SARA, 28 — SINGLE
How long have you been single?
Since September. So almost a year.
What do you like about being single?
I definitely like having my sense of self back. I always feel like when I get into a relationship I become part of a couple and I take on the characteristics and the likes and enjoyments of the other person. I don’t like myself as a girlfriend very much. It’s something that I’ve had a problem with. It’s hard to maintain that sense of autonomy in a relationship, so I like being on my own. But it can be lonely.
What don’t you like about yourself when you’re dating?
I don’t like how submissive I get when I know things aren’t right. I felt that a lot in my last relationship, which was an emotionally abusive relationship. But I thought I loved him so I was playing the part of the really good girlfriend instead of telling him ‘it’s not okay to yell at me in a public place.’
What’s been a challenge about dating?
It took me several months to get on the apps and put myself out there. It’s hard to meet someone, especially through Tinder and going on a date and exposing yourself. It’s like a job interview, but your love life and sex is on the line. It feels almost more important in a way. You want to impress the person but you don’t want to be fake, so you’re trying to show this good side of yourself. And there’s a lot of anxiety in that and coping by just being like ‘it’s okay, even if this one doesn’t work out.’
What advice would you give to singles out there?
Although I’ve read a lot sexist articles about this, I think it is good to not put all of your hopes and dreams into one person, so I’ve been seeing a few people at the same time but nothing too serious. I know I’m going to be a good girlfriend and probably going to make an amazing wife because I get really involved with that person and I want to help them achieve their goals and be supportive. It’s been helpful to date multiple people at the same time because it allows me to still retain my own freedom and not instantly give it all to one person. I give my heart away way too fast. I think it’s tricky when you come out of a multiple year relationship and you start dating again, you tend to repeat those behaviors and go right into that comfortable situation; however, it’s really good to give yourself some room to grow, not move to fast, and just be aware of your situation.