Just Because I'm Single And Lonely Doesn't Mean I Hate Myself

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Just Because I'm Single And Lonely Doesn't Mean I Hate Myself

There seems to be a misconception that when someone says they're lonely, they're also unhappy with themselves. Somewhere along the way society decided you can't have one without the other.

If you want to watch me pull my hair out, say some variation of the following to me:

  • "Don't rely on someone else to make you happy."
  • "Be happy with yourself and that should be enough."
  • "How can you expect someone to want to be in a relationship with you if you aren't completely comfortable with yourself?"

I don't know why there's this idea out there that happiness with one's self and loneliness are inextricably linked together.

They're not. There are plenty of things I like about myself. There are plenty more things that I dislike about myself.

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I've dealt with depression since I was sixteen, so I'm no stranger to self-hate and the awful things we can say to ourselves. But depression doesn't mean I can't be genuinely lonely. It also doesn't mean I can't be happy or comfortable with myself.

And the things that I dislike about myself aren't because I'm lonely, and I'm not lonely because I dislike things about myself. I'm lonely because I'm alone. I live a solitary life with no one to come home to at the end of the day to share the mundane details of my life with.

And while I love and value "me" time, I wasn't built to live alone. I don't think most humans were. I don't think it unreasonable for me to desire to be in love, to want to share my life with someone.

How can you expect someone to want to be in a relationship with you if you aren't completely comfortable with yourself? It's a question I get a a lot. Hold up. You mean to tell me that every single person out there in a relationship is 100 percent comfortable and happy with themselves? I don't buy it.

If the entirety of the human population had to wait to be in a relationship until they were completely and fully happy with themselves (and their partner was, too), there would be so many more single people.

Maybe in a perfect world we all see all the potential and greatness in ourselves and are able to radiate that greatness outward.

In a perfect world, we're able to spend day after day, week after week, year after year alone, and be okay with that because that's how comfortable we are with ourselves.

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In a perfect world, we can single handedly shoulder all the of the responsibilities the world throws at us and it’s fine. It's just fine because we are great and happy with ourselves, and it's all fine. And if we happen to find a relationship with someone we love, it's just icing on the cake.

Well, let me give you a reality check: That's not how the world works. And that's certainly not how my world works.

I'm not meant to go without human touch for months at a time. I'm not meant to never be anyone's number one priority, or never have anyone as mine.

This doesn't mean I don't have people in my life who care about me and who I care about. Being lonely doesn't discount their feelings or mine. We don't live in a black and white world. It's not one thing or the other.

But please don't presume that just because I want to be in a relationship that I'm hanging all of my happiness on this other person.

There was a time, and if I'm being honest, there are currently times when the loneliness is unbearable, and I start to think that being in love would fix it all and fix me. I think: if only I just had love, then everything would be okay. I could deal with all the rest of this BS.

But I know now, even when I wish it was true, that love won't fix it all. Being in a relationship won't fix me. It won't suddenly cure all my insecurities and free me of all my hang-ups.

Love doesn't conquer all. But it might make a few things a little more bearable.

Because at the end of the day, I can love myself and still wish for someone to love me, too.

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Shireen Dadkhah writes about depression, relationships, and self-esteem. Visit her website for more.