Always Want What You Don’t Have? Why Being In A Relationship Isn’t Always Better Than Being Single (And Vice Versa)

January 7, 2013  |  

Call me a former hopeless romantic, but I used to think that being in a relationship would make life just that much better. To have a significant other to talk to after the world has turned you off, appeared to be life’s gift amidst the chaos. Then I got older and I realized that being in a relationship isn’t the answer to every moment of loneliness, every heartache or every irritation. In fact, it could be the cause of all these things.  And after being in a few relationships and talking to women who are currently in them, I am convinced that the grass isn’t always greener on the other side.

Lately it seems that every single woman I speak to wants to be in a relationship. My single girlfriends and I often talk about how everything is going well for us except for the fact that things aren’t picture perfect when it comes to finding love. We all want what we don’t have: a man.

Then I have conversations with friends who are in relationships. All of them, with the exception of one, seem less than thrilled to talk to their boyfriends or spouses. They seem angry more than happy and leave me and my single girlfriends confused at their agony. If you have a man, why are you so unhappy? Then I realized that some of them wanted to be in our shoes, and that they wanted what they didn’t have: a single life.

One of my married friends says she longs for her ‘me’ time. On the contrary, one of my single girlfriends says she has too much ‘me’ time.  They each want more of what the other has.

The old adage that ‘the grass isn’t always greener on the other side,’ couldn’t hold more truth than when it comes to relationships and navigating the dating game. Most single people think that being in a relationship is the answer to their unhappiness. Rough day? A man could make it better. Broke? A dual income could fix that. Head hurts? Well, if you had a man…a little intimacy could be the medicine you need.

These are the thoughts of many single women; but the single girl will be surprised to know that even in a relationship, she can have very bad days, sometimes worse. She can still be broke and sometimes have to support herself and her man. Oh, and after the stresses of being in a relationship, sometimes intimacy is the last thing on her mind.

I’m not bashing relationships simply because I’m not in one (we all know how that goes). I’m only saying that sometimes what we think will make us happy or complete us is ultimately what can hurt us or tear us apart. Being in a relationship can be a wonderful thing, if it’s the right thing. Still, it is not the answer to every single girl’s prayer. After talking to numerous married couples who are one day short of a divorce and other committed couples who are questioning their relationships daily, I am cool with my single status.

I’ve stopped comparing my situation to those who are in relationships because, frankly, I may not want what they have. Just as being in a relationship has its perks, so does being single. And just as the single life has its downfalls, so does being in a relationship. Both statuses are vastly different, but come with their own set of pluses and minuses. Being single doesn’t necessarily make you happier and neither does being in a relationship.

When I get into another relationship, I’m sure that it will have its high moments and its low ones. There are times when I may be deeply in love and other times when I’m deeply irritated with the person I’m with; but if he is the right man for me, I will accept the good with the bad, knowing that the grass isn’t always greener whether single or in a committed relationship.

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