For the girls who are brave enough to wait.

*I wrote this when I was 27 and unmarried. I published this on December 21st, 2014 and then got engaged on January 17th to the best man I know. Please remember these things below during Valentines day, and have faith that its SO much better to be alone than stuck in a relationship where you feel disrespected. I used to be the girl that would stay with someone in order to avoid being alone, how I wish someone would have told me these things back then. 

Thinking of all you brave girls (and boys) tomorrow. 

If you possess any kind of patience in this world, especially as a woman. you are a rarity. We are taught to expect instant gratification: juice cleanses instead of gym time, email instead of snail mail, texts instead of phone calls, pre-prepared instead of well prepared meals, 10 minute hair color and 20 minute teeth whitening. and above all- LOVE, soulmate love, by the third date. (or at the very least, by the time all of our friends have it, right?)

For the record: no one teaches us to wait. If you are stubborn enough to wait- for anything, bravo. its a voice in your gut and in your brain that consistently tells you that you know yourself better than anyone else.

From the time I was very little, I knew I had to do every single thing in my own time. I had training wheels on my bike until I could teach myself to ride them–which happened to be well into the 4th grade. I went outside everyday for hours until I could teach myself to do a cartwheel, then a back handspring.  I didn’t get my ears pierced until I was 21. YES- this is true. I wore clip ons in drill team, and clip ons to my prom. I was the last one of my friends to have a cell phone, and I will also be the last to get engaged or married. I have never really been a goal setter or a list maker- I do what I want to do, when I feel the time is right.

I have always been good at being alone- and sometimes, I even prefer it. It takes practice to enjoy the silence- and even more practice to be okay with being the only girl at a dinner that doesn’t have a date. However, I believe you cant be good at a relationship until you are great at being alone. In the times that I have been heartbroken and single (believe me, there have been a lot)  I have never wallowed in misery or felt sorry for myself that I didn’t have someone else. I have been the maid of honor in not one, but THREE weddings.

Call me crazy, but I believe some of the most beautiful, transformative times can come from being entirely alone, and working through your own heartache. I know what its like to happily celebrate the small victories of everyone around you- yet really not be sure you will ever be in their situation. I know what it feels like to experience disappointment, hurt, betrayal and loneliness. I know what it feels like to be misunderstood, misrepresented and misinformed.

My point is this: stop compromising.

In truth- this applies to men, women, single or in a relationship. I see so many of you, and people I am very close to lying to themselves solely to avoid being lonely. Being the “only one” without a date at dinner or the only one alone during New Years Eve. Because this time of year especially, isn’t it better to be with anyone instead of no one? WRONG.

Once you really learn to love yourself, you wont be able to quiet the voice in your head telling you that you deserve better. You won’t be able to believe excuses, lies and empty compliments. You will be one of the brave ones, going at it alone. You will heed the advice of people who love you because they are always able to see right through you.

I’ve waited, not always so patiently, gracefully or quietly. I’ve waited 27 years and 11 months- and I think this time, I got it right.

This year, lets raise a glass to the ones who wait, the ones who know what they want-and what they deserve. Better still, lets raise a glass to the men who are strong enough to love the brave, stubborn women.

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