“Love is the only label that never goes out of style,” according to Carrie Bradshaw of the hit TV and movie series, “Sex and the City.” It’s definitely a hot topic as we transition into summer. The Carter’s released their album “Everything is Love” on Saturday, June 16 followed by the premier of the Oprah Winfrey Network’s newest series “Love Is____” on Tuesday, June 19. As I shuffled through my snail mail this week I was excited to open a save the date for my cousin's planned union in late September, and I recently ordered my gown and began bachelorette party planning for my best friend's wedding in December.
Being surrounded by love, I began to think about my love life and the fact that I’ve been on two dates in the last two years and haven’t been off the market since my junior year in high school.
During college and grad school I was overwhelmed with my classes, part-time work, internships, volunteer opportunities and extra-curricular activities; fitting in a boyfriend was last on my list of priorities. Although I think somewhere inside of every girl, myself included, lies happy thoughts or dreams about being a wife, I’m content with single life.
Transitioning into a new phase of my life with more time was a bit challenging, and those two dates that I mentioned earlier happened as a result of work functions. Both of the bachelors turned out to be ineligible, but that’s another story for another time.
In honor of the current love buzz, I’m grateful that although I don’t have a partner, I’m covered in the love category. I’m enjoying my single years and wrapped in the love of Jesus and members of my families- those I were born into and others I adopted.
Living single has taught me a lot about love and life. I enjoy hearing stories about the highs and lows of relationships and marriage and views of how to maintain a happy, healthy and loving life with a partner. Being a single adult has given me greater appreciation for social and solo components of my life. For now, I’ll focus on the latter.
Independence and Responsibility
I’ve heard many more seasoned adults share their admiration for my independence in moving across the country to pursue my career. It’s rewarding to know that I can rely on myself to make things happen without my dad or a male partner. Taking out the trash, pumping the gas, scheduling oil changes and completing other unfavorable tasks builds a sense of pride and accountability.
Personal and Professional Growth
Recognition of your strengths and weaknesses is an ongoing process of life, and living life alone gives you more time and opportunities to explore your skills, talents and opportunities without consideration for a partner and how he or she fits into the plan.
Keeping what Dr. Gary Chapman refers to as your love tank full is often a task that we depend on others to fulfill, but being single teaches you what it takes to get that refill. Whether that means dating yourself with an outing to a new movie, mani-pedi or solo meal, when you’re not in a relationship you learn to love and appreciate yourself without validation from a mate.
What do you value in relationships with yourself and or your mate? Share below.
Jasmine C. Tate