Over the last few years, I’ve been unexpectedly up and down on that emotional rollercoaster of being in and out of relationships and in and out of being ‘in love’.
I say unexpectedly because I never thought I would be here. When I was about 17 years old I met the first love of my life (yes you can have more than 1), I never really had a girlfriend before that.
I fell in love for real, like in the movies kind of love. We were in high school, same year but different classes, both really into basketball and as soon as I met her I knew it was something it couldn’t be denied. It was just there. It was out of my hands.
We lived inside the school and they were super rigid the the rules, relantionships were kinda of forbidden but we couldn’t help ourselves. First we message constantly all day during the day and tried to keep it off at social events, etc… When we finally got together we continued our non stop messaging, talking & calling. At night, we’d spend hours on the phone, until we’d fall asleep talking.
But somewhere along the line we fell out of love.
Unfortunately, at no point until it was over, did I ever think that I would have to somehow figure out how to find love again. I just kind of assumed it would always be there.
Most of my friends back home are married but these days I seem to have a lot of single friends. I feel like I see a whole lot of people trying to convince themselves that ‘focusing on being the best version of yourself ’ is the key to happiness, and being alone is a gift that allows you to become strong and resilient and independent, and to not ‘wait for love’ etc etc.
Maybe I follow too many motivational Instagram accounts but it seems to me like a whole bunch of people who aren’t in love, who want to be in love, convincing themselves that they are actually better off not being in love.
But are they?
What exactly is happening here other than fooling yourself and using it as a strategy to get over a breakup or ongoing heartache. I’ve been through breakups and it’s fucking awful and by all means, do what you need to do to get through it.
But is fooling yourself really the best way to approach it? What if it’s actually doing more harm than good? What if you become so attached to the idea of being the most epic individual not in love person you can be, you convince potential lovers (and yourself) that you don’t actually want it.
And are all the people and motivational Instagram accounts around you, just brainwashing you to be more like them — most likely people who don’t really want what they have?
It reminds me of my time in Portugal when I was “working on myself” or “learning to be happy alone”, and I used to see these big communities of ‘solo entrepreneurs’ who would preach the virtues of ‘working from home’, and having ‘freedom’ etc. After a bit more than 1 year of that, I realised, it’s actually not that good. Working from home sucks gigantic balls, it’s lonely and depressing and working by yourself all the time will make you crazy. Crazy enough to believe the people around you who tell you that you are actually winning by being alone and not being around and working with other people.
I think self-awareness over ignorance is always a better approach.
I’m willing to admit that when I’m not in love, I’m not winning. I spent most of 2017 not in love, and guess what? It wasn’t that great!
Because my brain works in blocks, not curves, I’ve even done happiness quizzes at times in my life when I’m in love and when I’m not. And surprise surprise, I’m a fuckload happier when I’m in love!
Don’t get too carried away with being strong and independent at the expense of the opportunity to fall in love. Because if you are honest, you will probably admit, that you are at your best when you love someone, who loves you back just the same.
(This post is heavily inspired by Dan Norris post of the same title on Medium.)