With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, you will most likely fall into one of two categories: either you are frantically looking for a present and trying to find a nice restaurant that isn’t booked out; or, you are making last-minute attempts to find your Valentine which, let’s face it, will only end in the sadness and loneliness you have every other day of the year.
Sure, you may fall into another niche category like “My partner and I don’t believe in Valentine’s Day,” or “I prefer being single on an artificial day like this,” but I’m here to focus on those who are desperately looking for a partner.
Let me tell you one thing: stop it.
Stop looking for a partner. Just stop.
I wish people had given me this advice while I was single because it would’ve saved me a lot of heartache and self-loathing.
If you are currently single, and have been for a while, it is easy to fall into what I call a “love rut”. Love ruts are bad. Verrrry bad. Not because it’s bad to be single — in fact, being single is one of the best times to do some introspection and build the best version of yourself — but for two other reasons.
Firstly, in a love rut, you start to consider other partners who are not in your league — people who you know aren’t right for you, but seem like a plausible option because, hey, fuck loneliness.
Secondly, and perhaps most scarily, you start to think the boat of another long-term relationship has sailed from port, that maybe your soul mate (whatever the fuck that means) has moved on to find their own paramour.
Now, I had been single for 20 years before I entered my current relationship. Twenty years. In that time, a whole Lord of the Rings series — and prequel — had flown by, not to mention eight Harry Potter movies. I’ve seen two Nickelback concerts, Nicole Kidman have two fiancés, and endured 20 Valentine’s Days where people would force a smile and reassure me “next year I’ll find the one.”
And, to be honest, the longer the years went on, the longer I wondered if I was capable of having a relationship. I knew I was capable of harbouring affection, but I began to seriously doubt my compatibility as a partner. Was my love of football getting in the way of my prospective relationships? Should I watch TV shows like Game of Thrones and Breaking Bad so I can start new types of conversations with people?
While this may look like a manic monologue, anyone who has been single for long time knows exactly what I’m on about.
Well, stop having these thoughts.
Stop having them because everyone I know in a relationship will tell me the exact same thing — “It sort of just happened,” “I didn’t expect it to happen so fast,” and anything else that implies spontaneity.
For example, my partner and I were really close friends for two years until one day things sort of got more serious. I’m a meticulous planner and even I hadn’t planned for things to happen like this.
So if you’re gonna take anything from this exposé of mine, let it be the affirmation that, statistically speaking, you probably will find a partner and, worst case scenario, you can buy a shitload of dogs (or cats) which will probably bring you just as much happiness (if not more).
– John Seroukas