So, your last relationship ended a few months ago, and you feel ready to step out again. You're over the hurt feelings, you dealt with your part gracefully and maturely, and you even learned a lot along the way. It's empowering to know that you can put any situation in the rear view mirror, and you're ready for what's next...
...Until nothing happens. Maybe you go on a ton of dates that don't pan out, or you throw caution to the wind and jump into unsatisfying, shortly-lived relationships that you didn't think fully through. Here's an ironic thing about love: People who are frantically searching for it do not usually have much success at finding it. Likewise, people who are awesomely single often do not stay that way for long (unless they choose to!).
What does it mean to be awesomely single?
The following tips will point you in the right direction:
1. Revisit your self-identity
All self identity is relative to other people. When you get wrapped up in love, or if you spend a long time being someone's partner or spouse, it's easy to lose sight of who you are in the bigger scheme of things. How do others perceive you, and how do you perceive yourself? A photographer, an entrepreneur, a rock climbing enthusiast, a cancer survivor, a feminist, an avid reader... Dig deep and write a few down, and elaborate! This list should make you feel proud.
2. Evaluate your friends.
Are you a good friend? Who are your friends, anyway? Single people socialize more than couples, so beware -- you become who you hang out with. This may seem obvious, but you should have more in common with your friends than "we work together" or "I went to school with them." They should inspire you with their actions, not enlist you in their melodramas. Are your friends happy singles or frustrated serial daters? It's easy to miss the connection between your love life and your social life, but patterns are there and they do repeat. Hint: if you feel like the only sane one in a group of crazy, unstable friends... you might be one of them.
3. Rock your current job or find a new one
The average American lifetime includes 90,000+ hours of work time; if you're not actively engaged in the career of your dreams, or if you're stuck in one you don't like... that's a lot time that you're spending being unhappy. Ever been with a partner or spouse who constantly complained about work? It sucks the life out of everybody. If you're not there yet in your career, being single is a perfect time to explore different opportunities, take risks, and search for what is really meaningful for you. In the meantime, be the star of your current workplace and keep your dreams in perspective. No one was ever promoted to CEO by slacking off at their old job.
4. Get serious about having fun.
And I don't mean the type of fun that starts on Friday night and leaves you washed up on the shores of Sunday morning. I mean fun-fun. Adventure. Expeditions. Odysseys. You don't need to be one half of a couple to plan an awesome weekend trip, or try a new hobby, or visit a friend in another city. Get out of the house, get out of your scene, and do things that excite you.
5. Self improve.
If you really are looking for a relationship, you should exemplify the type of person that you would want to meet and fall in love with. Like attracts like! Get healthy, exercise diligently, repair emotional issues, and make whatever changes you want to see in yourself before you get involved with anybody new. Engaging in the practice of self-care will boost your confidence, bring you closer to yourself and your dreams, and make you a better lover when the time comes.
Does dating not feel like the most fun adventure of your life? It should!