Nov 11, 2012

The Process of Singleization - When One Becomes Too Independent For A Relationship

For me, 2012 has been a journey of self-discovery.  I began the year in a relationship that I hoped would eventually make its way to marriage and the land of "Happily Ever After".  However, that hope fizzled out halfway through the year when I found myself single once again.  Since then, I have been wavering between finding The One and accepting eternal singlehood.  It's been quite the rollercoaster ride, let me tell you.
You've probably noticed from my recent blog posts that I am somewhat pessimistic when it comes to relationships and marriage.  Far from embracing the stereotype of the "angry black woman" who can't get and keep a man because she's so bitter at the world, these posts were written by me in an attempt to understand the emotions I was experiencing.  I have always been the kind of girl who enjoyed being in relationships.  But after years of failed relationships for one reason or another, I started to wonder...what's the point of being in a relationship?  What will a relationship bring to me at this stage of my life?  Although I am not rich by any stretch of the imagination, I am able to provide the necessities and even a few luxuries for myself and my children.  I have a decent-paying job.  I have a car that is paid for and a house in my name.  I have family and great friends in my support network.  What can a man provide for me that I can't provide for myself??
And so the process of singleization begins.  If "singleization" is not already a word, I'm inventing it today.  If it is, I'm adding my own personal definition: Singleization is the process by which one becomes convinced that a committed relationship offers no benefit to either party to said relationship.  This mindset is typically fueled by the belief that one is perfectly capable of providing for oneself, therefore inviting another person into one's life brings no additional benefits and may indeed produce detrimental effects in the form of drama, heartache and pain. 
My singleization process began shortly after my last relationship ended.  My heart was hurting, my mind was a jumbled mess, my future was unclear to me. . . all because I had invited someone into my life and my heart only for the relationship to end and leave both shattered.  It felt like I would never be the same again.  But once I was able to see things "clearly", I realized that I never had to feel this pain again.  I don't have to risk my heart.  I just won't be in another relationship and I'll never feel pain again!
The process of singleization may begin in different ways from one person to the next.  However the outcome is always the same.  The singleized person believes  s/he can provide for themselves and can do bad all by themselves.  They don't need help from anyone else to do either!
Have you ever noticed that when you're not looking for a relationship, all kinds of eligible suitors come out of the woodwork?  That's pretty much what happened to me.  But instead of looking at this as an opportunity for a healthy, fulfilling relationship, I turned the offers down because I had become singleized.  Thoughts like, "He may seem sweet now but how long will that last?" and "I'm happy by myself, I don't need a man to make me happy" helped to justify in my mind my irrational choice to turn my back on the possibility of love. 
The reality is, fear was the catalyst for my singleization process.  Fear of being hurt, whether intentionally or not.  Fear of being vulnerable.  Fear of not being able to control the outcome of a relationship.  Fear of being controlled.  Fear of losing the independence I am so proud to have.  Fear of losing the essence of me as I become attached to another and lose myself in him . . . as I did in the past.
As I often like to, I shared my thoughts with some of my married friends.  They all gave me the same advice so it has to be true.  All relationships are not the same.  Everyone is different and we all approach relationships in different ways.  I don't have to have the kind of relationship I don't want to have.  Common sense, right?  But it was a total eye opener for me.
So now I am actively trying to reverse the singleization process.  I am opening myself up to the possibility of a relationship once again, trying to remember all of the good things about them rather than convincing myself I'm better off alone.  It's not easy and I'm taking it one day at a time, my sole motivation being I don't want to miss out on what God has for because I was too scared to make myself available to it.

I'll keep you all posted on my progress . . . :)