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Why You Will Probably Die Alone — And Why That’s Okay

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Ever since we were little girls, we’ve been dreaming of “happily ever after.” We pretended we were princesses, and we longed for a handsome prince. We played house with our friends and made pretend meals for our “husbands.” We walked around with towels on our heads and insisted that we were brides.

Basically, we’ve been longing for a committed relationship for as long as we can remember. We’ve flirted, sexted, snapped, messaged, winked, poked, called, tweeted, commented, tagged, and hung out with people we thought had “forever” potential. I never even realized it at the time, but subconsciously all through high school and college, I had been searching for “the one.” With every guy I dated–though I hate to admit it–I thought to myself, “Is this it? Is this the guy who will get down on one knee and ask me to be his wife? If not him, then who?”

Honestly, most of those guys were definitely not “lifetime happiness” candidates, and they never should have been considered as such. They were either superficial, cocky, or just downright shitty people. But that didn’t stop me from having a slight glimmer of hope that they would want me forever, because honestly, I just wanted to know that I wouldn’t be alone. Or end up alone. Or die alone–which seems to be a common fear. We make the joke all the time that we’re forever alone. But why? Is it because we sincerely believe that we are unlovable? Or is it a defense mechanism? If we say we’re going to end up alone and we actually do, at least it won’t seem like a shock. At least it will seem like we saw it coming.

Ready for the cold, hard truth?

A lot of us will die alone. It’s just a fact of life. In a marriage, there are two people (unless you pull a “Sister Wives,” but honestly, if that’s the case, you have bigger issues) and both of those people will eventually die. Sometimes something out of the ordinary happens and they both leave this world at the same time, but for the most part, the truth is, someone is going to pass away first.

Does that mean that the time they had together was a waste because in the end, one of them wound up alone? Were the secret laughs they had while lying in bed pointless? What about the holidays that they shared? Were those a waste of time? Were the kisses that made time stop devalued because half of the duo passed away?

I realize that ultimately, when it comes to love, most of us just don’t get it. And considering the fairytales, Nicholas Sparks books, and societal reinforcement, it’s kind of understandable. Until recently, I didn’t get it, either. But then suddenly, out of nowhere (read: I was watching “Sex and the City”) I got it. And so will you.

This obsession with “not ending up alone” is absolutely pointless. Because honestly, most of us will end up alone. And that’s fine. No, it’s more than fine. It’s life. And life isn’t about not dying alone. Life is about finding people who help you appreciate all of the moments you get. Every person who comes into your life isn’t necessarily there for the long haul. You’ll have friends, lovers, and hell, maybe even husbands who will come and go. So instead of obsessing if he’s “the one,” throw that whole idea out and obsess over a new idea: appreciating all the people who enter your life. Stop thinking about the finish line and start thinking about the journey. Stop giving a shit about the future and smile at the person who loves you now. Maybe the person who loves you now won’t be the same one who loves you tomorrow or next year or as you take your last breathe, but that’s not what matters. What matters is that you learn from, grow with, and fully love that person today, in this moment. You won’t necessarily have one “forever” guy, but what you will have are people who will love, care about, and respect you every single day for the rest of your life. That really is the true happily ever after.

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Rachel Varina

(yeahokaywhat) Aspiring to be the next Tina Fey, Rachel spends her free time doing nothing to reach that goal. While judging people based on how they use "they're" vs. "there" on social media, she likes eating buffalo chicken dip, watching other people's Netflix, and wearing sweatpants way more than is socially acceptable.

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