Over the past year, I’ve been living a single life. The life many seem uncomfortable with, wouldn’t you agree? I know I was uncomfortable with it too. Recently, I found myself asking more and more questions about the apparent stigma that is associated with being single as well as the trials and tribulations of living life single.
I, just like everyone else, have experienced a great amount of pain when I first become single. The loss of a relationship, good or bad, was still a loss. No one wants to lose anything. I felt as if I was never going to meet anyone that I would spend the rest of my life with. I felt…" destined " to be single for the REST of my life. As if I were tainted. The negative self-talk, the doubt and everything else was all too real. Most of my friends wouldn’t have a clue to these feeling as I internalized them. I hid them. I showed my friends that I was strong when really, I was weak (I later learned this was key to my awakening). I never felt depressed but I did feel a bit lonely, at times. This is all easier to say now as I no longer live these feelings. I’ve learned the difference in lonely and being alone. I’ve learned that being alone (spending time with yourself) is very powerful when you open up to it.
You see, to me… becoming single, like everything in life, goes in stages…If you allow it. Most, seek to bounce back immediately as if we MUST be in a relationship. We end up developing a relationship identity that drives us to go out and seek another relationship so we are whole again. As if we are “broken” because we are single. This is just not true! AND, the problem with this mentality is that when we seek to bounce back out of fear of loneliness… we will accept less than we deserve. They say, “nothing gets you over one like another.” While I have said this myself.. Jumping right into another relationship is like dipping your paintbrush in green paint, making a few lines on the canvas and then immediately dipping the brush in blue paint. The green paint “taints” the blue paint. The old relationship ends up messing up the new because one hasn’t had the time to recover and move forward. O’ the lessons I have learned. You clean the paint brush of the old paint before going to a different color.
I’ve learned that the fear of loneliness is one of the main things that keep us in bad relationships and accepting new relationships with people we shouldn’t. I’ve learned, we will hold on to the smallest glimmer of hope or “that one thing he/she does that make me melt” and not recognizing the other parts which could be downright dangerous. I’ve learned we will stay in relationships because of our children when all we are doing is showing our children what bad relationships look like and that they should accept them too.
As I look back on my past relationships. I’ve had the opportunity to date some really neat women. Most of which I am friends with today. I’ve learned that I truly wasn’t ready to date those individuals at that time and the reason for this was simply my maturity. I just wasn’t…ready. I sure thought I was! As for them? Well, I can only speak for myself, it is all I can control.
So over the past year.. as I’ve reflected, as I’ve hurt of yet another failed relationship… I’ve grown so much. And what I’ve learned is there is not death in being single, there is life; a rebirth if you will. Sure, people say “He is single, there must be something wrong with him!” The stigma of “people are like parking spots. All the good ones are taken, the rest are handicap!” is just not true… at all. Through the pain of becoming single, I’ve been awakened. I’ve developed more self-respect. I’ve learned of my self-worth. I am no longer chained to the need of being in a relationship. I’ve learned to focus on helping others because I love it. I… AM HAPPY. I’ve learned that I don’t need a partner to be happy. I’ve learned that I don’t have to accept less than I deserve and last but not least.. it is absolutely ok to be single.
People can choose to judge me for being single, this judgement is truly a reflection of themselves. I , am happy. I live a single life because I chose to until I am graced with the presence of someone I don’t want to live without. While I am human and have my days of being lonely, the happiness I feel from being unchained to the need of being in a relationship has far outweighed those very few down moments.
So out with the undesirable and desperate stigma and in with the high expectations of yourself. Become happy with loving yourself. Become happy with being alone. Become happy with being single… In return, you will not accept less than you deserve and will have better relationships because of it. Rememeber that you set the bar for respect. If you don't respect yourself., neither will they.
That pivotal moment in time where you go from “needing a relationship” to “wanting a relationships” is life changing.
So, no matter the situation..Be Happy.. It’s ok and you deserve it! :-)