A day is only 24 hours. How much of that day do we spend thinking about the opposite (or same) sex. We talk about our ex-boyfriends/girlfriends, we talk about our current significant other, we talk about our future partner. We look up when a cute boy/girl passes, regardless if we have any interest in being with them. If we are single, we talk about being single. If we are in a relationship, we try to bond with other people also in a relationship. If we are in something “complicated”, we talk about it endlessly until it is suddenly less complicated. I am in none of these, being a content, single girl and I am setting up my friends. Even when I have no love life, I am some how involved in someone else’s love life. I cannot even read a magazine or article without coming across something about some guy that I am supposed to be interested in. (To be fair, I read cosmopolitan.) It is just remarkable how much of our lives are focused about wanting or being with someone. How much time we spend thinking about what ifs and wondering.

Freud was absolutely right. We are driven by two factors: sex and aggression. We are a pleasure seeking generation. We see someone and we don’t even see them, we see what they can do for us. We only see the part of other people in which benefits ourselves. A middle-aged, single woman sees a man and the first thing she checks is his left hand. Does he have a ring? If yes, then she feels sad cause she missed out on the opportunity of a possible suitor. If no, she starts up a conversation to see if this man can possibly bring happiness in her life. Why is that what we see? Why don’t we see a man who is married? A man who has a significant other and hopefully is living a happy life full of love and companionship. Why do we not see the man and his story, but we see how he can play into ours? If he does not have a ring, why do we not think about how he feels being single? Why do we not wonder about his past and why he is alone? All we see is a source of possible pleasure. All we see is a man in relation to ourselves.

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All this time we dedicate to others is a waste. It is almost all consuming to be so invested in others. There is only 24 hours in the day and assuming we sleep for 8 of them, we waste probably a third of our time awake, focused on someone else. Focused on possibilities in others. Please, do not get me wrong, I believe in love and the search of it. I just also believe that no moment is worth missing because I am focused on someone else. We do not get that time back. We might as well spend it happy and productive. I would hate to look back on my life when I am near the end and think that half of it was wasted on what ifs and missed opportunities. Either talk to that cute guy who passed by in the coffee shop or spend that time and energy on yourself. Limit the amount of time you spend thinking about others in relation to you. Just think about them or think about you. Or think about you two together. Think about the 24 hours in the day because tomorrow they will be gone and if you wasted them on someone else that is not even around anymore, well you will regret it.

Originally published at medium.com