Life Relationships

Happiness is not your relationship status

Spring is in the air. And we all know what that means.

Sunshine and rainbows.

Did you think I was going to say love and marriage?

(Wait, actually, those are contenders).

But back to what I was saying.

The coming of spring has given me pause to reflect on the year. And it has been a great one. I look back on what God has done in my life, and I can’t help but drop my jaw. “That was great! Wonderful, really God. You are the best. Aaaaand I’m exhausted. Can I have a vacation now? Thanks!”

Because if I’m honest, if this year was full of wonder, I haven’t always been. I have spent a lot of time being focused on the wrong things, wasting energy attempting to live in the future. I learned more about myself, and I stopped living my life like I was waiting for something, or someone.

And while I know that my headspace has had a major spring-cleaning since this time last year, the desire for a relationship has applied to be a permanent resident. And I’ve been afraid of giving it a room to rent.

Because I’m the single girl who owns it. It’s what I’m known for. I feel as if I have “Single and Happy!” written on my forehead in permanent ink. And while it’s totally accurate that I am content and fully enjoying my life, there is a fear within me that if I even begin looking, if love doesn’t hit me over the head like a flash mob pillow fight, I’m a copout. That I’m somehow betraying my own words.

While this could very likely be my anxiety disorder talking (tendency for extremes is common practice), I wonder if this unhealthy view of relationships is far more widespread than my basement suite. We certainly talk about it enough.

Because you’re either dating and desperate, or strong and independent.

Does this opinion come in medium?

A middle ground approach that acknowledges the desire for a relationship, and isn’t afraid to pursue one? One that doesn’t let that desire become a tyrant? That isn’t afraid of relationship, hiding in singleness or vice versa?

When I say contentment doesn’t depend on a man, that means dating someone shouldn’t alter it either. Since “Single and Not Waiting” I’ve dated and I’ve been single again. And my contentment hasn’t hinged on whether a guy has been in my life or not.

It has hinged on whether God is in my life or not.

That has been the key to contentment, not my relationship status.

I do have the desire to meet someone. And I think it’s OK to recognize that while desiring God and desiring a romantic relationship are certainly connected, they can be interdependent things. Love for one doesn’t — shouldn’t — have to forfeit the other. There’s a balance to this madness.

Sure, I’m not in a rush. My nursing friends tell me my eggs will start to expire soon, but I’m not really concerned. I know I have time. I’m still in my early 20s. And I’m not looking to just date anyone. But I’m not convinced that living my life with a super-woman-don’t-touch-me-mentality is very helpful either.

So I’m trying something new. I’m trying this happy medium on for size. And like most things, it’s a balancing act. But I like the way it fits.

Flickr photo (cc) by Caro