Everybody Is in a Relationship but Me . . . How to Handle the Feeling of Fear of Being "Lonely"
The feeling of lagging behind others in the aspect of relationships
Here there is a man, just 29 year old, who has never been in a relationship of any form, and who slowly become the only person among a group of family and friends who is not involved in any relationship. My sister already has a daughter, as all of my immediate cousins. One of my two primary friends is married and the other marries in a couple of months. Most of my secondary friends are involved or have just started to be involved in a new relationship. You may say... I am running out of time... right?
I find it very interesting that many people feel anxious of "staying lonely" for the rest of their lives, especially when their family and friends begin to form new homes with potential wives and children, and especially people around my age. They see their friends and family "settling down" and as they get involved in their relationships, it may look like they are going to keep a distance from them since they are going to focus on their new reality. It may look like if they don't do something to find someone, it's going to be too late, like they are going to die or something- they need a relationship because they are feeling inferior to all of the people they know. This is definitely not the right mindset. Why don't I feel worried you may ask? I will let you know now why there is no such thing as "lagging" behind others in the aspects of forming a relationship and a family.
First, I've noticed that this "need for a relationship" has its basics on the culture and religion. If you ask some people why do they involve in a relationship, they will give you answers that I personally find vague and short. "Everybody needs love", "God says it is not good for a man to be alone", and other similar answers. To me, it is very important to find the logic behind a reason for something. Undoubtedly, there are many people, perhaps the grand majority, that do not want and cannot afford to live alone. Living alone means that you are on your own- no parents, no wife/husband, no children, no roommate, not a single person living with you at all. Of course pets don't count here. There is a significant amount of people who need a sexual bond with a partner. There are people who do not have enough emotional tools to live alone; they become depressed quickly, they can't stand a couple of hours without talking to someone, even when there is now the phone, Skype and other advanced tools to keep in touch with others. There are many reasons as per why many people want to bond with someone- but the truth that all of these reasons are relative.
For a celibate like me, staying permanently "single" is not a problem at all. While all of my friends and family focus on their new lives as husbands, wives, fathers and mothers, I simply focus on other things that keep me busy, for example here I am writing this hub. I love to read, see educational videos and spend some time in meditation and deep thinking. I still talk to my friends even though they are either married or in the process of marrying, generally once every one or two weeks. You may ask me, don't you worry your parents, family and friends may think you are strange or weird? Not at all. You see, a person cannot value their life in the basis of others' opinions. As I approach the 30's I know a bunch of people, who haven't told me or dared to confront me, believe that I am gay. To me it is not a problem, because since I don't find men attractive, I am not gay. I cannot worry of something that I know I am not.
You see, this is the problem why so many people choose to be "unhappy" rather than happy. The desperation of finding someone, be it because they are afraid to live alone, or are afraid to be misjudged as something they are not, because of peer pressure and societal views, is creating havoc in today's society. It is simply much better to not be with someone, than to be with someone you are not happy with, a potential lifetime partner cannot be searched and quickly become a couple; it takes time. There are so many people, so desperate for love, so desperate for romance, that look at the wrong places for the wrong people, and believe they are the ones, only to begin living a hell of a life with them- violence, abuse, both psychological and physical. When I read someone so desperate for love, it seems to be that such person does not value him or herself. Now, let's discuss, what is true romantic love? What must be looked for to find happiness with a partner?
It cannot be all about physical attraction
The difference between the brotherly (fraternal) and romantic forms of love is the physical desire/sexual presence in the latter. Other than that, romantic love is just the same as fraternal love. You do not want a partner to only want to touch, caress and have an intimate physical relationship. There is a need, possibly more than the sexual ingredient, for the couple to have a personal, emotional relationship, where both wife and husband (or boyfriend and girlfriend) can share as friends. This is very important, and especially when there are children. Doing jokes, talking about different things, not spend all of the time together kissing and having intimacy. If you have to call friends or family to talk about many different things and you cannot do so with your partner, you relationship is deemed to fail. If I had a girlfriend or a wife, definitely I would want to spend some of the time talking about many things, like for example politics, religion, travel, activities. Kissing and other physical aspects have their time, but they can't have it all. When you are happy, or sad, or when you have problems or are worried about something, to want your partner to be there for you, as a friend.
Inner beauty must overcome outer beauty
I wrote a hub about inner beauty vs. outer beauty, you can find some of my thought about this on there, but in a relationship, with time, a couple must concentrate in the inside. Romantic love must be "fed" on the inside attributes of each one in the couple. If your relationship depends solely on the sexual ingredient, it's useless. Imagine your partner becomes paralyzed in an accident, or loses his/her intimate parts or have a serious problem to move or to so something you enjoyed during you intimate moments, are you going to leave the person because he or she cannot longer satisfy you? Is that what sustains the so promised "love"? What about being with that person and loving that person more than anything? Was it all bogus? You have to love that person from within, for what that person is in the inside, not what is outside.
The ugly truth
Most people who want to find love seek basically, perfection. We know it's not that way, all of us possess defects and bad attributes. But it is important for a couple to know if they cannot handle the defect of a potential partner. The ugly truth, which "boosted" my choosing for celibacy, is that less than 10% of marriages and relationships today are based on true love. You know it works- a person falls in love and hides all of his/her defects. If he or she tends to be mean, swears a lot, is troublesome in general, likes to get drunk, he or she will struggle as heck to hide it during a date and the first stage of the formal relationship because they know it will scare the person away. The other person believes his partner is what she or he looks for. Eventually, some of the defects will slowly reappear, but the other person is already in love and will refrain from looking at red flags. Eventually, through time, the defects are no longer covered and the person "discovers" the true nature of the partner. This usually happens within a span of years after marriage. What's the divorce rate today? Around 50%, and higher depending on the countries. In Puerto Rico, my hometown, is now 80%. And the remaining percent, many of them stay married because of fear of "staying lonely", this is why my observations tell me, less than 10% of couples are truly happy.
We see a lot of movies, fairy tales and soaps that "motivate" us to look for true love. They are not best examples of the ugly truth that is out there. It is your choice to either believe you can be part of the 10% that manages to be successful in a relationship, and if both you and your partner have the desire to be so, it can be achieved. But it is important for you to understand- if you want to belong to the 10% successful marriage couple, you cannot be desperate to find love. That you wait for him or her to come out of the sky? Of course not. But that if you know someone, there are many aspects that may prevent that person to be a potential partner, such as being unsuccessful in many prior relationships or being unfaithful during them. I believe God has chosen a group of people who will live happy lives with other partners, and procreate children. And I am not sad or angry with Him for not being part of that group, because we celibates have also our own calling. That's why I am happy for my friends and family who have found someone, though I have to admit I notice a possibility that some of them will not be successful on the basis that I personally am not convinced on either their partners or on them, because they are so immature in many aspects that they need to know before entering a stage such as marriage, but maybe they will overcome their issues and be part of the 10% successful marriage rate.