Why It's Okay to Admit You Want a Relationship

I've been single for a little over two years now.

As someone who really enjoys my independence, I'm the first to list all the positives of living the single life. You don't have to schedule time for another person, you can truly care for yourself and pursue what you want, you can take time to cultivate and strengthen your friendships—there are so many good things about being single.

RIverdale: Valerie smiling at Archie

(Riverdale via The CW)

However, there are also great things about being in a relationship. I've really enjoyed my two years of total self-reliance and have learned so much about myself, but I'm beginning to reach the point where I'm ready for a stable romance. It's not because I feel lonely or unloved—it's simply because I enjoy the process of sharing my life with another person.

However, admitting that you want a relationship is quite taboo in our world. People automatically assume that you're desperate, sad or looking for a distraction from your lonely life. However, I just don't believe that being honest about wanting a loving relationship makes you weak or needy in any way.

Not sure if you agree with me? Keep scrolling to read all my reasons why it's okay to admit you want a relationship.

You Can't Find Something You Aren't Looking For

There's an overwhelming idea that relationships happen when you least expect them. I get the overall concept of this—I do. It's kind of "a watched pot never boils" way of thinking, but I would also argue that it's totally misguided.

If you lost your cell phone or your car keys, would you just throw up your hands and say "well I guess they'll pop up when I'm not looking?" No! Not only would this severely limit your possibility of actually finding these very important items, it would also mean that you're not putting in the work or effort to change your situation.

Being single is absolutely fine and a wonderful period in your life, but if you want a significant other, you can't expect to find one by just sitting back and waiting for them to fall into your lap. Good relationships take effort, both on your part and on the part of the other person, so you can't expect to find a healthy and long-lasting romance by sitting back and twiddling your thumbs until someone admits their undying love for you.

You can't find something you aren't looking for—aka you can't find a healthy relationship if you refuse to admit that you actually want one.

To All the Boys I've Loved Before: Lara Jean and Peter cuddling on the bus home from the ski trip

(To All the Boys I've Loved Before via Netflix)

Romantic Relationships Are Equally Valuable as Being Successfully Single

I've said it once and I'll say it again—being single is so valuable. But everyone touts the importance of self-sufficiency, independence and being happy with being alone with yourself without acknowledging that you can still be all those things and be in a relationship. Good relationships don't turn you into a co-dependent, clingy person who always needs to be around their partner. You can embrace all the qualities of self-fulfillment and still learn the skills and values that can only be gleaned from a romantic relationship.

Romantic relationships teach you how to work through issues with another person. They teach you how to effectively manage your time. They teach you care, empathy, and conflict resolution techniques. You can learn just as much about yourself in a relationship as you can being single, and neither lesson is more or less valuable.

Romantic relationships have just as much to offer in terms of self-growth and discovery. We tend to forget that in our quest to be happy in our own skin, but it's important to remember that you can still be an independent, strong woman and choose to invest your time and energy into another person you care about.

Stranger Things: Nancy staring at Jonathan

(Stranger Things via Netflix)

There's Nothing to Be Gained From Lying to Yourself

They key word here is "admit." If you know that you want a relationship, but you're trying to talk yourself out of it because you don't want to seem weak or needy, you're lying to yourself. And what are you going to gain from that?

It's important to remember that all your feelings are valid and deserve to be acknowledged, even the ones you might not be ready to face. Pushing down the fact that you're longing for a relationship or trying to pretend it isn't happening will only make you frustrated and unhappy because you're not giving yourself space to explore your feelings.

You have to admit that you want a relationship, just for the sake of dealing with those emotions. You might do a little introspection and realize that you really aren't ready for a full-blown romance. You might decide that you need to put a little more effort into pursuing your crush. Or you might decide to do nothing at all. No matter where admitting your feelings takes you, you have to follow that path because lying to yourself will get you nowhere.

After all, if you can't be honest with yourself who can you be honest with?

Hermione looking pensively to something off-camera in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

(Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire via Warner Bros.)

Want Is Not the Same as Need

If you admit that you want a relationship, people quickly get judgmental. They claim you're incapable of being alone and that you want to rely on another person for happiness when you should be relying on yourself. The problem with these claims, however, is that they confuse wanting a relationship with needing a relationship.

If you feel a need a relationship, that's not good. At that point, you really should take more time to be single because you should never feel like your happiness, fulfillment or validation should come from another person. However, if you're fully comfortable being on your own, but you still want to share your life with another person, there's no harm in that. In fact, it's the literal reason that people get into lifelong relationships to begin with, so why are we demonizing it?

Understanding the difference between want and need is important. If you look into your feelings and find that your desire for a relationship is coming from a need for recognition or acceptance, you're not ready. If you're fully fulfilled and happy on your own, however, and still want to share your goals, insights and thoughts with another person, there's no harm in wanting and pursuing a relationship.

 

Already in a very loving relationship? Click HERE for nine memes you'll definitely relate to.