I enjoy being single. Not so much because of dating, which isn’t always thrilling, but for the liberation that comes with my single status. I don’t have to discuss plans and goals. I can literally (and just did this year) move from coast to coast without consulting a soul. And I’m good with that. Because, as Jill Scott sings, “One is the magic number.”
One, however, also leaves just me. That’s when being single gets…complicated. You just have you. Fabulous for weekend trips with the girls and flirting with boys; not so fabulous when your girls get hitched and boys continue to play the same damn game. This is when liberation can turn do loneliness. When oneness feels like solitude. As human beings, we all want to be loved. We all want companionship.
Though “one is the magic number,” we crave to be one with another.
Companionship is one of the many benefits of being in a committed relationship. I sadly watch as Mami lives in an empty nest and has resigned herself to aging alone. Sure, she is elated to cook less and only cater to her needs, but as she often says, “La soledad no es facil.” That’s why she stayed with my stepfather for years. At some point in our lives, the need for companionship and fear of loneliness is more powerful than love.
I want someone to grow old with, but I also want to love that person. Yes, I love my family and friends. One day I will adore my children. The love of a partner, however, is just as unique as that of the children that you bear. As my 38-year-old cousin, Yari, states about her partner of almost 18 years.
“We have a unique relationship. He’s my best friend, my confidante, my comforter, and that’s something you can’t have with just anyone. It’s a connection you only get with a partner.”
Their partnership has grown into this stage. It didn’t happen overnight. It requires time and patience for a relationship to develop from “girlfriend” to “partner” and “confidante.” Sigourney, a 24-year-old nail artist and blogger from Los Angeles, agrees. Though she is young, her love for her man of five years is just as profound. In her heart, she has found it. For Sigourney, the benefit of being in a relationship comes down to one thing: love.
“You put in the work for the love,” she said. “And to me, that’s what the most important.”
So love is worth it. It makes sense. As Lorraine states, “we’re kind of made to live in relationships.” The 50-year-old Miami resident and writer is a very independent woman. She is divorced with two kids yet she is remarrying. Not for companionship’s sake but because “having a family with a spouse and kids can be very satisfying.”
“When you’re with a compatible person who complements you, you feel like you’ve got your back covered and it empowers you to pursue your dreams and become a more well-rounded individual,” she commented. “My kids are very happy that I’m getting married again and so is my fiancés son. I believe part of my titanic efforts for a comeback in life had to do with having met a guy who I feel a strong mental, emotional and physical connection with. We’re a team and that’s a very fulfilling feeling.”
That’s when love is worth it. When we meet the right (not perfect) person, it is worth the trials and tribulations, the ups and downs, and the uncertainty. It is worth being vulnerable, scared, open, frustrated, passionate, happy and hurt . One may be a magic number, but it’s much more satisfying to live a full and loving life with another.