“Single is no longer a lack of options, but a choice. A choice to refuse to let your life be defined by your relationship status but to live every day Happily and let your Ever After work itself out.” ~Mandy Hale
In our society, being single is still heavily stigmatized. Being single is often perceived as something out of the norm. It is more acceptable to be part of a couple (even a dysfunctional one!) than it is to be single. And it is even more acceptable to be divorced than it is to be single.
Unfortunately, our society makes us believe that being single is wrong, and your goal should be to find someone to be in a relationship with. Then and only then are you complete, happy, and more acceptable socially.
Many single people feel lots of shame around being single. They feel like it's their fault. They feel like there is something wrong with them. They feel like a failure.
This societal pressure makes single people invest themselves in the wrong relationships, just to feel accepted.
The reality is that being single is about being in a relationship with yourself. It is the most intimate relationship you will ever experience in your life. Being in a relationship with yourself should feel like the most natural thing, but it's often regarded as an uncomfortable one. We find it easier to be with others than to be with ourselves. How crazy is that?
I also want to add that it's normal and healthy to want companionship. We want to connect with others. We are social animals. We are meant to be with others. Let’s don’t deny it.
The problem starts when your desire to be in a relationship is fueled by the discomfort of being with yourself. The desperation for another person to save you from being single will only create more drama in your love life.
That’s why it is so important to break thought the conditioning and become a happy single before you start looking for love.
Ever since I can remember, I struggled with being single. I struggled with my status because I believed this collective conditioning around being single.
I believed that it's more socially acceptable to be in a relationship. I believed that there must be something wrong with me if I hadn't found my life partner by the time I reached my thirties. That I was broken, less of a human being, and not complete, all because I was single.
For the majority of my life, I desperately wanted to change my relationship status and escape all those thoughts and beliefs.
I was ashamed of it. I felt like I hadn't made it in life, because I couldn’t find a partner.
I didn’t lke being on my own. I didn’t like being alone. I didn’t like having too much time on my hands.
I used to make sure I had plans every weekend and I didn’t spend too much time in my own company, because it felt uncomfortable.
I had plenty of friends. I always made sure I had plenty of things to do. I always made sure my diary was full of crap, all so I didn’t have to face myself.
I became a compulsive dater. For a decade, my only goal was to find the love of my life, because I so desperately didn't want to be single.
I thought I was running away from being single, but I learned that all I was doing was running away from myself. And as you know, if there is one guaranteed thing in life, it's the fact that you will spend it all with yourself! There is no way out. There is no escape. You can't run away from yourself.
At some point, I needed to realise that and see the truth. And I did.
One summer morning, I woke up after one too many dates and decided that enough was enough.
I couldn’t stand the emotional pain of falling for the wrong guys, being ghosted on a regular basis, and failing to find true love.
I had enough of dating. I had enough of running away from myself. I had enough of chasing love, all so I could change my relationship status and feel proud for a moment that I had managed to attract a guy!
This was a brave moment. For the first time in my life, I was brave enough to face myself. I was brave enough to say, “Stop.” I stopped the distractions like the dating, the over-active social life, the full diary, the life without a still moment.
And that was when I started my search for the truth.
That was the moment I started to question all the lies and beliefs that didn’t serve me.
I discovered that my truth was that I am enough without a relationship.
I don’t need a relationship to justify my worth to the world. I am whole and complete without a man. It is up to me to decide how I choose to live my life as a single, and how happy I am with it.
I liberated myself from the collective conditioning, from believing that there was something wrong with me and that I needed to be in a relationship to be happy.
Here are a few mind-set shifts that can help you find your truth about being single:
1. Stop identifying with your relationship status.
You are not your relationship. Your relationship status doesn’t define you as a person. Your single status doesn’t mean anything other than the one true fact: you haven't found the right person yet. Always remember that, whether you are single or married, you are the same magnificent being. This is constant in your life. Your relationship status will change throughout your life, but your intrinsic worth shouldn’t.
2. Know your worth.
Your worth doesn’t come from the outside. Your worth doesn’t come with a relationship, a partner, or a wedding ring on your finger.
For so long, so much of my own worth was attached to my relationship status. This was the very reason I suffered as a single. For some reason, I believed I would be a better and more accomplished person if I had a boyfriend. My worthiness depended on it. So, for as long as I didn’t have a boyfriend, I felt useless about myself.
But your true worth comes from within. Your true worth is intrinsic. You were born worthy and good enough. Nothing external can add to your true worthiness, and nothing external can take away from your worthiness. You are worthy just the way you are.
3. There is nothing wrong with you.
The only reason why you are single is you haven't met the right person yet. End of the story. It’s not because you are not attractive enough, not educated enough, people don't find you interesting, you need to lose weight, you need to get a new job, or anything else you can think of to disparage yourself.
Don't build a negative story that will make you feel miserable. Accept the truth and end there. The only reason you are single is the absence of the right person in your life, not because there is something wrong with you.
4. It's not your fault.
Stop blaming yourself. Stop beating yourself up. It's not your fault that you are single. If you met the right person, you would be in a relationship now, right? So why feel ashamed of something out of your control? Being single doesn't make you right or wrong. It is just what it is. Just accept that the time hasn't come yet, and enjoy your life until it does. Live it to the full!
5. Rise above collective conditioning.
The collective conditioning is so wrong, but it's also strong and deeply ingrained. That’s why it’s difficult to see beyond it and believe the opposite. Regardless of your relationship status, you must rise above it and value yourself.
We as a society have created this massive collective belief that being single is difficult and must be miserable, which is based on our biggest fear—the fear of being lonely. But relationships can be difficult too. It’s entirely possible to feel miserable in a relationship.
Once you have befriended your solitude, you will see the truth of the experience. Being single can be as awesome as you make it. You are in charge of how you want to use your time as a single.
6. Stop glorifying relationships.
Being in a relationship is not better than being single. Being single or married is not better or worse. They both come with different challenges, lessons, and benefits. They challenge us in different ways. It's all about embracing your current challenges and enjoying the benefits. If you learn that while you are single, you will be able to apply the same philosophy in your future relationship, especially when it becomes challenging.
7. Stay true to yourself.
Staying true to yourself is about self-respect. It's about respecting your values and standards. It's about making choices based on what you truly want rather than caving to others’ expectations. It's better to stay single and go for what you truly deserve in love than it is to settle for less and waste time with the wrong people, and lose yourself in the process.
Staying true to yourself will help you feel more independent, confident, and happy. But it also means that sometimes you will feel uncomfortable and vulnerable. It won’t be easy all the time. But what is worse would be doing something against yourself and betraying your values.
Being single happened to be the most transformational period of my life. It can bring a transformation to your life too if you start living it more intentionally as a single.
Being single can be fun. Being single can be explorative. Being single can be expansive and happy.
It's up to you what you make of it and what you choose to believe.
If you want to start changing how you feel about being single, start exploring the stories you tell yourself.
Our stories are very powerful. When you repeat a story regularly, it becomes your truth and you start to believe it.
Examine what being single means to you and what meaning you give your single status.
Your story might be that being single means your life is empty, that people in relationships are having more fun, or that you will only be happy if you have a partner.
Once you have identified your story, ask yourself how to create the opposite of what you believe. For example, how can being single be full of life and joy? How can I have or create more fun while I'm single? What can I do to be happier here and now?
Let your answers guide you to take more positive actions and start living your life as a single to the best of your abilities.
Maximize this time and regularly step out of your comfort zone. Start up new hobbies and learn new things. Cultivate the most important relationship you have–the one with yourself! Use every opportunity that comes your way to grow. Make every day the best day of your life. When you live your life as a single in this intentional way, you won't even have time to notice that you are single!