Don’t date them because you feel uncomfortable carrying the single label into your late twenties or thirties. Don’t date them because you feel like you’re running out of time, like all the best people are already taken, like you need to settle for scraps. Don’t date them because you’re getting pressured by family members to settle down and start a family. Don’t date them because they asked you out and you might as well go along with the idea.
The only reason you should get in a relationship with someone is if you’re into them. Not the idea of them. Not what they can provide for you. Not the person they could grow into if you push them in the right direction. Not the fact that everyone else will stop nagging you about being single. You should be excited about them. You should be getting into the relationship because they treat you right, they give you butterflies, they make you laugh and support you and get you excited about your future together.
Loneliness isn’t a good enough reason to enter a relationship. After all, the wrong person isn’t going to make you feel any better. You might be able to disguise your loneliness better on social media or while gossiping with friends – but it won’t go away. Instead of being lonely in your room alone, you’ll be lonely with another person sitting next to you. And sometimes, that loneliness is worse. It makes you wonder whether there’s something wrong with you. It makes you paranoid about why a connection seems to be missing.
But the reason is clear. You’re with the wrong person, and the wrong person won’t take away your loneliness. They might distract you for a little while, but they won’t solve the deeper issue at hand. This person can talk to you and hold your hand and be there physically, but emotionally, they might feel a million miles away.
Don’t date someone because you’re sick of being single. If you’re sick of being single, it’s more productive to ask yourself why it’s frustrating you so much. Ask yourself how you can rid yourself of that feeling (without entering a relationship). If you find the right person for you along the way, that’s wonderful. However, it’s important to be comfortable alone. You can’t let a relationship define you. You can’t let other people’s opinions of you define you. You have to ignore the outside voices because they don’t matter. What you want matters.
If you’re feeling lonely, you’re allowed to flirt with strangers if that will make you happy. But if you always feel unfulfilled after encounters with the wrong person, there are other ways to feel connected. Reach out to friends. Family. A therapist. Join a book club. A rock-climbing gym. A Discord chat. There are a million ways for you to cure your boredom and feel surrounded by love without entering the wrong relationship. The next time you’re feeling lonely, remember, a relationship might not take that feeling away.