Heartbroken, lonely, or frustrated and searching for that special person. This is the reality for a lot of us people who are single. It’s what most of us want, even if only a tiny bit; a partner, a lover, and a friend. Someone to share our days, night and ourselves with. So we wait. Work on ourselves. Keep our eyes and minds open to stumbling across them by chance, or we try and seek them out. We go on dates, we put ourselves out there to meet someone new, or sometimes we reach out to someone from our past.

But what are we really after? Are we after the commitment or the person? The promise from another human being that we are special to them? Or the joy of having someone who is special to us? Is it the comforting idea that we are the only one for them? That they will honor and treasure us within the sanctity of a committed relationship? Or do we do we want them because we enjoy them and all the beautiful nuances of who they are? Simply put, are we after the cow, or the milk?

From what I know and what I’ve seen in the love lives of those around me, as well as my own, this can be a dangerous trap to fall into. If the sole goal is to find a committed relationship, could we be overlooking an important detail when it comes to with whom we choose as a partner? I’ve often noticed this desperation in some of the other singles; they just don’t want to be alone, so they will take what they can get. If their choice is  largely motivated by avoiding loneliness, they usually wind up dating someone who’s ‘good enough’ or they choose a person who’s not right for them at all… and I think we’ve all witnessed how that story ends.

In my opinion there is a problem here: they’re not actually after the person they’re trying to be with, instead they’re after what that person has to offer in terms of ’emotional currency’. They’re after the wonderful feeling of being wanted and committed to. It’s a currency of the gifts that person has to give as a partner, whether that be love, sex, companionship, or any other number of needs in life that you can’t provide for yourself. All to satiate the idea that life would be better if they had a boyfriend/girlfriend.

This practice of looking for a commitment right off the bat is a slippery slope. We all want to have something special, committed or otherwise. But what happens when someone goes out and jumps into a committed relationship, before exploring their options and spending the time getting to know their love interests?

It seems to go good at first, from a couple weeks to a couple months, then things seem to slowly start to fall apart, till they wonder why they even got together in the first place. The reasons why this happens is because they weren’t choosing the person. Again, they weren’t choosing the person. They were choosing the commitment that individual had to give. And in the excitement of feeling ‘oh I finally found someone who will commit, someone to be my boyfriend/girlfriend’ they forget that it’s the individual you must choose, not the type of relationship you’re after. Let that sink in.

Having someone special means choosing someone who is truly special. You can’t just be with someone as a novelty, treating a relationship as something you ‘have’ rather than something you are a part of.

Keep this in mind next time you find yourself looking for a boyfriend or girlfriend, rather than waiting for someone who truly makes your heart sing.


-The Single Man