My best friend came over this afternoon. She started crying. She is 35. She is beautiful. She is witty and adventurous and has a super hot body. She has a self-created career. She loves bike rides and tropical vacations and interesting music and nude sunbathing. She is single.
She is crying really hard because it hurts. It hurts so much to know how much you have to offer and how much you want to give and to not have anyone to give it to.
I know this.
I was single for years and it sucked more than anything else ever has. I remember at the height of my singledom I took too many sleeping pills and found myself passed out in the bathtub. The snort of water up my nose was what woke me up. I crawled into my bedroom and lay down. I was scared that I wouldn’t wake up. I took the pills not because I wanted to die but because I wanted to be rid of the deepest, saddest loneliness I had ever felt.
I just needed a break…
…and all the stupid things we do when we are single. Like roll around with some weird dude when we don’t really like them because “maybe he will grow on me” or give the jerk another chance and another chance and another chance and another chance because we are waiting for “the turn around” when he sees the light and is ready for our love.
So, my dearest, oldest friend is in my living room crying because she is frustrated. “There is only so many Friday nights I can go to the pool by myself and watch all the other couples frolicking while I’m in the hot tub by myself thinking this jet on my lumbar spine feels super great.”
But she doesn’t feel great. She is exhausted.
Because it is hard. To cook every meal for yourself. To make smart decisions about not drinking, eating ice cream, not watching six Bachelorettes in a row.
It is so nice to have someone to help out with the recycling, with the milk buying, with the just off the phone with your mother spin-outs.
And she doesn’t. And that is the worst. You have to be so strong when you are solo.
You have to be so brave. You have to have such faith. You have to be self-sufficient.
And I don’t mean to give advice. I know it’s easier for me now that I am in relationship to tell all the single ladies that it will all work out. I know that is annoying to hear from someone who is happy.
But my friend said something really cool while she was crying on my floor. She said.
I will never give up.
Which is such an amazing thing to say.
It came from a part of her that knew that she deserved love, a part of her that believed that there has got to be someone out there who is easy and good.
When she said it her eyes steeled. The phrase came from her gut.
I will never give up.
When I was alone I held onto that phrase like it was a tree in a hurricane.
Once, on a really dark day, I phoned a friend crying. I wanted her to promise me that I would one day meet a mate. I was begging her to promise me. She said to me “Emelia, you wouldn’t long for it so much if it wasn’t meant to happen.”
And I think that may be the best piece of advice I have ever been given.
So I tell my friend “I look forward to the day when you call me after the first date. I look forward to learning his name. I look forward to finally meeting him. He is on his way. I promise you.”
If it wasn’t meant to happen you wouldn’t long for it so much.
*Nerdy frog affirmation that I keep on my desk.