I’ve been single for over three years now. For the first two, it was really hard. I hadn’t worked on myself at all and was continually looking for outside validation to feel good about myself. But really, I didn’t feel good at all.
About a year ago I made the decision that I was going to stay single and as difficult as it’s been, being single by choice has been the best decision I’ve made for myself.
Although that may bring about some eyerolls and “well that’s great for you” comments, I want you to bear with me. I’ve grown so much more in this time than I have in any other time in my life.
And below I’ll tell you why.
I’m allowed to demand respect
For my entire life, I didn’t know that respect was something I was allowed to require. I just thought it was a thing that some people got when they looked a certain way. I assumed that because I’ve always been the fat one, that I wasn’t allowed the luxury of demanding respect.
If I could go back and give old me a hug, I’d do it in a heartbeat. It makes me angry that this is the belief that I grew up with. I’m angry that no one told me any different.
Not only am I allowed to demand respect, I’m required to if I’m to be the person that I desperately want to be. Unfortunately respect isn’t something that’s handed out freely anymore. People think that it must be earned or that they’re above respecting others.
Because of that, I’ve learned that demanding respect is my right.
Not only is demanding respect my right, but it’s also my right to walk away if I don’t get it. Respect isn’t something to give out once in a while like a treat. It’s something that I expect to get every moment of the day. Period. End of story.
If I’m not getting that respect, I can walk away.
Their feelings are not my responsibility. If they don’t want to respect me, that’s well and good, but I’m not going to be in their life.
This was a lesson that was hard learned. It took me a really long time to understand this, but I’m so freaking glad that I do now. I will never again settle for any less.
Prefer to watch? Here’s the video!
Having standards means being lonely and that’s ok
There’s this unfortunate message that says that if you have standards, it means you’re stuck up and rude. But really, if you’re mad at me for having standards, chances are that you’re a garbage person who wants to mistreat me. And because I won’t let you, you get upset.
Having standards, demanding respect, knowing what I want means that I’m going to be lonely for a time.
Don’t get me wrong, being lonely sucks. A lot.
I don’t enjoy the feeling of loneliness, but I would much rather be lonely than be treated like crap. I’d rather be lonely on my own than to be lonely with someone in the bed with me.
I’m becoming more and more OK with that loneliness and I honestly think it has made me a stronger person.
Before I went on this journey of self discovery, when I felt the ping of loneliness I’d immediately stop whatever I was doing and jump onto a dating app. I would look for validation, I’d look for that next connection, that next “hit” of companionship, even if I knew it wouldn’t last.
Now when I feel lonely, as much as I feel the urge to find someone else to fill that void for me, I do something FOR me. I’ll paint my nails, turn on the Xbox, read a book, work on my website.
Working through my loneliness means that I’ve become quite comfortable in it. This means that in order for that to change, in order for someone to step into my life, they’re going to have to be worth it.
Settling is NOT an option
The most major lightbulb moment I’ve had, as simple as it may sound, is that settling just isn’t an option. I don’t have room for anything less than absolutely spectacular in my life.
I know that not everyone in the world is going to have every interest that I have, but I do have some things that are very important to me.
Star Wars and Disney movies play a really big part in my life. If someone doesn’t like those things, they’re probably not my person. I’m basically an overgrown 5 year old with a very old soul. Meaning that I love to curl up and watch Mulan while cuddling my stuffed Eeyore, while simultaneously talking about all of the beautiful things in the world. If someone isn’t down for that, they’re probably not my person.
I have long list of values that guide my life, and if someone isn’t on board with those, they’re not my person.
If someone isn’t ok with me having huge dreams, being very ambitious, and constantly striving for better, they’re not my person.
Does any of that mean that they’re a bad person? No, of course not.
But it means that they’re not my person. The type of person that I want in my life, the person that would be absolutely wonderful for me, would be settling for someone else, and vice versa.
It is absolutely OK to have things that are important to you and to want those things in your partner. What’s not ok is settling for less because you think that you either don’t deserve what you want or that what you want doesn’t exist.
I would so much rather continue life on my own than be paired with someone who doesn’t understand me and the life that I want to live.
As difficult as it was coming to this decision, choosing to stay single was definitely a good one. The more I continue to work on myself, the clearer life, and what I want in a partner, becomes. I’ve learned that it really isn’t so bad being on your own. I’m not trying to underestimate the loneliness. It does get really hard and sometimes that feeling of being alone hits my chest so hard it takes my breath away. But that lonely feeling always passes.
I know that there is someone out there absolutely amazing for me. I know that my person is becoming the absolute best version so that when we meet we can continue to grow together.
And until that happens, I’ll continue to demand respect, I will continue to raise my standards as I grow, and I will never ever again settle.
Because I deserve it, I’m worthy of that.
And so are you. Boo, if you read this and it hit home, I want you to know that you’re not alone. I know it’s not easy. I know that the lonely moments are intense.
But I want you to know that you are worthy of love. And love is not disrespectful, angry, abusive, or scary. Love isn’t easy, but it’s beautiful. And it’s out there for you. You deserve it. You’re worthy of it.
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