Missing Love: single people problems

I love my single life- let me be clear about that.

I love my big, beautiful apartment that stays clean because I am only cleaning up after me and my cat. I love that my weekly groceries will only be eaten by me, so I never have to worry about someone else eating my last bit of ice cream. I love that my bills, my schedule, and my habits are dictated by my paycheck and my preferences alone. There is a lot to love about being single, but I can’t deny that lately I have noticed something about myself:

I miss the feeling of being in love.

You know when you meet someone and your life feels like some cliche lines of a romance novel? You know what I mean: butterflies and sparks flying around, sleepless nights and giggles– that feeling you had around you first crush in middle school. You suddenly feel like soulmates and fairy-tales are real, and become convinced that this new person is “the one”. Everything they do is incredible, and every moment you spend with them is magical. Of course all that infatuation eventually wears off and becomes steady, consistent love, but even the memories of those initial months can stir the embers of passion.

It’s a rare and addicting thing.

Over the years I fallen in love 2 times in my life. That’s not to say I haven’t had other loving relationships, but those were based more on companionship and compassion rather than passionate romance shown in movies. The truth is, I am far more practical than passionate, so purely romantic relationships are rare for me. I am slow to become infatuated and even slower to allow fall in love. It’s just the way that I am. When I do fall for someone I fall very deeply, so that infatuation stage lasts a long time. Both of my passionate relationships began when I was a teenager. Both of them were on-again and off-again due to immaturity, physical distance, and unhealthy habits, and both were deeply passionate and romantic. In the end, both relationship were extremely unhealthy, but ended amicably as we simply outgrew the toxicity. I don’t blame you for wondering why I would miss something that was clearly bad for me. I wonder the same thing. After several nights of pondering I finally figured it out:

It’s not the relationships that I miss.

I am pretty happy with my life. I have a job I enjoy that pays my bills. I have family nearby to visit, and great friends I see on a regular basis. I have an adorable cat who keeps me company, and plenty of hobbies that fill my time. I’m not lonely or unfulfilled, I just don’t have that “spark”, that “zing” that feeling truly excited and optimistic about something brings. Love is many things. It’s deep and complicated, but most of all it’s exciting. The early stages of love are like being in another world that’s brighter than the every day. It’s like being high. Senses are heightened, everything is full of significance, and the world if full of meaning and potential.  It’s an elated feeling that lasts for months at a time. Who wouldn’t want that?

So, how do I find it?

Adds for dating apps and websites flood our inboxes and social media pages everyday. They promise to help you fall in love, but I haven’t had any luck. Really, I’m not even sure I want to change my life right now anyway. I miss the passion, but I’m content with my life as it is. Still, I find myself asking a lot of questions: Am I ready to find love again? Should I made a concerted effort, or let it happen naturally? Does looking for the spark lessen it’s light? Can a spark be created, or is the fire brightest when lightning strikes at random? Do I really need love to feel that way again, or can the passion be created another way entirely? Honestly, I just don’t know. All I can do is keep moving forward.

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