With the new year upon us, it is easy to get freaked out about not having achieved enough, and setting goals that we subconsciously know we will never follow through on. This year, maybe we should practice contentedness—being satisfied with things as they are—not just within ourselves, but also with our surroundings. This means those that we surround ourselves with, but also the lives that we have chosen to lead.
No one says ‘new year, new me’ anymore, because we have grown up enough to know that we will probably go into 2019 being the same person that we were last year—and why wouldn’t we? What is so terrible about us? While I’m all for positivity and self-improvement, the new year tends to make us reflect rather negatively upon ourselves. We didn’t work out enough, lose enough weight, make enough progress in our social or professional lives, take up that new hobby or learn that new skill, and we still smoke like a chimney. While we criticise ourselves for not leaving our bad habits in 2018, why don’t we want the same cleanse for our love lives?
Receiving a bunch of happy new year messages is lovely, but not from exes or others from the past that use this opportunity to claw their way back into your DMs, disguising ‘you up?’ or ‘how you been’ 3am texts as ‘happy new year’. Some of us return to those from our past, or opt for distraction via a random, intoxicated stranger. I realise that some of us are perfectly happy with spending new year’s eve with our family or friends, but these thoughts may still be taunting them. Both can go wrong when we use it to alleviate having to actually reflect when going into the new year. Why are some of us tempted to think that dead relationships could be revived, or to alternatively spend that night with someone we’re actually never going to see again? Is it new years’ fault?
Reflecting on the mistakes I had made this year in my love life, I realised that, more than anything, I have a pattern of dating. Then, I was met with an even more shocking epiphany. So much had happened this past year, why was I still thinking about my love life? I don’t normally make new year’s resolutions, but the take-home message of my thoughts was this: regardless of if I’m single, cuffed or anything in between, to seek contentedness with myself, instead of worrying about a new bae. I don’t mean this in a selfish way. I mean that at the end of the day (or year) we shouldn’t be thinking about our self-worth or achievements of that year in terms of our love lives, i.e. if we are single. Being single is great, especially at our age—and the new year should not pressure us into thinking that it isn’t. Regardless of our relationship status, the new year shouldn’t change anything, especially the way that we think about ourselves.