A Year of Being Single

Disclaimer: I am in no way a relationship expert and I could be talking absolute bollocks.

Now I’ve always been a relationship person and by that I mean Ive spent the majority of my adolescence/adult life in relationships and up until this time a year ago the longest I had been single was a few months. I just happen to always be that girl that was in a relationship and then a few months down the line would find myself in another one and sometimes you just need a break from it all. So at the start of 2018, I decided that I wanted to take a year to just be by myself and focus on me, myself and I.

When I stepped back and looked at the bigger picture I realised that from the age of 15 I’ve always had ‘a person’, ‘a love interest’, ‘a boyfriend’ of some sorts and I’ve never took the time to be on my own and figure what I want from all aspects of life as well as from a partner. Initially it was daunting to make such a big decision and end a three year relationship but I truly believe if your heart isn't fully in it, the relationship soon becomes toxic for both parties involved. Its such a common problem and as Ru Paul rightly says ‘if you don’t love yourself, how in the hell can you love somebody else’.

The sad truth is, some many of us are guilty of doing exactly that. I blame a lot of love songs, romantic comedies and Shakespearian tragedies for the responsibility we feel in other peoples happiness and to a large degree our own self worth. Now I am no way saying that Romeo and Juliet isn't a great piece of literature and that ‘Burn’ by Usher isn't a complete and utter classic but I do think there needs to be a shift in the way we view relationships. I honestly believe the meet each other halfway approach, that one person completes the other and so fourth is why so many of us find ourselves in unhealthy relationships and its our own fault.

If you break it down into numbers, a lot of us approach friendships, romantic relationships whatever it may be as a 50/50 arrangement. You both put it an ‘equal’ amount of investment ,effort and emotion, for want of a better word you become ‘full’ as opposed to empty. Most relationships struggle because in fact its more of a 70/30 situation which is bound to happen if to begin with you aren't at your best. Even if you are the person giving 30% to a relationship, you're still at a loss because rather than finding happiness within yourself, you are allowing someone else to bridge the gap for you. In the same way if you are giving 70% to a relationship and only receiving 30% in return you are not only feeling under appreciated and unloved by your partner, you're actually neglecting yourself. Despite feeling un-nurtured, you are using every last resource to keep your partner happy rather than taking some much needed ‘you’ time. Whether that be something as trivial as a bubble bath, watching your favourite TV programme in peace or just a trip to the gym. Its a catch 22 whether you are person X or Y.

To really be happy I think you have to be at 100 yourself and I don't mean we all have to be perfect but I do think we have to prioritise ourselves mentally and physically so that we can fully make others happy without compromising our own wellbeing. Love isn't another word for worship but the two can be easily confused and they do have many cross overs, don't get me wrong you should feel like your partner is the best thing since sliced bread and the sun shines out their arse. I whole heartedly believe thats how we should view all of our loved ones but the difference is we should feel it about ourselves as well. If you don't think you are worthy of the best then you will settle for less than you deserve, but if two people are both giving themselves a 100% then that relationship is receiving 200% effort, investment and emotion. So if you're stuck in a job thats making you miserable, struggling with your mental health or simply just having a bad day, you have someone to help you through it and support you who has the capacity to not allow themselves to be mistreated and drained in the process.

Imagine two lightbulbs, that are both capable of keeping the room lit but one of them took a few knocks and is now slightly more dim. The other light bulb is now having to light the room for both of them, leaving it strained. Neither are at fault but it is wrong to let your own hardships drain the people around you. So if you start with two bulbs who are equally as bright from the get go then for the most part there should be less dark days. Its about teamwork rather than worship and self sacrifice.

Or as a cheesy pencil my mum once bought me said ‘Never let someone dull your sparkle’. (Karen is all about the motivational stationary)

Completely irrelevent but here is a picture of me getting really up close and personal with an art cafe's brunch menu, there is nothing I love more than a good fry up)

Many of us (whether we like to admit it or not) don't like the thought of being alone and would rather be in a relationship even if it isn't perfect and I think social media is a massive contributor to this because you are constantly seeing happy couples air their extremely clean laundry all over the internet. Then you have valentines day and all the camaraderie that comes with it, we’d all be lying if we said it wouldn't be nice to spend the day with someone but sometimes you just have to Casanova yourself. Make yourself your favourite dinner, light some candles and snuggle up and watch your favourite film. I myself turned down going on a date because I wasn't fully invested in it and instead had my own Sha-len-tines day. 

That would work better if I was called Shallon and not Shannon but you've got to work with what you've got I'm afraid, cant polish a turd and all that.

As with everything there are certainly pros and cons to single life but I do think sometimes we need a break from relationships in order to improve ourselves and figure out what we want from our physical and mental identity .It definitely opened my eyes and gave me the kick up the arse to work on being a nicer person to myself and others. I guess what I'm trying to say is, if you are in a rut and you're really unhapy at the moment- being with someone isn't the quick fix that its cracked up to me. Its like when you watch Jeremy Kyle and a couple on the verge of breaking point decide having a baby will fix things and you're sat at home with a tea thinking ‘You twat’. Adding another person to love into the mix, just means you are spreading yourself even more thinly.

This last year has had many ups and downs but in that time, I've managed to figure out the next step I want to take with my life and I've applied to Uni. Step aside freshers, granny Shan is coming. Although I've got all my offers back, I'm still in the process of open days etc so I'm not 100% on where I'm coming to pick but I am beyond excited to get out of the shithole I call home. I now just have a much clearer picture of what I want from myself and from other people and I've met so many people I can't wait to spend 2019 with so its safe to say that having a year of being single and not have any romantic commitments really did me some good.

Anyways I’ll shut up now and end on a good old Rupi Kaur quote instead.

“You must enter a relationship with yourself before anyone else” 

Milk and Honey

Outfit Details
Jeans- Topshop 'Man Jean'
Shoes- Converse

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