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By LaTasha Toney

As long as I can remember, I have been a hopeless romantic.  I am your girl who would read love stories in Jet magazine and the local newspaper.  I was so hurt when the Sunday paper stop including the wedding stories. But thankfully, people can now post their wedding stories online and now the Birmingham Times has a section that shares love stories weekly. There was once a point in my life where I would get excited about going to weddings, even if I barely knew the person. It was exciting to witness the love story of others, even if I couldn’t live my own love story.

That’s right, I am in love with love—and I’m single. And guess what. I’m okay with that. Some days I think that it would be great to get married and have at least one child. And other days, I am just so glad that when I get home, I don’t have to deal with anyone else. Whether I get married or not, I’m fine. Unfortunately, society thinks otherwise.

I am sick of this narrative that as a woman in her 30s my life is not significant unless there is a man who plays a lead role in it. Now, don’t get me wrong.  I love men, but I have just not met the right one.  And I refuse to just settle with any ole man so that people will deem me as being significant.

There are so many other significant relationships besides marriage, dating relationships or romantic partnerships. I am thankful for the various relationships and love that I have been able to receive throughout my life.

There’s this misconception that those who are single are lonely.  And that is just not true.  According to an article in Harvard Magazine, loneliness is defined as the gap between the social connections you would like to have and those you feel you experience. I have many loving connections in my life that help to invigorate me.

There’s the love of family. My family has stood by me during some of the most difficult times of my life.  I’ve had family members travel long distances with me in the middle of the night. There are other family members who randomly send me gifts in the mail that they think that I’d like. Sometimes, family members will think about me and call me just because.  I felt love from family members as a little child and I still feel this from them as an adult.  I feel blessed.  Their love is selfless.

Then there’s the love of friends.  These are people who have chosen me, and I have chosen them. My friends have also stood by me during some difficult times.  My friends are there when times are going well and when times are rough.  I have some friends who I can talk to several times a week and other friends who I can go months without speaking to them and the love is still there.  My friends are there to listen whether what I’m saying is random or enlightening.

I have the love of my coworkers too.  I have been fortunate to have some wonderful colleagues.  I spend a lot of time at work.  So to have people who I enjoy working with helps to make the days go by a little more smoothly.   I recently went through a transition and a coworker gifted me a book that assisted during my transition.  One of my love languages is appreciation, especially in the workplace.  I’ve had coworkers to learn my love language and show it in tangible ways.  And when I was brand new on staff, my coworker got me a cupcake.  It was one of the sweetest moments.

Then there’s the love of neighbors. My neighbors look out for me.  I have one neighbor who helps to make sure that my grass gets cut.  Another neighbor bought me pizza and a card for my birthday.  And when my car broke down a neighbor offered to give me a ride — even during a pandemic.  These are just a few of the ways that my neighbors help me to feel loved.

I am also blessed with the love of church family.  I have more than one of these though.  I have the church family who I grew up with.  And I have the church family that I chose as an adult.  My church family is there to celebrate me during some of my proud moments and pray with me during difficult moments.  My church family has allowed me to share some special moments with them.  I’ve been a part of baby showers, bridal showers, weddings, and other special events.  I think of my church family as an extended family, and they always make me feel as if I’m one of their own.

Having a significant other is great but there are so many other people who are a part of my life.  I am grateful for each of them.

While I do desire to have a significant other who I can share my life with, I choose to maximize the time that I get to enjoy with those who are currently a part of my life.  Having a significant other is just adding someone to my life and will not complete my life.

While I have not met the “love of my life,” I won’t allow that to take away from the love that I have in my life. I have a great deal of people who love and care for me and that makes life sweet to me.  Although I am single, I am not lonely.

LaTasha Toney is from Birmingham, AL.  She has a blog at itstashascorner.com where she writes to inspire, enlighten, and encourage.  In her free time, LaTasha enjoys quietness, reading, going hiking and exploring coffee shops with friends.