I haven’t been in an even remotely serious relationship in well over a year, and it’s been months since I’ve had any interest in a guy. Things have been going well. I’ve been focusing on myself, and on the things that make me a happier, more productive, and healthier person. I’ve been more content with myself than I have in years, and I don’t want anything, especially a boy, to come in the way of that.

To put it simply, relationships are toxic to me. Or rather, I am toxic to myself whenever I begin to show interest in someone else. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve dated some great (and not-so-great) guys. I love having someone to open up to, to keep me warm at night, and to see on the weekends. I love the warmth that comes along with having a powerful, mutual relationship with someone. I love kissing. I love focusing intently on someone who isn’t me. But that’s exactly what hurts me.

When I begin to focus on someone new, I forget about myself. At least, I forget how to make myself happy. I put all my energy into him. I compare my standards of happiness to his. When he hangs out with his buddies on the weekends, I obsess over how few friends I have. When he goes golfing every Tuesday evening, I dwell on how pathetic it must seem that I spend every night at home with my books. I begin to look for ways to make my life appear more interesting; not just to him, but to myself as well.

I spend a lot of time alone. I am content this way. I enjoy spending my evenings with books instead of coworkers. I like having Sundays to myself to write blog posts and poetry. I like going out too… I like it a lot. But an evening at a bar is a rare treat for me, not a weekly occurrence. And the friends I spend time with are important to me, but they aren’t lifelong girlfriends that I share everything with, they are a random slew of guy friends that are great for joking around and playing foosball with. But if I want to go to Victoria’s Secret or spend the night in bed with a marathon of romantic comedies, you can bet I’m doing it alone.

The thing is, I simply don’t have the type of familial friend group that every guy I date inevitably has, and it makes me sad. It makes me forget that I enjoy my time alone. It makes me forget that I sleep easier when I’ve had a productive day of writing, or that a night of partying with friends nearly always ends in regret.

Let me be clear: The boys aren’t the problem. I am. And I accept that the reason I haven’t found a healthy relationship is because I’m not content enough with myself to begin focusing on someone else. I used to think that focusing on me was selfish, but finding self-love is truly the best thing I can do for those around me. I can’t begin to make another person happy, until I’m happy with myself. And I can’t expect anyone else to make me happy either… I have to be the one to find that joy.

If an amazing guy falls into my lap tomorrow (heh), I’m not saying I won’t pursue it… But I know that I have to be realistic about my expectations, and that I have to focus on my own happiness before anyone else’s, no matter how selfish self-love-obsessed (wut. i dunno) that may seem.

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