Why Saying ‘No’ to Relationships for 5 Years Was the Best Move for My Current Relationship
Staying single is the best advice for your future relationship.
Before my current relationship, I stayed single for five years. It was awesome. Admittedly, I’m a lone wolf by nature. Being single has always been fine with me.
But when I found the right girl, I knew it. I knew it was time the single-streak came to an end. Now, after a year-plus of being in my current relationship, I see the unintended advantages of my 5-year relationship draught.
In this article, I will breakdown 5 key reasons staying single led to a happier, healthier future relationship.
From the time I was 16, I began my first real relationship. I dated a girl for around two years. We stayed together until I had finished my first year of college. We went through rough patches, but, generally, everything was smooth. We did the long-distance thing and nothing was inherently wrong with our relationship.
Still, it didn’t feel right. It felt like we were going through the motions. Not only that, we were growing into adults and forming opinions. About love, religion, politics, underage drinking, etc.
Those new worldly opinions weren’t aligning. Our relationship didn’t make a lot of sense even if we could be fine together. We were looking for something more than ‘fine’.
We agreed to go separate ways at the end of summer, as I headed back to my university town.
Two weeks later, I met a girl with who I’d share another two-year relationship with. This one, I met at a toga party. I know — it seems like a sign that it’s destined for failure. Fresh out of a relationship, I ran into another while intoxicated and wearing a toga. What could go wrong?
Despite that, things went well. With philosophies that aligned better, I could finally be myself. More-so than I had ever in the previous relationship. We shared an interest in many things. We had a ton of fun.
But I had other dreams such as traveling the world.
We were nearing graduation by then and I envisioned getting out of our hometown. She didn’t. Our future goals weren’t lining up like everything else had to that point.
We split ways and I spent the next five years doing exactly what I wanted; traveling.
First, exploring the Western United States, but then going overseas. To Europe, then Africa. Finally, to Asia, where I still am.
Over those years, I met a lot of great girls. Girls who I shared much chemistry with, but never dated. My philosophy was focused on staying single.
But, then, I met a girl I couldn’t say no to. And, after five years, it felt like the right time.
In those five years, my travels revealed a lot about me.
In a way, I was preparing myself to be a better partner. But I don’t think it would have ever happened had I not committed to staying away from relationships.
Here are five reasons staying single prepared me for my current relationship.
Why being single for five years was the best move for my current relationship:
1. I became financially stable.
Whether we want to admit it or not, ‘love’ hinges a lot on our financial stability. As I was spending money while in relationships, I was never able to enact a consistent financial plan.
This isn’t to say the previous girls drained me of all my money. I didn’t have any money for them to drain. They were very patient with my frugality.
Still, in relationships, I got caught-up spending money at rates I wasn’t comfortable with. Not yet, at least.
It took a few years of being single to not only put me on my feet but clear way for some discretionary spending. Part of this had to do with transitioning into a professional career.
I was getting paid a little bit more. And, in addition, I was living abroad where my expenses weren’t as high. Now, I feel much more comfortable with financial sacrifice toward a relationship.
2. I got my wildin’ out of the way.
Yes, even though I’m ashamed to say it, sleeping around helped me tremendously.
Toward the end of college, it began weighing heavy on me that I had only ever been in relationships. I didn’t know what the single life was like.
My peers constantly shared stories about their drunken hook-ups. Secretly, I wanted to experience it too. But I couldn’t — because I was always in one relationship or the other. Social pressure was getting to me.
My five-year grace period between relationships served as my time to experience the upsides and pitfalls of single life. I got a full taste of that life and more. It was a ton of fun.
Now, in my relationship, I’m not jealous of those living their wildin’ days. I’ve already had mine.
3. I had time to think about what I wanted in a relationship.
Thankfully, I love being alone. In that regard, being single wasn’t too hard on me. This was key because this process needs time.
Five years of being single allowed me the mental space I needed. It allowed me to determine the kind of relationship I felt comfortable with.
I crafted a would-be partnership in my head and told myself I would settle for nothing less. Then, when the perfect girl came around, I knew she was the one that fit my puzzle.
Luckily, I fit her puzzle as well.
4. I matured.
I say I started my first real relationship at 16, but that’s a bit of an exaggeration. Real relationships aren’t at 16. We aren’t mature enough for a real relationship at 16.
I suppose what I meant was relationships begin to have more freedom at 16 — with a driver’s license and such.
I spent four years, from age 16 to age 20, in constant relationships. In that time, I did a lot of maturing. Of course, there was still a lot of room for maturation after that, too.
Most of us who didn’t marry our high school sweetheart would agree; those school-age relationships were not as serious as we thought at the time. It’s hard to be in a serious relationship when each person still has so much maturing to do.
Giving myself a break from relationships allowed years for my mind to develop.
They say a human brain doesn’t fully develop until age 25. Coincidentally, that’s when I started my current relationship.
Compared to my previous relationships, I now feel like a full-grown adult. I care about adult things and have the knowledge of a real adult.
It’s hard to understand the real world until you leave school. And, even then, it takes a few years on your own to fully understand your place in it.
5. I figured out who I was, not just who I wanted to be.
This is, perhaps, the most important reason why staying single led me to the most healthy relationship I’ve ever been in.
I’m now who I wanted to be. Being single for so long gave me a sense of personal identity. Rather than the joint identities I had developed while in relationships.
I am who I am and who I wanted to be, now.
I made goals that I achieved. I set my own standards. I developed my own ethics. I concentrated on my own opinions. I figured out who I was at my core.
It was all so healthy for me. And, in turn, that became healthy for my current relationship. I wouldn’t have had the time for that sort of self-identification had I been bouncing around in-and-out of relationships all these years.
For that, I’m appreciative of the single life.
I never had the intention of being in a relationship again. As a matter of fact, I could have bet against it. I was sworn to the single life.
But, then, it all made sense. I had grown. Those years alone taught me what I needed to learn about being a partner. In a way, I had succeeded in my personal development and it was time to take my new self for a test drive.
I’m glad I stayed out of relationships because, today, my relationship is as healthy as ever. I’ve found the right person and I truly believe I’m the right person for her.
What do you think about delaying relationships rather than learning from them? Is there a balance? I’d like to hear your opinion below!
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** This article was originally published at www.adamcheshier.com **