Single AF

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photography // Shah Ali

creative direction // Kiah McBride

Aww damn. Here we go again.

 Another weekend ending the week in, wondering when dates will come and lights will dim for reasons beyond me going to bed alone. Again.

One head on both pillows, wishing that there were two. Instead, I’ll sit back and sip this glass of wine while I whine to Twitter about how I wish I had a boo.

Cue tears.

CUT. END SCENE.

 Temperatures drop, panties drop, but I wouldn’t know nothing about that. I’d rather be single than to settle, over here we’re not wasting nights thinking about what could be. 

 Nah, I don’t spend much time dabbling in fantasies.

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There’s this preconceived notion that being single is a death sentence, that it’s reason to despair. And while I must admit that the occasional Instagram post of happy couples coming across my feed does strike a desire in me, the hundreds of others announcing the latest cheating scandal, broken heart or STD scare reminds me that I’m right where I’m supposed to be—learning how to be fully content with myself, without feeling like I need a partner to complete me.

I know, I know. That sounds cliché. I get it. Truth doesn’t taste as sweet as delusion and dysfunction, and reality is only real if you acknowledge it. But if I say real talk, you probably won’t trust it, so I’m going to slide you a cup of hot tea instead—something that The Shade Room won’t tell you. You ready?

 *whispers* You’re better off alone than unequally yoked.

I know, mind blown.

Too much is wasted getting caught up with where society says we should be instead of using that time to do the pre-work before testing out a relationship. We’re quick to hop in situationships that can be painful to get out of, or lower our standards because, well, we probably lacked them to begin with. No judgment, we’ve all done it.

But that’s the beauty of being single. It’s a time to really figure out who you are, and what you want without the pressure of pleasing another. It’s an opportunity to dive deep within yourself before getting under the covers, after all, the most pleasurable exchange is the one where afterward you don’t have to question your lover.

Energy is contagious, and you don’t want to pass nor catch the insecurities and baggage that broken hearts and unhealed wounds tend to pass around. And while it may seem selfish, it’s actually an act of selflessness to know who you are and what you’re about before becoming a 2-for-1 special. It’s more than just do you believe in marriage, and do you want kids? It’s can I count on you to be consistent, stable and committed to building an unbreakable foundation? Check yes or no. No hesitations.

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And you may find during your x-ray that there are some things that you first have to excavate within yourself. And that’s where it gets hard, because we all want to believe that we’re better than we really are. We all want to point fingers instead of admitting that no matter how good you think you were, and possibly may have been, that there was still a part of you that the blacklight managed to expose. After all, it wouldn’t be a lesson for you to learn if you already knew the answer.

When you’re firm in yourself, and I mean really firm, no amount of attention or I love you’s will have you easily swayed. Disrespect is met with distance, and words of affirmation are tested against action before you invite someone into your space.

When you’re firm in yourself, no amount of attention or I love you’s will have you easily swayed.

So while you wait for that date, read that book, build that business, finish that class, pray.  Go to therapy, get your mind and your money right, do things that bring you joy, keep your cup full so that you don’t attract someone whose cup is half-empty. After all, one of the sexiest things about a person is when they have their shit together.

And next time you feel Single AF, remember this. All those nights in spent digging within, it’ll all be worth it in the end. No Cap.