This I Believe

Kimberly - Greenville, North Carolina
Entered on July 23, 2007

I believe that love is not a one way ticket to happiness. I believe that before I can make someone else happy in a relationship, I must first be happy and content with myself.

This belief stems from the constant pressure that I am receiving for a being a 22 year old single woman who lives alone and is not in any type of relationship. My mother is a stay-at-home wife. She was the perfect homemaker for my brothers, sisters, and me as we were growing up. She believes that a woman is at her best when she is in a relationship. She tells me all the time that a man is meant to be a woman’s better half and vice versa and that part of being in a relationship is about strengthening each other. While all this may be true, I can’t understand why I would need to rely on someone else for my happiness. Why can’t I be at my best and happy and strengthened by myself? Why do I have to rely on another for the happiness that I want to feel on the inside? The irony in this is that a lot of people will agree that a woman should not need a man to find happiness. What they won’t agree with is the fact a woman should be alone.

Many of my old high school friends and college buddies are also settling down and starting families. Within the past year I have heard of twelve of my friends becoming engaged, I have attended nine weddings, gone to five bachelorette parties, and sat through six baby showers, all for people who were once my companions on the party scene and who now are asking me the question of when will it be me. Interestingly enough, when I ask all these fairly young couples why they want to get married or why they got married they all reply with the same response…. “because he or she makes me happy!” What’s funny is that if you ask any divorced couple why they got married they will probably tell you the same thing. At one point that person made them happy.

So the question has to be asked: do you need another person to make you happy or do you need to be happy first and then find the person whom you want to be with? For me the answer is clear. I want to find joy and happiness that is not tied to a man. I want to live peacefully and joyously without feeling like I got cheated by life for not finding a man to be with. While I do long for a relationship and for someone to share my time with, I feel that it should not be my main focus right now. Concentrating on me and making myself the best person both inside and out seems to be more important than finding a man to satisfy me. There is no man that can make me happy and if I am not happy and content with myself.