I received a message today, it touched me deeply as I was at one time this person, it amazing me actually how many messages I receive daily, lamenting single life.
Firstly being single does in no way make you less desirable, attractive, intelligent, sexy or charismatic than any one else. It is not anything "wrong" with you. You are not unlovable or undeserving of love. I can't stand it when people ask me "why" I am single. Like they are hoping for some answer to this mystical relationship status that makes sense to them. Being the smart ass I am you never know what I will say in response to it, I may tell people I am clearly too good for anyone, or an alien born with out emotions, or that I am in a top secret relationship with both Matt Damon and Ben Affleck, as why date one when two would clearly be better. I also always want to throw in afterwards "how do you like those apples" comment, I haven't yet but maybe next time.
The truth is far less entertaining and far more universally understandable, I live a life of happiness, the kind of happiness I worked really darn hard after my divorce to achieve. Whether I am dating someone or not usually it has little or no effect on how happy I am. I too used to think that the happy ever after would be in the form of getting remarried, now I much clearer see that if I remarry or not, this isn't were happiness lies. I actually am guilty of lamenting being single, especially in the first two year or so after my separation. I had actually never been single ever as an adult until my divorce. I both didn't understand that dating after divorce with three children and a career, would be so hard. I also didn't realize that I don't need to be in a relationship, to be internally joyfully happy.
The first three, (I won't lie) birthdays after my separation were beyond dismal, mostly consisting of me not celebrating, laying in my bed, mostly crying and wishing for a fast forward button to the next day. Other holidays without my children were not much better. I was dating on and off but never over birthdays and holidays, so the loneliness and sadness seamed to be amplified. No gifts, no birthday dinners, just me alone. In hindsight I actually am 100% responsible for each miserable tear-filled lonely birthday minute. It never had to be like that at all.
Single life like every other thing in the universe is exactly what you make it. It also like everything else requires effort. These are my top 7 tips to both enjoy single life and find a full-filling life with or without a partner.
1. Be grateful, cliche but so true, do you have friends, family, children, work colleagues that care about you? If so you are blessed, reach out to them. Invite them places, make plans, laugh, cry, connect, be vulnerable, people do care, probably much more than you actually know. Often loneliness is self full-filling prophecy, if you hibernate alone every evening and weekend in your home, of course you will be lonely.
2. Be positive, positive energy attracts positive people, opportunities, promotions, possibilities and happiness. Look around you who seems joyful and popular? The people who exude positive energy, who smile, who laugh, if you aren't like this naturally you can train yourself to be, use positive thoughts, daily affirmations. You got this! I assure you it is a learnt behavior.
3. Spoil your self, life is short, treat your self well, I began buying insane shoes for myself for all my birthdays, you know why? Because I deserve them, what ever makes you happy do it, buy it, eat it, drink it, moderation clearly, but reward yourself. You don't have to wait for a mystical person to give you what you want in life. Go out into the world and seize what ever you want, you as a single person have as much right to anything you want as anyone else.
4. Travel, I love traveling, I love anything new, I love new countries, new people, new sights. It is like happiness in an activity. It also can make you much more appreciative of the life you have. Do it often, and being single doesn't mean you can't travel, there are an awful lot of tour groups and adventure trips you can take with other singles. The world is meant to be explored, I went to Asia alone, and had the time of my life, because I stopped waiting to find the perfect person to go with. You can too.
5. Date, that seems like a contradiction, but it isn't we all need to eat, so why not eat with other singles, you get to hear new things, try new places, you may find a new friend, a lover, a business partner, or someone may inadvertently share with you something that teaches you something. Be kind, be honest about your intent, and have fun, laugh, flirt, have sex, what ever makes you happy, just do it responsibly and honestly. If one on one dating is too much, join a meet up, get off your sofa, out of your house, you never know who may meet.
6. Find something you are passionate about and do it, this is to me a major factor in my happiness, I love what I do, I love my business. It absolutely makes me get out of bed every day with a smile, which if you knew me you would know mornings are not my thing. It doesn't have to be work, it could be a hobby, an activity or volunteering at a charity. What ever it is do it. You will be happier and more fulfilled by it.
7. Do not give up on love, or in the belief that there are great people out there. There is nothing sadder to me than people who stopped playing the gave of life, because of a few bad apples. We all have been hurt, rejected, lied to, cheated on, at one time or another. Even me, hard to believe right, that my life isn't perfect, the truth is no ones is, not even the married people, a high percentage of non singles are in reality not happy. Do not give any ex the time of day or more importantly the power over you to destroy your belief in love or people. Yes it is hard, I too have struggled with this, but I will not allow those people to destroy me or my happiness, in the here and now. They don't deserve that type of power and remember when people do treat you badly, it is ALWAYS one hundred percent about their issues and insecurities not that in any way there is anything wrong with you.
We all have good days and bad days, periods of our life sometimes are not exactly how we wished they would be, but the point is me, you, and everyone else have a lot more power over our happy ever after, than we want to believe. Just one look around your married friends, should confirm that a marriage doesn't really equate always to happiness, or think of all the times as a single person you are hit on by married people or people in relationships, I know I am constantly, and it just is an affirmation to me the being single and happy, is far better than being taken and miserable.
Take baby steps if you must, but take daily positive action towards building the life you want. Smile, take a deep breathe know you are beautiful, valuable, know that, this too will pass faster, if you live a positive life. Do not settle, as someone who has heard over 5000 peoples divorce stories, settling doesn't end well or anywhere but in unhappiness and often divorce. Enjoy being single, live it up, get dressed up, the world is an amazing place, explore it, and its people. Life is all about the journey, enjoy the ride, the downs make you appreciate the ups more. Just what ever you do, don't buy into the nonsense that the only, happily ever after has to involve a man or women and two rings, the best kind of happy ever after, is actually not even a future event, it is arriving at a place, where daily, you wake up, with a purpose, a smile and a grateful happy heart, that you and you alone created.