All of us have experienced singlehood in our lives, though the span of time varies. Likely, we have experienced some form of yearning for companionship during singlehood or pangs of envy while being around sparkly-eyed lovers. Although these feelings are no doubt in existence and certainly not to be ashamed of, we have a choice to acknowledge it with optimism or to languish in bitterness and self-defeat. If you choose optimism, here are some grips to help keep you moving along the way:
Loving Yourself, Guarding Your Heart
It is easy to slip into coldness, even bitterness, when you have to bear witness to one wedding after another, ‘basking’ in the euphoria and honeymoon stages of newly-weds or newly-in-love couples. Sometimes, we begin to wonder if we can ever be as happy as these lovers. Living in a community, we experience different seasons in life at different points of time. One person’s happiness does not diminish the joy you can find within yourself just as one person’s experience does not define who you are. Love yourself and enjoy your own company. Guard your heart from self-defeating, unfounded inflictions and know that you are worthy of love.
Being Honest to Self
“Are you married/dating?”, “Why are you still single?”, “It’s time to settle down, no?”. These universally dreaded questions that knows no cultural divides. Questions that automatically activate our defence mode beginning with the opposing question ‘What’s wrong being single?’ Certainly there is no right or wrong, in fact there are people who have the ability to remain celibate. However, it becomes detrimental when you allow these defences to pile up and veil your true desires; the worse lies are the lies we tell ourselves.
If you do desire for a lifetime partner, do not live in denial by convincing yourself that you will be happy remaining a single. Such counteractive thoughts could result in a hardened heart that leads to the fulfilment of self-prophecy. Instead, have a heart that is open and receptive to opportunities while growing to be loving and giving.
Becoming The Person You Look For In A Partner
If there is a scale that rates how good a catch someone is on a scale of 1 to 10, naturally we want the very best for ourselves. Perhaps a modest 8 or preferably a 10? Yet, have we measured ourselves on the same scale? If we have a list of qualities we look for in a partner, how do we fare on that list? American novelist James Lane Allen wrote, “we do not attract what we want, but what we are”.
Here’s where the gifts of singleness lies – in the cultivation and focus on becoming the best person you can be. In doing so, you will not only be a blessing to your future partner but also a blessing to yourself by attracting a partner of the same quality.
Continue Building and Maintaining Relationships
We are designed to coexist and form meaningful relationships with one another, relationships that goes beyond the social circles in our workplace. In increasingly work-centric societies, it is often too easy to go from day to day, cooped within the demands of work and any free time we have left, for rest at home. One needs purposeful goals and motivation not to fall into this lifestyle rut and to invest time in maintaining and expanding a social circle that is formed out of personal, beyond the surface relationships.
This includes, as much as it is within your ability, not to isolate yourself from friends who have coupled up. Realistically, these existing friendships are avenues to other social circles where your life partner may be found. Besides, investing time in building relationships enriches your life and avoids a distortion of your desire to be in a love relationship – a desire that is not stemming from boredom and loneliness, but one that is coming from a healthy and wholesome individual.
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We tend to look at other people’s lives and at things that we do not have through rose-tinted glasses. For all the glossy and blissful appearances projected on social media, remember that being in a relationship (or posing as if you are in a happy relationship) does not necessarily constitute being in love. All the more and very importantly, you should not allow such appearances to pressure you to rushing into a relationship.
Pursue a relationship that is rooted in selfless love, not one for the sake of instant gratification which could eventually hurt and set you back a few years down the road.
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