Things aren't always as they seem, don't idealize all your friend's relationships if you want one.
By Monique Zamir, BounceBack Editorial Staff
Sometimes you look at your friends, family, or strangers around you, and it seems like all of them (well, at least 80%) are in a relationship - and they're ecstatic about it. Kissing in public, holding hands, can't wipe the smiles off their oh-so-happy faces... a perfect picture of a perfect situation. It's a glimpse of the type of relationship everyone wishes for themselves.
So everyone's happy, except for you. No, you sit at home alone and you mope about it, while everyone else is having the time of their lives. You're assuming two things, and in doing so, you're making two mistakes:
Assumption 1: You assume that everyone is in a satisfying, happy, comfortable, passionate relationship.
Assumption 2: You assume that you will never, ever find such a relationship for yourself.
Mistake 1: Maybe that not exactly how it is. The grass isn't always greener.
Mistake 2: You're setting yourself up for a self-fulfilling prophecy. If you assume it won't happen for you, it probably won't.
Maybe not everyone is as satisfied or thrilled with their relationships as it seems from the outside. Maybe they are putting on a happy front to hide the fact that they fight all the time. Maybe you're just seeing the highs, and missing the lows. Maybe you're forgetting that every relationship has its ups, but also its downs. Or maybe, your desire to be in a relationship is reflecting on your perception of others. We won’t go deeper into your psychology, but the point is, not everything is as it seems.
Indeed, it very well could be that these friends, family, and strangers in relationships aren’t as happy as you may think they are. We have a tendency to idealize situations that we wish to be in, even if we’ve experienced them before, both the pros and the cons. If you're in a situation similar to this one, try going back to the days when you were tied down with someone. Sure there were fantastic aspects about that relationship, but there also reasons why you’re not in that very relationship anymore. Even in a "happy" relationship, there are trouble spots, fights, and stress - so don't look at a happy couple and think they've beaten the system and found the secret to being happy 100% of the time.
Being with someone means that you have to always account for your actions, that there's another set of expectations to meet, and that problems inevitably arise when those expectations aren't met. This isn’t meant to be a bitter rant against relationships; they’re great to be in. But take advantage of your time in single-dom, and don't waste this precious time completely obsessed with what isn't happening for you, and completely absorbed in observing others, wishing you had what they did. You'll end up regretting not using this time to focus on what is happening for you, and to spend time focusing on yourself. In fact, as a single person, consider that you probably have less to be accountable for (i.e. less pressure) and you can probably be more spontaneous and self-indulgent than your coupled friends.
In the end, just remember that things aren't always what they seem, and until you're in your next relationship, you should enjoy being single and know that many of the couples out there might be thinking the grass is greener as well, and wishing for your situation at this very moment.
Monique is a writer and recent college graduate transitioning to the working world. She currently resides in New York.