That picture is from the book Post Secret by Frank Warren. It is more compiled by Frank Warren than written by him. Before I get into the meat of this just a little plug for Post Secret. Post Secret is a project by Frank where people anonymously send him decorated post cards reveling their secrets. He has a website where you can see them or buy one of the five books.
Out of all the books this is my favorite secret; not for it’s sincerity or depth, but for it’s sentiment. It’s one that I think get’s swept under the rug in relationships far too often. I will say right now, in no uncertain terms, that I would rather be alone than settle for someone who less than what I am. If I hold myself to a standard, why is not OK to hold a significant other to that same bar? I respect myself enough to not just take the easy path and take what is given.* Please don’t take this as conceited, this applies to everyone. It has to do with self-respect, honesty, and discipline.
I see so many people in relationships where it is visible that neither are happy. The question remains, why are they still pursuing it? It can be for several reasons, but I think one sticks out, fear. Fear of the unknown, fear of change, fear of letting go. Who knows what lies beyond this? What if I don’t meet someone else? What if this is the best I can do? I just don’t want to be alone. Another factor is work. It’s hard to meet new companions. It’s much easier to just stay with the one you have. Hey, he/she is right there. So, this fear and complacency add up to two unhappy people going through the motions because they are petrified of the world beyond their cocoon.
How about the people who constantly sleep around or jump from guy/girl to guy/girl. Sure if that’s what you want to do, by all means, go ahead. I can say with some certainty that most of these people aren’t doing it for just the sex (not all mind you), but because they can’t deal with loneliness. It’s tough. I would be lying if I said that I haven’t done things or ignored problems to stave off loneliness, things I am not proud of. This is the discipline part. Being human we are naturally social creatures. It’s how we survive. So, it’s understandable why we get lonely. That being said, why settle for someone who is totally wrong for you just because you are alone? It’s not worth it.
The most important factor is honesty. If you are honest with yourself then you can start seeing bad relationships and end them before you concede to a lifetime of unhappiness. Can you respect yourself enough to hold out for the right person? There is 6 billion people on the planet. If you half it for gender and split it into thirds for age. I’ll even say another third for compatibility. That leaves roughly (estimation of course) 300 million people. Yeah they aren’t all by you, but you can extrapolate my point — plenty of fish in the sea. Personally, I intend to find my perfect, metaphorical fish, and not settle for less.
This is more of a clarification for people calling me naive. I do think relationships take work. They take a hell of a lot of work, but it is clear (at least if you are honest) what is something you need to work through and what is incompatibility on a deep level.
*For food, sure. For Love, hell no.