3 lessons I learned while single might be a little misleading. I definitely learned more but these were the lessons that stuck out the most. Being that I’m married, I usually refrain from offering up advice on dating because it’s been quite sometime since I’ve been un-partnered. I exist as a listening ear for my friends and do my best to encourage best practices when it comes to protecting the heart and their body.
While I may be married, there was a time when I dated and even experienced heartbreak. So today, I am sharing some of the lessons I learned from past relationships and how I took the worst of my experiences and used it to better myself.
Mental Health Matters
I wish this was something that I had thought about prior to entering into any romantic relationship. Honestly, as a teenager I got myself embroiled in a very unhealthy, emotionally abusive, manipulative situation with someone I called my best friend. He was able to do that because he had knowledge of my traumas and my insecurities. As I moved into adult dating, I found myself dating the same type of men.
I hadn’t done the work to address my depression and anxiety properly. I hadn’t given myself space to unpack my emotional issues. Instead I found myself involved just to fill space in my life that should have been filled with therapy. I even went into dating who is now my husband with that same unhealthy mind and it had SUCH an impact on our relationship even into marriage. Work on you before you invite someone else to share in your life.
Sex is Never Casual
I know that this one will probably cause a lot of disagreement; and that’s fine. Everyone is entitled to how they feel. I grew up being raised to believe in the Bible. For a long time I left that because I wanted to “do me”and exercise my God given free will to make choices that I wanted to. I’ve since left that mindset behind but let me get to the point.
I was always taught that sex was of the highest physical form of intimacy, designed as a gift between married people.A way to express love and romance in a marriage. I tossed that thinking to the side allowing myself to be influenced by my peers, novels, television, music and any other form of entertainment that made sex seem like a meaningless act.
The reality is, I definitely had sex with men that I had no emotional feelings for. However, my escapades truly left me
empty, drained of meaning. For awhile I convinced myself that sex meant power, and it did so to speak. But I always left those situations feeling more powerless. I was giving my body away to those who didn’t deserve it all under the guise of “liberation” and “empowerment”. While freedom to choose is wonderful, I certainly had to deal with the consequences of my choices.
Compromise Can Be Good & Bad
Compromise is a tool that we have to utilize in life if we truly want healthy friendships and relationships with people. However, knowing when to compromise is really important. You have to decide for yourself what are non-negotiable things you are looking for in a partner and relationship. Compromise where it doesn’t result in hurting you or your morals. Only you know what that is.
I often found myself compromising in terms of the men I got involved with just because I was lonely, not because they added value in my life. It was a temporary fix and in the long-run it hurt me more. Being in a relationship that is fruitless is even worse than being alone.
The Wrap Up
This blog post is only a snapshot of the lessons I learned. If I wrote it all, I’d be writing a novel. The truth is, I wish I had taken the time to value my singleness, learn myself more and heal my trauma before entertaining the company of men in an romantic way. The only advice I’m offering to my single folks is to ENJOY being single! Being married is not some mark of success. Learning to love and value yourself and nurture healthy relationships with the people around you is the real flex.