The most adventurous journey to embark on; is the one to yourself, the most exciting thing to discover; is who you really are, the most treasured pieces that you can find; are all the pieces of you, the most special portrait you can recognise; is the portrait of your soul” – C. JoyBell C
When I suggest to clients it is time to appreciate and enjoy some time alone, it’s met with a kind of blank face and a slight nod of agreement. If you are someone who doubts the possibility of being single AND truly happy, you are not on your own.
Trust me, I get it. It used to be me.
Whilst I still have my wobbles, it feels so empowering to finally be able to say; I would rather be single FOREVER than in the wrong relationship.
I LOVE love and romance, and of course, I do want to meet the right person one day. I also LOVE happiness and feeling whole. The only time in my adult life I ever felt so content has been the last 8 months when I have put dating on the back burner.
Settling in the wrong relationships or trying to convince someone to like you is draining.
I have not stopped dating… it’s simply on the back burner I mentioned. This is not about taking yourself out of the game.
This is about creating a whole life where your happiness does not depend on validation from another person.
The relationships I have experienced made me feel momentarily happy, but never the kind of happiness I can trust. I don’t know about you but that’s not the kind of happiness I am interested in.
I know the moment it all clicked. As usually happens with me; I was listening to a podcast. I understood in a split second how and why being on your own is necessary if you are serious about having a committed relationship.
During THIS interview, Dating & Relationship expert Stephen Labossiere (also known as Stephen Speaks) explains his belief that we all meet one or two real connections in a lifetime, the importance of healing if you intend to discover real love, and how to attract the right person into your world.
I got it. I get it. You can’t rush this stuff.
Allow yourself to believe that a real connection is not an unrealistic expectation. Being single is not a failure or a reflection of your worth. It’s simply a reflection that a mutual connection takes time to come across. It’s not easy, especially in today’s dating culture, to meet someone who wants the same things you do.
Are you going to judge yourself for that? Are you going to live in states of worry, upset and self-comparison?
Or are you going to spend these days enjoying your life?
You can’t put your life, career and passions on hold whilst you wait for someone to rock up. If you are going for the big stuff, it might take a while, so what’s better than to create your happy life in the meantime.
Realising you would rather be single than settling in the wrong relationship or ever being in limbo again is liberating.
I have never loved or accepted myself enough during the times I have been in relationships or dating, which means my single years were at the risk of being wasted and my future relationship being jeopardised. Whilst I could be learning, growing and falling in love with myself; I was giving that attention to the wrong person.
Don’t get me wrong, I did like these people at the time (albeit my heart was not on fire), I had fun and I learned a LOT. But do you need to keep repeating the same lesson?
Relationships aren’t easy, you have to work at them, but only when it’s the right person is that effort really worth it. If it’s hard work with someone who treats you poorly, puts you second or doesn’t really interest you; that is some wasted energy.
“Being single is better than being in a relationship with someone who fills your heart with doubt.”
This is one of the easiest ways to find happiness outside of a relationship. Not only does this require you to set your standards, you also get to uplevel in your own life.
Even if you are perfectly happy with the people you have attracted in the past, this is still a worthwhile task because why not aim bigger?
If you are serious about attracting a healthy, fun, loving relationship; then you need to be in the position to hold down that relationship yourself.
The best way to do this is to become the person you want to date in the first place. You want your partner to be interesting? that’s what they want too.
Grab your notebook and write it out; both negotiable and non-negotiable standards are welcome at this point 🙂
Life doesn’t stop because you are single. Whether you are thinking of ending a relationship, recently single or a long time single; this is just your story. Stop resisting the reality of your situation. Perhaps you do need to get yourself out there and that’s fine but don’t allow yourself to focus on the idea of running out of time. The stress and upset you are experiencing from those thoughts are taking your happiness and holding you back. They do not change your situation and you become the opposite to being the person you want to date.
Of course, as you get older your mind will drift to age, body clocks and there being no good ones left; OF COURSE it will. Do not allow this, it’s not doing you any good. If you want to be single and happy, these thoughts need to be pushed aside. Dedicate your time to other areas of your life, it is not all about romantic relationships and being with that special person.
If you are worried about running out of time, then spend it wisely, it’s not like we can get it back. Do you really want to wake up one day and realise you spent the little time you did have, stressing over what you didn’t have?
As I said, part of the reason I was nervous about being truly happy on my own was because I feared losing the hopeless romantic in me. Plus, I love dating – I do. When done in the right mind-set and with someone you get on with, it’s fun; especially in the summer and around Christmas (IMO).
Having periods of not dating and making a commitment to your own happiness can feel like you have given up on love, but it’s not the case. In fact, I see these times as very much working on your future relationship. You are getting your life and self-esteem on track, that is going to be great for the relationship.
If you have a tendency to go for the same person over and over or your self-esteem is low; perhaps a break to work on you is needed. If you feel ready for a committed, healthy relationship then go forth and get out there, but please, don’t make this your whole life. That’s what steals your oomph, leaves you full of self-doubt and in most cases, creates an air of desperation.
Choose to see being alone as one of your greatest gifts right now.
There is no way I would be living the life I am or have the confidence I have if I was in just any old relationship. There is so much more to your life and you are capable of way more.
This is the time you get to really soak up the love you have elsewhere in your life, to experiment with passions and interests, build a trusting relationship with yourself, go on solo trips and book things on a whim.
You have to CHOOSE to reframe how you see this time alone. I strongly urge you to write a list of all the amazing things about this chapter of your life. If you are unable to do that, then that is the sign you do need to be doing this work. Putting that much focus on one other person is not good for your wellbeing, or, you guessed it; your happiness.
I’m not going to sit here and pretend to you that I never have moments of wanting a cheeky Thursday night date. That would be a lie. Every now and then I go for a little bumble session or stumble backwards into the inbox of old acquaintances. It’s not a big deal unless this person treats you badly or this is effecting your self-worth.
Having relapses into old habits, feeling lonely (sometimes), daydreaming about the right one or craving a fun date does not mean you are unhappy being single. It means you are single. It’s no different to the person in a relationship who has a moment of missing the single life. You are a human and your thoughts and feelings differ all the time.
Don’t be discouraged by these moments. Besides many of them make for great stories. They do not have to equal your self-value.
“A busy, vibrant, goal-oriented woman is so much more attractive than a woman who waits around for a man to validate her existence.”
― Mandy Hale
If the idea of being single and happy feels impossible, give yourself a break, this will take time to shift. You can build this up, I have done it myself and I help women to do the same thing every day, so I know it’s possible. If you need help, reach out, start a conversation and let’s get you creating a life you love. You deserve it.
Leave a comment below and let me know how you get on with being happy and single.
Carly Ann xx