Since experiencing my first real relationship over the last four years, I have come to realise that the easier choice is to be alone.
It’s far easier to design your day around you; filling it with things you love, and things that nourish your well. Doing what you want to do, when you want to do it. Being utterly selfish with your attention, your time, and your energy.
Eating pizza in bed when you feel like it, or a healthy green kale smoothie for breakfast. Waking up at 5am without worrying about disturbing anyone, or staying up until midnight finishing that book. Heading on a spontaneous road-trip to Paris, because you fancy a romantic adventure, and a freshly baked French baguette filled with brie. Spending your money on new clothes and makeup, or saving it up to put down a deposit on your first house.
Moving to a new city, or even a new country, because your work has taken you there, and there’s nothing keeping you from going. Quitting your job, and booking a one-way ticket to Bali, or starting that business that has always been humming deep in your soul. Buying that pink sofa because it makes you giddy every time you see it, instead of compromising on a neutral shade of beige. Not having to tell anyone what you’re doing, where you’re going, or when you’ll be back. All the time in the world to figure out who you are and what you really want from your life; then do it.
Getting things your own way, every single time. Side-stepping conflict and arguments, unless the ones with that voice in your head count. Being moody and unsociable when you feel like it, and not having to paint a smile on your face. Never having to explain or justify your thoughts, or your choices; only to yourself. And not having to adjust to somebody else’s temperament; their personality, their values, or their beliefs.
It is easier to be alone. But most of us prefer not to be. In fact, most of us believe it’s far more challenging to be alone.
Because there’s no distraction of somebody else’s thoughts or problems. You are left having to face your own. There’s no one to devote all your time and energy to. You are forced to focus that time and energy inward. And there’s no security blanket; no one there to pick you up when you fall, no one to hide behind, or lean on. It’s all on you.
So we don’t give ourselves that time or space. We jump into relationships as quickly as we can; sometimes from one to another without even taking a breath. Anything to not have to face ourselves, or deal with our own shit. We stay with people who make us miserable, or don’t really make us feel anything much at all, because it’s comfortable; and it feels safer than the alternative.
That’s why we have convinced ourselves to be one half of a whole is easier; and perhaps it is if you’re not ready to be wildly uncomfortable for a while.
But usually, at some point down the line of a relationship, we have an awakening. We realise we’ve been living on auto-pilot, staying small and playing it safe, and we’re ready to try to fly. But the person we’ve built a life with is content staying on the ground, where it’s comfortable and safe; or they don’t want you to grow and realise you are infinite potential.
And that’s when life becomes rocky.
We are forced to make a choice, between this person who feels warm and safe; or letting them go and taking a leap into the dark unknown. If we stay, life will only become hollower and more unfulfilling by the hour. And if we go, our world, as we have come to know it, will turn upside down.
But if we can find the courage to walk away—and be alone until we’re truly ready not to be—the ground will begin to steady itself once more. Things will naturally start to fall into place. Your heart will feel happier, and lighter. You’ll reconnect to joy and your soul purpose. And you’ll rediscover the beauty and ease of being alone.