It’s hard to tell these days if being #TeamSingle is revered or reviled. On one hand, there’s a never-ending chorus of pride in keeping your “circle so small” and being “quick to cut ’em off.” Yet, you can’t scroll more than 5 posts in any given feed without seeing #RelationshipGoals. Maintaining your happy while single seems impossible while living in a world that can’t wait to hit “like” on your “Single to In A Relationship” update. Finding your happy is simple: you just need to shift your outlook on things. Despite the pangs of loneliness in your heart after seeing your 3rd engagement announcement, being single is absolutely not the end of the world. Here are a few tips on surviving singlehood:
Stop blaming yourself for being single
You don’t have to look to far to find a pseudo-expert explaining why you’re the reason you’re single. You’re too much of this, too little of that, don’t look like this, and you don’t think like that. We as humans, especially women, are experts at finding flaws within ourselves. You can probably name 10 reasons you believe that you’re single without thinking too hard. The truth is we all come to the table with baggage, insecurities, and fears. These are not the reasons you’re single.
Actually the reason any of us is single is because singleness is a default. We’re single until we make choices to change it. When someone worthy of your time comes along, your status will change. Meanwhile, don’t beat yourself down so much that neither you or anyone else can see your amazingness.
Learn to appreciate the gift of solitude
Listen to me: once you become connected to a person in a real and meaningful way, it ceases to be solely about you. At this stage in your life, you are free to be as selfish as you want and need to in order to assure your happiness. You can sleep in the middle of your bed. You can travel at the drop of a dime without considering the plans or opinions of another person. Don’t feel like cooking? Being single means it’s acceptable to declare cereal as dinner. Even if you’re a single parent, you’re able to make sole (or most) decisions about the welfare and upbringing of your child. Once you become someone’s plus one, you’ll need to operate with the blended family in mind.
I know this doesn’t exactly negate the feelings of loneliness. However, singlehood is the perfect time to learn the joy of your own company. I hate to be the bearer of bad news but feelings of loneliness don’t evaporate once you have a
permanent roommate life partner. Loneliness comes when our desire for deep emotional connections go unfulfilled—which can and does happen in marriage. Being single is a perfect time to learn how to emotionally handle feelings of loneliness with grace and wisdom.
Accept that not every date will lead to “the one”
The desperation for loneliness can make us go into every date with the pressure of making this person be “the one” to end singleness. Your date doesn’t deserve this enormously high standard and you don’t need that stress either. It is easy to confuse being open to love with desperation to be loved. Openness to love allows us to see possibility beyond we think we want. Openness to love allows us to value the things that matter, that which is eternal, over our external wish lists. Desperation sees dating as a means to an end of their singleness. Desperation will keep you in a lather, rinse, repeat cycle of dating disasters. You owe yourself more than that.
Accepting that not every person you go on a date with will be the one will allow you to be open to friendships. It’s not the friend zone once you accept that it’s okay that not everyone has romantic potential.
Stop waiting to be coupled before pursuing your dreams
Your sole purpose in life is not to be someone’s spouse. It is (likely) part of your purpose, but it is not the only reason you’re here living and breathing. You were created to do and be more. You don’t need a marriage license as permission to evolve into your greatness.
If you already have a purpose-driven dream, use your singleness to pursue it with reckless abandon. If you don’t know what your purpose is, use your singleness as an opportunity to commune with God and yourself to find out! Your identity is not found in your relationship status. Find yourself and love you fiercely by fulfilling the purpose of your creation.
Become confident in your own skin
I hope they look at me and think, that lady looks like she accepts herself.
— Tracee Ellis-Ross tweet
You know how I said earlier that everyone comes to the table with insecurities? Being unsure or insecure about who you are as a whole is not one of the insecurities you should bring to a relationship. While you’re single, establish a real and true understanding of who you are. While you’re single, become comfortable in your religious/spiritual foundation. Become comfortable in your physical body, both accepting your body as it is and working to change the things you wish to improve. Own all of our character by accepting the good, bad, and ugly about you. Character doesn’t magically change along with your relationship status. You are meant to be a complement, not completion, to your partner. You have more time to devote to self than you’ll ever have once you become coupled again. Don’t waste it focusing on your loneliness instead of on building yourself.
Be open to what makes you uncomfortable
I believe that we are happiest when we let go of our controlled ideas of what we think our lives should be. It’s easy to believe that love should come to us in a specific way, time, and package. It’s easy to be jaded after a string of bad romances. Bitterness and jaded outlooks are just another way to control our expectations and outcomes. But, if you want to maintain your happiness while single, get prepared to get uncomfortable.
Be uncomfortable and decide to allow love to happen however it is divinely ordered to happen. Be uncomfortable and admit that maybe your ideas of what you want aren’t what you need. Get uncomfortable and understand that you don’t need to wait to live. Give yourself permission to be and maintain your happiness by living freely and on purpose–your purpose.