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It's not a "relationship" problem, it's a "singleness" problem.

Admit it. There are days when you feel super lonely, and that loneliness can be filled by either an intimate/sexual encounter with someone or by simply being around healthy people who contributes to your happiness. For me, I was beginning to feel the first type of loneliness previously mentioned. I found myself being frustrated (not hating) by all the relationship posts on social media and I was like, "damn." I felt like I needed that, I chose to sign up for an online dating site. We all know about tinder. Long story short, I swiped right on this guy (we shall name him E) after he swiped right on me.

Before I continue, the story kind of gets jucier, and you might think to yourself, "what the hell Nicole?" Don't judge me, y'all.

E and I were texting for about one week before I made a conscious decision to meet him in person. He asked me for some of my curry chicken and rice that I made and so I went over to his place on a Monday night with some food in a container. I night??? At his place?? Alone?? Right, but don't judge me. I'd also like to think I was prepared as I had pepper spray and a pocket knife in my bag, and two of my friends had my location for the entire night.

Good news!! He didn't turn out to be a catfish or a serial killer. He was actually cool. We watched a couple movies and then went into his room for the rest of the night and then...yeah. The next day we texted for a few hours, but then the conversation started to die off. I texted him again two days later asking him if he was free anytime in the week so that I can pick up my GLASS container. No response. Not even a "look, I'm not looking for anything right now," or "yes, you can come for your container, but please leave afterwards." Ghosting is so not cool, but I guess I shouldn't be surprised given that most dating apps are mainly used for hook-ups, right? Nonetheless, I was sad, confused, and kind of heartbroken. I mean, the man couldn't even return my GLASS container. Them thangs aint cheap!!

I started watching a sermon series entitled, "relationship goals" by Pastor Michael Todd, and in part II, he argued that it is not a relationship problem, it's a singleness problem. There's an awful stigma attached to being single, so we tend to hunt and search for absolutely anyone who can fill that void and change that title. Then, we find ourselves in relationships where we have no idea of who we are, what we need, and our purpose, leaving it in the hands of our partner to decide. I don't think that tinder is the devil, but I do know that it's not in my best interest to search for a partner on this app. What my one and final encounter with E from tinder taught me was that I needed to practice being comfortable with myself and with being single. I need to continue solidifying and establishing my identity so that when I am ready to commit, no one can change who I am because that foundation has already been laid. I need to be comfortable with where I am now so that when it's time to move, it won't feel risky or like a mistake. Most importantly, I need to find ways to navigate through my feelings of loneliness. I'm not quite sure how as yet and I know it'll be challenging, but I'm willing to put the effort in.

Watching part II of Pastor Todd's sermon series changed my perspective on how I view being single. Being single doesn't make me unexperienced; it doesn't make me ineligible to be part of the dating community; it DOESN'T MEAN THAT SOMETHING IS WRONG WITH ME, and it doesn't mean that I'm undesirable. At this point in my life, I want to protect the rest of my energy for myself and for my soulmate. I've given way too much men my time and energy just for them to disappoint me in the end. With that said, I am honestly excited about how much I might learn about myself in my season of singleness, and how this might alter my view on dating and relationships.

If you are single, my challenge for you is to simply get in the habit and in the routine of being comfortable with yourself and with being single. Work on your identity development and learn to be OK with where you are now. You are deserving of true love! It will come. Just focus on you right now.

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Girlllll, this is good. This is a word!

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