Why it's totally normal to lose yourself in love
"The only person you should ever fear losing in a relationship is you yourself." – Miya Yamanouchi.
So, here I am... two years out of a relationship and still single as a dollar bill. And while I'd like to think that I am putting myself out there, I'm not. I haven't had the slightest crack open for a relationship to find it's way in. This is not because I'm horribly heart broken. It's not because I would prefer to have a significant income rather than a significant other. And it's certainly not because I have commitment issues, daddy issues or any other "issue" that can be chalked up to living the single life. Single is not an issue, my friends. Single life is EVERYTHING. It's a powerful stage to make headway in your life. It's a time to fully and finally (!!) invest in you.
I am single because I'm focusing on a whole lot of whatever the I want, and none of what I don't. I'm working towards the dreams that make me nauseous with excitement and taking time to evaluate what I want in life with as little outside influence as possible. And to be frank, I'm being selfish. I'm choosing myself, by myself, for myself.
Again, SINGLE LIFE IS EVERYTHING.
(Until you realize it's not).
The truth is that what is underneath all the cheerleading for single-dom is fear. Yep, straight up FEAR. I'm fearful that I will lose myself in loving someone else (again). The pattern is all too familiar.
You know the ones. Before their relationship, they roar with excitement for the things that make them come alive. They are full of high hopes, big dreams and outrageous ambitions. They push fearlessly towards their goals. They make time for their friends, their family and their community because they want to build their life in good company. They do spiritual work, take on new hobbies, and frequent the edges of their comfort zone to discover and reveal in the unknown. They workout to the point of exhaustion, not to look good for anyone else, but to know that they were responsible for creating that incredible pump inside their chest all by their damn selves. They buzz with enlightenment and insight and all the good things this world has ever given someone.
...and then love hits.
Love comes in and life's ambitions take the backseat. It's not intentional, and it's certainly not something that is easy to see but then suddenly the person they were before the relationship is a long-lost ideal of who they are in the relationship. The love blinders are on and they are coated in the blanket of this new lustful existence.
All their beautifully directed attention towards their dreams turns towards their lover... and they pause. Time stops. Their big lofty goals are no longer in sight. They move from vision boards and ladies retreats to Saturday nights in, week after week, after week. They are in love, and they have stepped away from showing up for themselves.
And here in lies the problem.They lose themselves in loving someone else.
They are so busy creating a life for their person that they forget to create a life for themselves. Their ambitions take a backseat in the name of "love". Suddenly life doesn't feel so uncomfortable if you never achieve those dreams... because, well, love. Everything is better in love.
The comfort of your lover ties you over when you're having a bad day. The flowers they brought home slap a band-aid over the deep restlessness you experience in life. And with this band-aid on you can no longer see the holes you were desperately seeking to fill.
But the reality is that those holes are still there. They may just not be as blatantly obvious as they were when you didn't have someone to come home to. In single-dom you had to face those discomforts head on. You had to work to overcome them. You were responsible for making yourself feel better. You, alone, by yourself. But in love... naw. You can push the uneasiness under the rug for a bit longer.
It takes work to be who you really are when you're mending two worlds together. It can be confusing, and messy, and wildly compromising. It can also be beautiful, and exciting and deeply intentional. But if you don't keep pushing to fuel your passions and dig up your holes, you will keep looking for anything else (everything else) to take their place. Love included.
We've all heard it before. Good, healthy relationships are not about completing each other, but being two whole self actualized beings choosing to share your love with each other. You're not looking to the other for anything. You already have everything you need inside of you. You are responsible for that self-love. They are responsible for theirs. It's about supporting each other in their respective dreams and wanting them to be as big and bright as they possibly can be. That, my friends, is love in the most basic form.
Because love is always the answer. Love yourself (foremost), love those around you (fearlessly) and love and acknowledge the stage you are in. Keep your intentions on being the best version of yourself you can be. We all deserve a little (lotta) self-love to make this world a happier, healthier, more supportive place.