Being Single or in a Relationship?

Someone asked this on Quora and me being the self-professed advocate of the lonely life, I answered.

I am a 26-year-old straight Cameroonian male who has had his heart broken.

And broken hearts.

I have had short (two weeks), very short (three days), and month-long ( 6 months) relationships.

I’ve dated at least 5 women. I don’t keep tabs. It was a painful time I prefer to not remember.

Some were exhilarating.

One month ago, I made the conscious decision to be single.

In my relatively short existence, I never thought I would ever be comfortable with being out of a relationship.

With that in mind, my answer would be biased. In fact, if I were you, I would not read this given my inexperience and lack of facts to back my claims. I speak for myself, hoping you will gain something.

On Being In A Relationship

I love the feeling that spreads through my body when a woman who cares about me touches me. I love the affection, the intimacy and all the perks of being together- living together, sharing inside jokes, feeding each other and being children again without a care in the world. I am a sucker for “love”.

Or at least, that is what I thought love was.

I have come to understand that it takes more than the happy moments to build a lasting, equally rewarding relationship with anyone. Whether it is a friend, lover or parent. It takes a lot of energy and commitment. And most people who are in a happy relationship may not seem happy to you.

That is the difference between making a choice to work on a relationship and thinking that relationships work like “magic”.

The amount of effort required to communicate, to compromise, to fight our natural selfishness is one that needs daily practice.

I think anyone who has been in a serious relationship can tell you about the dark times and what it takes to overcome them.

That said, the reason why I am not in a relationship is this:

I became self-aware enough to accept that I was not ready to invest the amount of energy required. That at this point in my life, I would like to focus all my energy on being creative ( blogging, gaining skills, podcasting etc) and building a business around my interests.

It is sad that I took this long and hurt so many people to accept this basic truth.

But I am happy I did.

On Being Single

I love writing. Especially poetry. I love thinking too. Which means that I tend to spend a lot of time by myself. Where I come from, and from my experience, I find it hard to get alone time when I am in a relationship.

Plus, there are the messages, the phone calls, and the commitments. I suck at being in a relationship. I had just never audited myself and made the decision to lay off that part of my life.

I don’t drink alcohol ( well, maybe once in a month or so), I don’t smoke, I don’t do drugs. I don’t gamble. I am not a stud- which means all I have is my sour humor that may or may not attract females ( remember I said you shouldn’t read?)

This means a lot of my free time is spent on reading, writing and meeting people. I run a podcast which takes time to record and edit. I was only able to start this podcast when I became single. And I looove sharing my thoughts.

I get braingasms from the comment section- literally.

However, I get lonely too. Sometimes I want a hug, a kiss or…more… :)

But then, I believe you can’t eat your relationship and have it. I chose to stay alone for a purpose. And I am fulfilling that purpose.

We may not have the same purpose or thought pattern. And that is fine. I made the call. You should make yours.

I get moments of weakness when I see that someone is attracted to me, or when I get attracted to another person. And that we could get together.

Then, I remember who I really am and the kind of person I become in a relationship.

So, which is better? Being single? Or being with someone?

That, my friend, will depend on you, your environment and your DNA.

But know this:

Your thoughts, goals, and dreams will change. I know mine have and they will.

Same for people you get in a relationship with.

Communication is vital to maintain a relationship.

Self-awareness will lead you to make choices that correspond with your DNA. ( Yes, I totally ripped this off from Gary Vaynerchuk [1])

You will usually get what you deserve. Usually.

Of course, life has a way of being itself. But if every day, if you so choose, you get better at knowing who you are and choosing yourself and the path you want to walk, you might end up enjoying this funny thing called life.

I wish you all the best.

Remember that the most important relationship is the one with yourself.

Footnotes

[1] GaryVaynerchuk.com — Family 1st! but after that, Businessman- a dude that Loves the hustle, people & the @nyjets — @vaynermedia. Tasted wine for years online!

Written by

Cameroonian writer and video creator. Featured in LEVEL and P.S. I Love You. I write about building relationships and personal transformation.

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