How do YOU feel about being single?
Seven reasons why OTHERS think your being single is a problem
Ready, set, go. Name all the reasons people have told you that being single is an impediment to your happiness. Does the list look something like this?
- You must be lonely.
- You don’t have anyone to do things with.
- Who do you call in an emergency?
- Potential romantic partners might discount you for staying single.
- You will have less financial security.
- You have no one to offer you emotional support.
- You can’t possibly be fulfilled.
What strikes you about this list? While it may be intended as helpful, it’s all 100% conjecture about you and what matters most in your life. Whether it’s friends, family, co-workers or strangers who make these pronouncements, no one can know what you want — BUT YOU.
Of course, our culture is geared towards celebrating coupledom. So, it’s not surprising to hear others parroting the conventional wisdom that everyone needs a partner.
Seven reasons why YOU may relish being single
Did you know that approximately 50% of Americans are single? Some by circumstance and some by choice.
Do you like being single? Many people do.
If you are one of the happily single, you will have your own list of why single life is desirable. Here’s how you might think about your life:
- Rather than feeling lonely, you are thrilled to be able to come and go as you please.
- You stay close to family and friends who offer companionship when you want it, and not when you don’t.
- You have a person or persons in your life who can be there for you in emergencies, and you return the favor.
- If you want to date, or get involved in a future romantic relationship, you are free to do so on your own terms.
- Your financial freedom does not depend upon your relationship with someone else, and you are free to make your own spending decisions without having to run it by another person.
- Because you nurture your relationships, you have solid connections who will support you in challenging times.
- You measure fulfillment based on self-love: what you achieve professionally and personally, the number of authentic relationships you have, and how your life matches your values.
How an impediment becomes your great, good fortune
When I divorced after 24 years of marriage, I worried my life would never be the same…and not in a good way. True, I wanted the divorce. But after listening to many advice-givers in my world, I had the same fears that others who are newly single have. My life was not going to measure up, and I would be unhappy.
But the opposite has turned out to be true.
And why? Because what first looked like an impediment turned into a major advantage.
Here are all the ways being single has helped me:
- I was free to relocate to New York City, far away from Texas where I had lived my whole adult life, to start an exciting new second chapter.
- My work opportunities instantaneously grew because I wasn’t place bound anymore.
- I met and made a veritable boatload of new friends, many quite different and more diverse from those I knew in Texas.
- My willingness to take my own risks as a single person proved to me that I had far more courage than I ever believed possible.
- The adventures I have been on are ones I would have completely dismissed as impossibilities in my old life.
When I consider how many things in my life I most dreaded that turned out well, I am reminded of Garth Brooks’ song Unanswered Prayers. The closing lyric is: “Some of God’s gifts are unanswered prayers.”
What are the ways a perceived impediment in your life has turned out to be far more rewarding than you would have ever dreamed? Tell me what you thought were roadblocks that turned out to be fortunate advantages. I am listening, so write to me at Kate@KateSomerset.