“Don’t rush into any kind of relationship. Work on yourself. Feel yourself, experience yourself and love yourself. Do this first and you will soon attract that special loving other.” ~Russ von Hoelscher
If you’re single right now, this is your moment. And by single I mean not dating, not sleeping with people, and not engaged in romantic mingling of any kind. I mean truly single.
When we’re truly single we have a chance to transform like never before. We have the opportunity to face into our pain, transmute it, and turn our heartbreak into our greatest lesson.
Two of the biggest mistakes newly single people make are these:
- Jumping back into a relationship without healing, reflecting, and working on themselves
- Staying single but numbing the pain with distractions like drugs, food, alcohol, or TV
Yes, transformation can happen in relationship, but being single allows us to get to know who it is we truly are without the fear of outgrowing our partner.
Most people think they’re ready to start dating far before they actually are. That’s because we do anything we can to avoid facing our pain. Being in relationship feels really good. We want someone to love us, often desperately when we don’t truly love ourselves.
A month after my last breakup I sat in my cozy studio with eight other women. One of them said that she had gone through a traumatic breakup and a year later she was just getting to the point of being ready to date again. I remember thinking, “What?! That’s sooooo long. I’m going to heal faster than that.”
I’m approaching the ten-month mark of that breakup, and I’m just getting to the point where I feel like I’m open to dating again. You can’t expedite your healing. Healing will take its slow old time, even if you commit yourself to it. The deeper the wound sometimes the longer the healing process can take.
Once I got over my judgment of being single and started to embrace it, the length of time stopped mattering so much. What mattered was me healing the parts of myself that had been traumatized. I earnestly wanted to do this part right. I wanted to do it right for myself and I wanted to do it right for my future relationship.
It’s taken me almost a year to become solid enough in myself again where I feel ready to inch myself open for relationship. This is because I acknowledge that the kind of relationship I am interested in is one that is deeply intimate, soul-connected, and mature.
I have to be ready to give myself to someone in this way. I have had to turn down dates because I know I’m not ready to give what someone else deserves.
But during this time I’m doing incredible work in getting to know myself. I’ve been able to see myself more clearly than I ever have before. I see my wounds. I know where I need to love myself more. I know what I need to let go of. I know what I need in a partner. I know that I know when I will be ready. I don’t need to rush it.
When you’re truly ready to date you’ll know it. If you’re reaching out to connect with others to avoid pain you’re not ready.
There were many times in my past where I’d come home at night and feel lonely so I’d begin browsing dating apps and setting up dates. I lacked true love for myself and self-confidence. I was reaching out when I felt unworthy instead of understanding where those wounds came from. I wanted someone else to fill that void for me instead of doing the hard work myself.
If you’re single now this is your opportunity to get to know yourself. You can shed the beliefs that are no longer serving you. Maybe you feel a new life churning within you, but you’re afraid because you’re stuck in your head trying to figure out how to bring it to life. You can learn to trust yourself, to hear your intuition, to start taking steps to live that blossoming life within you.
It’s your chance to learn from your past partners. You can discover why you acted the way you did in your past relationships. You can spot the patterns. You can find out why you keep attracting the same fundamental qualities in partners. You can see why it’s not quite working.
From this place you get to find out what you truly want in a relationship. What is it you value? What are your deal breakers? What do you want your relationship to feel like? What do you want to experience together?
All of this information will empower you to choose a partner who will be the right fit. But most importantly, you will now know who you are, and that is the most incredible feeling. Something magical happens when you know yourself.
You begin to recognize that the love you have been looking for outside of yourself has been within you all along. The desperate need for a partner starts to fall away. You become content being single. You start to love your life. You enjoy your own company. You think you’re the best. Who wouldn’t want to spend time with you?
This is the place we want to choose a relationship from. The place where we aren’t needy. The place where we are already whole. The place where we aren’t willing to sacrifice the most important things to us.
If you’re single right now, and you don’t know yourself this well, get off the dating sites. Politely decline when someone asks you out. Commit to loving yourself before you ask someone else to love you. If you do, I’d place a big bet that you’ll end up with a love you could never have dreamed of. That is worth all of the patience in the world.