Don’t you just love those people who constantly post on social media about how wonderful their lives are? Their blissful relationships, amazing children and grandchildren etc. In a world which is very ‘couples-focused’ it’s hard not to feel down when you’re single and you see all the loved-up joy around you.
Yet being on your own doesn’t have to be a barren wasteland of loneliness; it can be liberating. After all, you don’t have to consider anyone but yourself when deciding where to go on holiday, what to do at the weekend, or what to have for dinner. It’s all up to you. You can travel with your family or friends, go to the gym when you like, and have the duvet all to yourself.
So many people jump from one relationship to another, without pausing for breath. On the one hand, I think how do they manage to keep finding so many prospective partners, and on the other hand, do they ever take the time to get to know themselves?
Being alone means being able to find out who you are as an individual, and to explore interests and activities which might otherwise be ignored or forgotten about as you prioritise a significant other over yourself. Women especially, although I’m sure not exclusively, often put everyone else’s needs ahead of their own. So having some relationship-free time can allow you to indulge in your passions.
I know as I’m writing this there will be people reading it who think that’s all well and good but I’m still single and unhappy; and to be honest, I can’t take that ache away from you. I know because I’ve felt it too, and have found that the only way of coping with it is to make my life as full as I can, and to make every effort to realise my dreams so that when I do have lonely days I remind myself that I am doing everything to experience life as much as possible, and not waiting around for someone to bring life to me.
Being single also means you can take time to honestly look at yourself and improve, so that when someone comes along you’ll be emotionally more intelligent and able to be honest with yourself and your partner. All too often we accept relationships which are not good for us because we are afraid we won’t find someone else, or that we want to help someone. Investing in some alone time to consider what we really need and deserve from a relationship, means that we won’t accept anything less next time round.
So, are you still scrolling through those news feeds and feeling inferior? My words so far haven’t helped? Well, when I was a child I thought I had a soul mate waiting for me. I didn’t really understand the concept at such a young age I just had a sense of this other person, which continued into adulthood. Decades later and he hasn’t turned up yet, maybe he never will, but I’m still determined to live as fully as possible. I aim to realise as many of my dreams as I can, despite never meeting my ‘other half’ because I have come to the realisation that he doesn’t exist. I am complete and whole; there is no need for someone else to give me a sense of completion because it is already there.
So, when you see all those social media posts, remember that you are no less of a person just because you are on your own. You’re taking time to find out who you are and to discover that that person doesn’t need completing; you are already whole, you’ve just forgotten that, and this time alone will help you to remember.