By Kenneth Stepp
Being single, I’m single, alone, dating, hanging out, chilling, in a relationship, dating but not committed…. What on earth do all these words mean? To me, they all describe something that we singles know a little something about. We singles know about being single. All of us on this journey have experienced all of these at one point or another. I have, and I’ve experienced them so often that lines between them have become blurred.
For example, what is a relationship, a romantic relationship that is? Is it when two people have a certain amount of dates? Is it when they become intimate? Is it a commitment? If it’s a commitment, then when does the commitment begin? Are we exclusive? Since all the rules and dynamics to dating have changed, I believe a relationship is when two people date. What that relationship is, well, that is a conversation and agreement between the two people who actually live it. Does that make sense?
So, committed to one another… Are we there yet? If you have to ask, the answer is obvious. No we are not. I’ve known couples that dated for years without ever deciding to be committed to one another exclusively. To me that sounds foreign, but to them, it must seem natural. Perhaps they date one another out of convenience or enjoyment. Killing time or maybe even just having someone to hang out with. I get that, but some of us want more depth than this.
Exclusivity, commitment, and being someone’s one and only are all part of the pathway to finding true love. Not an easy journey, but one most of us take anyway. For me, unconditional love is the goal, for that reason, exclusivity will be agreed upon only after we have gotten to know one another very well. Unlike many, I am not looking for a girlfriend, My search is for forever. So a relationship to me is deep and a huge step. Dating is simply part of the journey, not the end goal. Commitment and stating we are a relationship are things that indicate an end to a journey, not a path “on” the journey.
Love, an elusive and complex word, a state of being I wish myself to be in. I want to be immersed in love. Many who died and were resuscitated back to life experienced visiting a place. Tens of thousands describe the very same place. They felt surrounded by love, as if they were immersed in it. Totally accepted was the word many used. Unconditionally loved, to be one with a loving God. It is an amazing picture in my head. They say they were alive in ways they’d never felt while here.
Although I just described something amazing in a near death experience, I also described what I am seeking. To be fully accepted, no matter what, to be loved unconditionally, to feel alive in ways that a partial person cannot feel. I want a love that takes me there. Does that actually exist? Maybe… I had all this in my head a number of years ago. It wasn’t real, but it showed me what I am looking for, and I will always be grateful to her for that.
Good luck in the sea of singles, friends. It is full of self centered, dishonest, and remarkably talented pretenders. But there are also genuine, kindhearted, and beautiful souls swimming there as well. Find them, appreciate them, and eventually, find one that will love you back…
“We loved with a love that was more than love” – Edgar Allan Poe