So, all of your friends are happily married, enjoying a blissfully fulfilling relationship with their other half and doing all the nice and exciting things couples do together. Others, have created a cozy family life, adoring motherhood and all the amazing perks that come with it. Some of your girlfriends are just loving their relationship status, benefiting from romantic weekends away with their loved ones, while you are always the one who is on her own, spending time  with blissed out couples and feeling miserable in the process.

What if I was to tell you that there is absolutely nothing inherently wrong with being single? That we have been raised in a society that for many years has implanted in our DNA the cultural notion of a perfect suburban  family that is as idyllic as it is fake!

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There is nothing inherently wrong with being single

The thing is, though, that as humans we indeed are, by nature, social creatures and mating, having friends and being together with people is one of our basic needs. We establish that fact from birth, with babies desperately trying to bond with their mothers and seeking comfort from the adults in charge of their upbringing, to seeking mates at school, girlfriends in adolescence and partners for life in adulthood. We need to be amongst people, we need to communicate with others, exchange views, share opinions, dispute our ideas and socialize with colleagues, family members and friends.

To add up to the ‘mating’ pressure, we are daily bombarded with celebrity baby news and media centered women who change their men more often than their underwear, and that is no exaggeration. We are also surrounded by female colleagues who usually boast about their new date while some others announce baby news every month and we keep getting wedding invitations that only serve as a reminder of our lonely lives , which after we hit the big three zero, make us feel more desperate than ever.

However, although times have changed and many people choose to opt out of a marital status and prefer to stay in short or long term relationships without commitments, or even not get into a relationship at all , some of us still feel uncomfortable and uneasy about our single life, often seeing ourselves as inadequate and unlucky for not being able to find that special someone.

[quote_box_center]Surely, missing out on  all the twosome fun, the endless passionate nights  with someone who truly cares about us and getting involved with couple get together with friends, is not an ideal situation we like to be in. But what exactly does being single mean to different women and most importantly, how would a healthy relationship look like to us?[/quote_box_center]

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Allow yourself time to get to know the inner you

I used to get a few single women over 30’s  in my office who kept wondering why are all of their friends in a relationship and they are the ones who are still single. They were complaining about this sense of urgency about finding a mate, a life partner or even starting a family, that they usually feel amongst their close circles. Most of their friends were either married or in committed relationships and they were truly the last few bachelors left around.

But why did they feel that being in a relationship was considered the norm ? Why did they need a partner so as to feel good about themselves and why were some of them staying in unhappy relationships only to avoid being left single and alone? Many women were trying to find a fault in their behavior or a reason to hold on to in order to explain their current single status.

Does all this sound familiar? I bet it does and it actually is  the hard reality for many women nowadays. Often, and mostly by nature, we try to ‘excuse’ our loneliness with thoughts such as : ‘I am too beautiful and men find it challenging to approach me’, or ‘Probably I am too much into my career and I am not looking in the right places’, or even ‘I am too good for the men I meet’, ‘My standards are too high…’, and the list goes on.

But what if the real reason behind it was that you find it hard to trust people, therefore you are fearful of commitment? Maybe you have got hurt in the past by failed relationships and now you are already biased when you meet new potential partners. You keep away from places where people might be looking to attract someone and you stay at home or shy away from people who might be interested in you, fearing intimacy and avoiding possible heartache.

Perhaps you are the type that is everyone’s friend, so you don’t come across as relationship  material to others. You are usually giving but don’t care to get your own needs met. Maybe you are the type that tries to immediately form a deeper connection with someone you just met and expect your next date to be your soul mate whether the other person is really right for you or not. You act on impulse and move in too fast , often scaring men away.

Possibly you are one of those women who are always mostly ‘in love’, feeling scared to be left alone thus settling for unsatisfactory relationships avoiding feeling isolated and lonely.

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Learn to love yourself

Whatever your situation, do not despair; it is crucial to understand within yourself what being single means to you. It is certainly possible to live a fulfilling happy life by being in or out of a relationship. Undoubtedly, given our human and social nature, it is normal and expected to long for a cosy relationship and someone to settle down with.

The first and foremost thing you should first establish is to learn to love yourself as a single and autonomous woman. Relationships are supposed to add richness to our lives and not to aim at completing us as people. You need to allow yourself some time to get to know the inner you so you don’t end up getting absorbed in a relationship that will eventually ‘force’ you to adjust to whatever or whoever is around you.

Become comfortable with your single self and learn to be at peace with being alone. That means not always needing someone to be with us, not needing someone to understand us or someone else’s company in order to feel safe and secure and take away our sadness, anger, anxiety or grief.

[quote_box_center]If you enter a relationship in a state of needing someone to hold up to , give you strength through your difficult times, encourage you and take away your sadness then this relationship is set to fail and break under the pressure. On the contrary, if you enter a relationship in a state of independence, that will allow this union to add meaning, depth and fulfillment in your life.[/quote_box_center]

Every single action and decision in our lives depends on the way we have learned to behave and act like towards a situation. Get to know yourself better first. Find out what it is that makes you tick and why you are biased or negative towards someone or something. Do you see yourself as a poor victim who always ends up with the wrong end of the stick?

Being single and content or finally getting out of a damaging and unhealthy relationship takes a lot of courage. Rather than rushing to get into another bad one or one that is bound to fail, spend some time alone to figure things out first. Get to know your true self and if you still need to sort through issues that keep you from feeling good, do consult a qualified psychologist.

[pull_quote_center]Ultimately, each of us is alone. No other person can fully know and understand us or take away our existential loneliness. Sure, being in a relationship can keep loneliness at bay, but eventually, we all come to the realization that no one else can feel our pain, think our thoughts, or carry all of our burdens.[/pull_quote_center].

Source: GoodTherapy.org

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Psychologist, world citizen, mother - Effie is one half of the alwaysladies.com founding pair. She can bring to life any party with either a smile, or a strong opinion. If like us you can't get enough of Effie, visit her blog at www.thethinkingmomblog.com

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