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I know what I’m about to say might be hard to fathom, especially since we just passed the day of love, but still it must be said. Romantic relationships are not the sole purpose of our lives. Now I’m only saying this, because there’s a stigma surrounding adults who are not in a relationship. No one can understand why an “eligible” bachelor/bachelorette is still single, so there must be something wrong with them. Except it doesn’t have to be. Our value as humans stretches far beyond our love interests. It is our relationships and encounters with not only our partners, but family, friends, strangers and even ourselves as a whole that are important. Here’s why:

Partners

Romance is a different type of attachment that we as humans crave. No one knows why we love, or even what love really is. My theory is we all just want someone of our own to want us, and get through life with. I mean who really wants to go through life alone? Another theory is that love is just nature’s way of tricking us into procreating.
The best way I can explain this relationship between two people is, having someone who chooses to be with you because of, not in spite of. As much as we love our family and friends, this is a type of love that can not be compared, or explained, only felt. Or maybe it’s nature, who knows?

Family

As much as I love my family, they sure can be too much at times. When I visit, I can only stay for a couple of days max before I have to hit the road. One thing about family though, they will always be family. Most babies’ first words are “ma-ma’’ or “da-da”. This is proof that before you knew anything else, you knew family.
You can get mad at each other, bicker and want nothing else to do with them. Still they will be there for you, whenever you need them. Your family is your first home. With them you felt free enough to be comfortable in who you are. They witnessed you grow into the person you are today. Cherish your family.

Friends

Friends are arguably some of the most important people in our lives. They encourage us to keep pushing, when we feel like giving up, and when we’re sad they are our shoulder to cry on. If you’re afraid to tell anyone else, you know you can tell your friend. Signing the friendship contract, makes them legally obligated to keep you from doing stupid stuff alone, by participating with you and vice versa. Friends are the force that makes us think our dreams are possible when everyone else is telling us to be realistic. He who finds a real friend, has found a treasure. Treat them as such.

Strangers

I know this might sound strange, but one of my all time favorite things to do is learn. Now I don’t mean the traditional sense of sitting in class listening to lectures, but in a worldly sense through talking with earth’s inhabitants. Everybody on this earth has a story. There’s a how, in where that person ended up in their life, aren’t you the least bit curious in figuring out what it is? When you meet a stranger, you could be meeting the next president of the United States, or you could be meeting an axe murderer, so definitely be careful.
Really though, I challenge you to step out of your comfort zone, and try to engage in conversation with a new stranger everyday, you never know what you could learn and who you are talking with. After all, you’re only a stranger once, the more you talk to, the fewer there are.

Yourself

Have you noticed that the hardest questions you’ll ever have to answer are about yourself? Even though the one person that you have spent the entirety of your natural born life with is yourself. Isn’t that strange? Having a relationship with yourself is just as essential as all of the others, if not more. When you know yourself, then you know what to look for, and what you’re able to handle in a friend and in a partner. Sorry you can’t get rid of family, I know that sucks!
Take some time to get to know the (wo)man in the mirror, like Michael Jackson said, “it’s gonna feel real good, gonna make a difference”. If you read that without singing it we can’t be friends, I’m sorry, I can’t accept that. Really though, the next time someone asks you to tell them about yourself, don’t shy away, have an answer, and see how good that makes you feel.

In conclusion

All relationships have a different type of bond, and they all help shape you into who you are, that is why they are all vital. A lot of times when people get into relationships, all they want to do is be around each other. Which is understandable, considering you feel in your heart that this is the person that you will be creating your life with. Just remember that all of the people in your life, love you and want to spend time with you. Don’t lose the one person you’ll be with for the rest of your life, yourself, in pursuit of just one relationship, is all I’m saying.

Graphic by Autumn Rendall

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