Do I Need to Be in a Relationship?
“Sometimes we confuse our desire to be alone with our need of being with the right person.”
Being in a relationship that’s based on mutual respect can be satisfying, enhance your wellbeing, and provide a healthy support system. In these kinds of relationship, there’s room for both individuals to develop personally, with each learning from one another in unique and wonderful ways.
But what if someone doesn’t have a partner or doesn’t want one?
“Balanced individuals enjoy satisfying and stable relationships. Don’t go looking for someone to ‘fill a hole.’ Recognize your own value.”
Relationships are very personal, and many people, respectably, have other priorities outside finding a partner. For these people, the requirements of being in a relationship might not fit with the lifestyle that they want for themselves, so they choose not to have a partner.
Being in a relationship is a choice that depends on what a person wants for his or her life. It’s perfectly possible to live a full, happy life as a single person, since our satisfaction and value as individuals doesn’t depend on whether we have a partner or not.
The relationships that we choose to be in can tell us a lot about ourselves, our insecurities, weaknesses, and fears. Many of us repeat the same patterns in relationships, getting involved in relationship after relationship with the same “type” of person, even though we keep ending up dissatisfied. This isn’t a coincidence; it’s a sign that we don’t yet know how to have a healthy relationship.
What makes for a healthy relationship?
Often we choose to be with people who, rather than making us happy, fill us with bitterness and dissatisfaction.
Being in a romantic relationship with another person is a process of mutual growth where we learn a great deal about ourselves and each other. This process involves an exchange — of passions and pleasures, but also difficulties, fears and shortcomings — that results when we open ourselves up to another person and reveal the most intimate parts of ourselves that we usually keep hidden.
Relationships stop being healthy the moment we become emotionally dependent on them; that is, when we start believing that our own value is wrapped up in and dependent upon the other person. This kind of attachment can be very detrimental to both individuals in the relationship.
Whether you are in a relationship or not, the most important thing is to love, value, and respect yourself. When you decide to be in a relationship, having this foundation of self respect enables you to enjoy being with another person in a healthy way.
Ultimately, we want to be in a romantic relationship because it feels good. Nevertheless, we need to recognize when we are using another person as a means to that end.
Healthy relationships are based on acceptance; they provide an opportunity to share ourselves and find common ground with another person, while at the same time allowing us our own inner space.
Why do we think we need to be in a relationship?
Having a partner is the norm in our society, or at least that’s what society leads us to believe through the media, literature, and our education.
Most of us can remember a time when a family member or friend asked, “So when are you going to find a girlfriend/boyfriend?” We get this question from the time we are young and this type of pressure can make looking for a partner can start to feel like an obligation, making us feel bad about ourselves when we aren’t in a relationship.
We get these messages from movies and books as well. Romance, princes and princesses, and the notion that it’s necessary to suffer for love, are all themes that get introduced to us at a very young age and convince us that we need to be in a relationship in order to be happy.
A monogamous relationship between two people, specifically in the form of marriage, has been the foundational unit of most societies. Despite this, there are many people who decide not to be in relationship, whether for a specific period of time, or for the rest of their lives.
The important thing to recognize is that being in a relationship is a choice, not a necessity. When relationships become necessity we start to see dependence, manipulation, and possessiveness, to the point that the relationship becomes hopeless.
“Knowing where to find love in our lives and knowing how to find ourselves in love requires maturity so that we don’t confuse love with other things: possession, pressure, destruction, etc. Developing the art of love in our day-to-day lives is how we come to understand love as an art form: the art of sharing, harmony, and creation.”