By: Lanisha Porter
It is always said be careful what you pray for in the event you might receive it after-all. I thought I wanted to be in love...I'm not so sure I want to be anymore.
For a while I'd prayed to God, entrusting him with my hopes that he would bless me with a partner whose presence was good for my soul. Until then I vowed to just be about my business (hence my favorite motto business over boys), and I vowed to have a focus so sharp that it could cut glass.
During the wait I became well acquainted with aloneness and after a while it started to feel right. Oddly, it felt like my strength. Being single for so long many of my ideas about love had become cemented into my expectations. (What do you expect when a young woman has had a lot of time and an imagination?) But when I got close enough to love I saw the ugly parts that are tightly concealed behind the glamour of romance. Its then I realized my idea of how it should go and how it actually goes differed.
I pen this to share how my mind has been absorbed into a certain way of thinking which I call...."The Single Life Syndrome."
Most ideas always seem great until you feel the strain it takes to actualize them. It all requires tremendous work, patience and sacrifice to move ideas from point A to B. Truthfully, while I have harbored my own ideas of what love should be and advocate for them passionately, even I myself am very afraid to love someone back. While I've told myself I aspire to love unconditionally without bearing scars of the past, some pain becomes A PART of us—it's the very garment our wisdom is sown out of. So while I do aspire to love with energy, optimism, and fire...I struggle to leave my heart unguarded because smart girls don’t do that. It’s an unwritten rule that all smart girls know--you don’t marry young, keep quiet reservations, and if it seems too good to be true it is. In my Single Life Syndrome I have become way more head strong than heart strong and I knew, deep down inside, it would only be a matter of time before the guys that thought they wanted me would run for the exit once they started to see all the layers of me. I’m not a girl who aspires to take my husbands last name without a hyphen, I believe in waiting for sex, I don’t prefer public affection, and I could never bring myself to make a man believe I need him so I shy away from phrases like “I need you” and “can’t live without you.” Yet, in the slightest chance someone didn’t run, I stayed encouraged during my wait.
Moreover, the idea of relationships made me feel like I'd be lending myself to distractions and agitation. The idea of love seems so much easier in my mind but when you add another person it adds a different dynamic because then real compromises have to be made, real patience has to be involved, core values get challenged, and your views on how things are supposed to go get disrupted by reality. Therefore, I've opted to stay single until I can afford to take such a risk. I believe Gods greatest gift to us is the space to exist and with such a gift I believe we should strive to leave an impression each day. I never want to use the space God has given me to exist hurting because a man didn't cherish me. I'm so far lodged in my singleness that I couldn't imagine yielding the responsibility to another person to make me happy or fulfill me.
Because I suffer from The Single Life Syndrome I'm not too familiar with using "we" or "us" because "I" is and has been the primary usage in my vocabulary. However, I'm wise enough to know when you are in a relationship you must surrender selfish interests to the sovereign power of love; otherwise it will not work.
For a young lady who has dated herself—outings to the movies, R&B concerts, walks along the belvedere, and even to dinner—aloneness isn't something I'm afraid of; if anything I embrace the solace of it. Nonetheless, though I've known solitude for some time now doesn't mean I want to end up alone. I understand that in the grand scheme of things my successes and educational credentials will have opened doors for me but I'm not positive they will fulfill me. I think love and love alone provides an immaterial satisfaction that makes life meaningful and I don't want to miss out on that. I don't want to miss out on that because I was afraid, held hostage by unrealistic ideas or I was too consumed with myself. I don't want to be full in the worldly ways but empty at the core.
I know I don't have to figure all this out at the tender age of 20 but I do hold myself accountable to have some type of vision to work toward. I know that I am not confident in what decision to make because it all feels like a risky wager when your heart is involved…so what do I do about the suitors that come for me? Well, because I am often unsure about men, I've decided not to lean into my own understanding because I may find error. Instead, I stay in prayer with God asking him to direct my path and only allow me to break my focus to look up at the man if and ONLY if he has uncontaminated intentions for me. I've also asked God to make his answer very obvious to me with little room for interpretation because as women we can have selective sight for the things we should be paying attention to. Now, while I am keeping a listening ear to the heavens about how to conduct my personal affairs, I have decided the best way to proceed is by simply taking my time. Impatience can rob you of everything patience would have earned you, as once told to me by my mentor, so slow motion is the speed I choose.
Welcome to my views from this horizon!