How I Learned To No Longer Define Myself Based On My Relationship Status
Single, married, divorced, and widowed are all terms that describe a person’s relationship status, but the mistake many of us make is that we allow a relationship status to define who we are. You know those type of people. They’re those who always feel the need to remind people that “I’m a single black woman…” or “I’m a happily married woman…” and so on and so forth. And while there’s nothing wrong with making others aware of your status in or out of love, it’s important to know the difference between letting people know your status and letting it define your entire being.
Along the way on my personal journey through love, lust and relationships in general, I figured out how to live my life being all of who I am (while still learning who I’m becoming) and not allowing anyone or anything to define me based on my relationship status. I also had to force myself to stop looking for a man to define me. It took a number of failed relationships, heartaches and finally some self-reflection for me to finally understand that there is more to me than the woman I am in a relationship.
The first step I made toward this discovery was to sit down and make a list of things that describe me, and a list of who and what I aspire to be outside of my “titles.” After doing this, I decided to take things a step further and define each trait on the list and really examine every word to see if I was being open and honest with myself. I found that I’m a very complex person with a lot to offer the world, not just a man. After seeing this list, I decided that I would no longer feel inadequate when people would ask why I wasn’t married or still single. I would simply tell them that it’s not my time to be in a relationship yet and that in the meantime, I’m focused on getting to know myself better.
The next step I took in learning how not to define myself by my relationship status was realizing the beauty of being unattached to a man and a romantic relationship. So many times we as women focus during our single stages on trying to secure a mate for marriage, and in the process, we miss out on the time we have to enjoy ‘me’ time. Not only that, but when we become married, we spend our time focusing on building our marriages when all the while we should’ve continued being who we are in and out of the relationship.
The last thing I did was to discover my purpose in life throughout each change and stage of life. This was a vital step on this journey because I found that knowing and fulfilling my rightful purpose took my mind off of men, love affairs, and so on and so forth. It also allowed me to grow beyond my desperate desire for my status in love to change and helped me realize that I don’t have to live my life based on a status that can flip in the blink of an eye.
While relationships are important and an essential part of life, people don’t have to define who they are based on their status. Learn who you are for who and what you were created to be beyond a love affair. You’ll be surprised at what you discover and how your life will change.
Liz Lampkin is the author of Are You a Reflection of the Man You Pray For? Follow her on Twitter @Liz_Lampkin.