She had been trying to convince me that it was wholly necessary to go out and meet new people in the interest of dating... To which I responded with a lengthy explanation of why I felt bothered by the notion of "needing" to be with someone. It seems to be a common misconception that if you're "alone",
- There's something wrong with the situation (or you)
- You cannot fully be happy
- You should be actively searching for someone to fill a supposed void
For whatever reason, may it be the endless film replicas of recycled love stories or a deeper fear of solitude, there's one thing that's certain: we're afraid of being alone. We despise the long expanse of weekends if there are no promised meetings scheduled in between. A solitary stroll is deemed pointless if no one awaits you at a checkpoint. And God forbid that we ever sit down at a restaurant if accompanied only by strains of conversation drifting over from tables of two. In other words, society seems to have made it common practice to equate being alone to being lonely.
But increasingly, I've been finding that we're missing the point when we avoid being alone. Sure, at first it may be uncomfortable (and even scary) to make time to spend with only yourself. But the fruits of investing time to discover yourself are more easily reaped when you're isolated with your thoughts sans the distractions of daily life.
And that's just the thing: we as people are always changing, growing in ways that we don't fully understand until we look inward. Time that is intentionally spent alone won't be counteractive to your relationships- they'll be all the more fruitful.
So whether it be spending a lazy weekend without an agenda, picking up a new hobby, or attending a matinee of the latest blockbuster, try your hand out at being alone- and finding joy in it. Cherish your unsullied solitude without having to bend to the will of others. And learn that being alone doesn't mean you have to feel alone. Because if we can't build a relationship with ourselves, how can we expect to build meaningful relationships with others?