When I found out that my friend Kirsten was dating a close friend of ours, I remember thinking to myself, how did she get so lucky? I mean, this is a woman who had plenty of warnings to give me about the opposite sex. Now here she was, dating a really great man who worships the ground she walks.
Do not get me wrong, I am happy for her, because she deserves the best in life. I know her boyfriend well enough to know that he will be good to her. I also know that she is a wonderful person who deserves a wonderful man.
After long hours of constant thinking, the answer became clear to me. She knew herself first and because of it, was able to draw a great man into her life. She always told me she would have no problem being alone, if a man was not in it, so be it. She was ready to accept whatever her fate would be.
No one told me anything about how to deal with men. Nobody said I needed to be independent in order to succeed in love. I was never told about how treacherous men can be. Instead I just went into the lion’s den and I came out with several scars. As I got older, I realized that along with the scars came some tough lessons that I would apply in the future.
One day, when I was nearly 18, I was discussing my dating life with my best friend Phil, who gave me a valuable piece of advice: “Love yourself first above anything else.” At the time when he told me this I decided to ignore him, thinking that if a man would put me first on his list, I would be all right and all of my problems would be solved. Loving myself for who I am was not a huge concern.
I was wrong. All of the men who I have had dealings with have never put me on their list. No man will ever put a woman on top of his list. You have to do that yourself because no one else is going to do it for you.
It was afterwards when I looked back on my relationships that I finally realized that I got into them because I was feeling lonely but worst of all, I had no clue about who I am. I still do not but I am working on it, figuring it out as I go along. It is the women who do not know themselves well who attract unnecessary men who hurt them one way or another.
Women must know themselves first before they really want to invite men into their lives. We need to be strong and independent, more importantly we need to realize that it is OK to be alone.
I know that society thinks being alone means that there’s something wrong with you. There is nothing wrong with being alone, so let it go and move on.
Being alone means having some close-knit friends who will be there for you, going out whenever you want, pursuing your own interests, your career goals and answering to no one but yourself without considering someone else’s permission.
It’s hard to know where to start. The first thing to do is sit down and think about your values, what do you want in your life, what would you like to learn? If you want to learn how to play an instrument, then take a class. If you want to get in shape, then join a gym. The possibilities are endless.
Women have come a long way. We have more choices in terms of what kind of lifestyle we want to lead or what things to pursue. If we want to stay single, then do that. We can do whatever we want.
I would love to have someone special in my life. But now is not the time. I have plenty of good things going on in my life to mess it up. I am learning to enjoy my time alone and liking it.
Julia Carachure, a junior journalism major, is editorial director of the Campus Times. She can be reached by e-mail at email@example.com.