oh God, what’s the point of it all…

Want to guess which side I’m on?

This idea of romance and love pervades every aspect of culture. Books, video games, Disney movies – dear God, the Disney movies! Because of the massive amounts of love thrown at us, we feel like we should be swept off our feet by our Prince(ss) Charming by the time we’re 20. If not, might as well start collecting those cats.

Given the significant presence of romance in every part of media, it should come as no surprise at how deeply entrenched that desire for such a deep relationship is within all of us. Despite my anti-social nature, I still feel pangs of desire for “the one”.

So when we see all our friends finding their soulmate or see all the glorified romance plots in entertainment, we tend to get depressed because everyone else is finding love while we’re left out to dry. And with technology like social media, it has become even easier to see all the love blooming around us. Granted, most of these depictions only show the highlight reels, but we still feel left out because we’re forever alone.

I’ve struggled with this so much the past few years. Classmates I graduated high school with have given their eternal pledge of “I do” and have kids on the way, and I’ve yet to have so much as a single date. I honestly don’t like thinking of relationships too much because I always end up throwing a big ‘ole pity party.

So what can you do to combat these feelings of depression and loneliness?

Honestly, I’m struggled a lot to find an answer to that question. There’s few things in life I long for as much as that relationship. But there has been one thing I’ve found that helps me cope with some of those negative feelings. It’s actually a pretty simple concept to understand but much harder to implement:

Be content with whatever stage of life you’re in.

Simpler said than done, I know. But when I put the overly romanticized concept of love in the back of my mind, I can see there are some benefits to being single. A big one for me is that I can focus on myself. While that may sound selfish, I think it might be the best thing to do for the future wife. If I were to be honest, I don’t think I’m ready for that kind of a relationship yet. Not having that type of relationship yet makes it easier to make myself into the man I want to be for the future wife.

Being single has some other benefits: I can spend my time doing what I, for the most part, want to do with who I want to do it. My bank account can retain that much more of my heard-earned cash. Important things like work or school can remain a higher priority.

I’m not advocating a hermit-esque lifestyle here. I’m just saying that maybe being single for this season of life isn’t a bad as it’s cracked up to be. Yes, I want to have that special relationship one day, but I’m not going to let that desire run my life. Once I cancel that pity party and start trying to find contentment in this stage of life, it’s so much easier to actually enjoy this phase I’m in.

Originally posted 2/12/17

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