OK, I’m finally embracing my singledom

I’ve recently realized that I’m, in fact, a serial monogamist. At only 28, I’ve fallen for one after the other far too many times: from the neighborhood bad boy that I was obsessed with to the point of foolishness, to my high school sweetheart. I was a “housewife” at seventeen and then soon after that relationship ended and we parted ways at the Columbus International Airport, I met a man at a club that would change my life forever. I was nineteen and I became his for the better part of my twenties. I’ve spent my life, thus far, with my head in the clouds and always only concerning myself with who’s in love me.

Now, I’m single. Hell, I’ve been single for over three years, but because of all the many loves of my life, I don’t know how to be alone. Ever since puberty, I’ve moved from one infatuation to the next, with each one helping me get over the last. But how can anyone expect someone to want to be with them when they don’t even want to be with themselves? Why do some people (me) thrive on romantic attention and crave it as if it were something essential to their own survival?

I recognize that being single is a state that’s crucial to one’s personal evolution, but what I don’t understand is why I suck so much at it. Being alone can be terrifying if you’re wary of the person you’re left with. My fear of being alone oozes from my pores, like a bad perfume called Desperation, which I’m clearly wearing way too much of. And who is it that I’m so desperate for? The first guy that makes me chuckle over a battle of wits (I ALWAYS win) or gives me butterflies after a kiss in just another random bar stool?

I think a careful evaluation of personal standards is in order. The standards of what you consider to be acceptable in any facet of life is a measurement of your own self-worth. You teach people how to treat you and by that philosophy, I’ve been an awful teacher.

It’s time that I realize (as well as anyone out there that can relate) that the only attention that I need to be craving is my own. Not everyone has to fall in love with me, but I’m long overdue for falling in love with myself. When someone blows me off or doesn’t call, I take it so personally. Why doesn’t he like me? What did I do wrong? But how can I make it personal when they never got to know me in the first place; and more importantly, why don’t I realize that it’s their loss?

If I like someone, I want to spend time with them. I don’t know how to not appear too eager, or how to “play it cool.” I don’t know where the lines are and how not to cross them. For all of these reasons and so many more, I think it’s time I’m “benched” for a bit.

I’ve always belonged to someone else and never to myself, and because of that, I think it’s time I make a serious commitment to be monogamous with myself for a change. I’ve been constantly seeking outside validation when what I truly needed was my own. I’ve never really given myself a chance to develop individually, because my focus has usually been on my current beau.

But I don’t need someone else to make me feel that I’m desirable. Not everyone has to love me in order for me to know that I’m capable of being loved.

Johanna Vissman is a mixologist at trade, a recovering drama queen, and a writer at heart. She loves cooking, reading, everything vampire-related, and her kitty, Loki. Her wanderlust is insatiable as well as her obsession with tacos. She’s also a mean juggler.

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