Are you lonely being single? Do you complain that Cupid has passed you over? Do you feel that life is passing you by and you won’t have another opportunity to find love? Do you feel incomplete, only half of a whole? Are you waiting around – your life on pause – for a special someone so that you can finally start (or resume) living your life?
Single Doesn’t Mean Lonely
Single isn’t another word for lonely, but if you’re not used to being single and now you are, you can feel lonely – at first. It can take some practice growing into being comfortable with yourself and not feeling sorry for yourself at the thought that you’re not a couple.
You might get it in your head that life was built for couples. It doesn’t help matters that in our culture there’s the assumption that if you’re not a couple you are to be pitied or that something must be wrong with you. Don’t buy into the “lonely hearts club” frame of mind.
Some of your friends and family may think there’s some reason why you’re not in a relationship or married. You might feel socially cut off at times because many activities are designed for two. Going to a restaurant by yourself feels awkward, especially when the greeter asks “Table for one?”; so might going to a movie alone, a flick you really want to see, on date night, sitting by yourself in the theater. Not having someone you know in new social settings may make you feel like a third wheel or that you stick out.
Opportunities do exist for single people, just as they do for couples. I have two clients who joined professional singles travel groups. Both told me they loved their first trips, meeting new people. They overcame their fears of traveling alone, and discovered how much fun it was trying something new.
Growing Into Being You
Learning to enjoy being single can take some work. It’s sort of like breaking in a new pair of shoes; at first, it might be a little painful or uncomfortable. Eventually, with practice, you get better at it. You’re comfortable. You establish routines, you widen your circle of friends and activities. You’re content. You don’t feel that something is missing from your life. You’re enjoying being YOU.
What does it mean, feeling comfortable with yourself and how does one learn how to get there? Besides having time go by, there’s probably going to be some soul-searching involved. You learn what you really like and dislike. You form opinions and desires that come from within. Eventually, you begin to feel freedom and confidence that comes from knowing you are responsible for your own happiness and peace of mind. You might feel that it would be great to have a mate, but you’re not out spear-hunting for one. You don’t feel desperate. You may be keeping yourself open and receptive for a relationship, but you’re not in a hurry. It will happen in its own time.
I’m in a relationship now, but I really enjoy being single; it’s when I’m most productive. Relying on myself also pushes me outside of my comfort zone. So there has been a lot of evolving for me while single.
The Perks of Being Single
Whether you’re a confirmed bachelor or bachelorette or are “in-waiting” for a relationship, there are up-sides to having no attachments:
· You learn to be more resourceful, independent, try new things. You’re forced to do so, but the more you do for yourself, the more self-satisfaction you’ll have.
· You’re more productive because there are fewer distractions. You can focus better on your work. Creative juices can flow easier.
· You find more time to develop new skills, take up new hobbies or pursuits. Self-enrichment makes you a more interesting person, with more skills in your quiver for whatever purpose you which to apply them.
· Being single gives you an opportunity to cultivate self-love and self-reflection … prerequisites for “shopping” for a new relationship – if you want one.
· No one is making demands on you or taking up time that you would otherwise like to spend doing something else. You can eat, sleep, play on your own schedule.
· If you get a wild hair to take off on a road trip, go on a retreat, take classes, or visit a friend, you can make those decisions by yourself, on a whim if you like; and quickly and without explanations or apologies to anyone else, do them.
· If you feel like watching TV or reading a book or listening to music at 2 a.m. you don’t have to worry that you’re disturbing the other person.
· You can go to sleep with face cream and rollers in your hair without any complaints or disappointments from your mate.
Being single is not a prison sentence; it’s a preference. Not being attached does not mean you’re afraid or incapable of loving and being loved. And here’s a big revelation that many single people find so true: If you aren’t happy being single, you won’t be happy in a relationship either.