Singledom can be tough. Some people even call it singledoom. Others would rather stay in a bad relationship rather than face life being single. This is such a mistake, and I’ll tell you why.
Ask anyone who is single if they are happy. Chances are they will say no. For these people, happiness equates to being in a relationship with someone. Having a partner, a boyfriend or girlfriend in preference to being alone; single, or on their own.
Society gives many of us the impression that we are less than perfect if we are not in a relationship with another. If we are not coupled-up and loving each other til death us do part, whether we are of the same sex or not, we can feel ‘less-than’ in comparison to our friends. The pressure to be part of a loved-up couple can drive you to despair if you’re not completely clued up on why singlehood is a good thing.
Many of my clients are divorced, and find they are suddenly single in their late forties. After a twenty year long marriage it is often a disappointment to be suddenly single at this age. Research of our clients suggests the majority of women who are in their forties and are now divorced do not find new partners for a long time after their divorce is finalised.
The lessons learnt in their troubled marriages take a long time to be analysed, and new behaviours embedded before women will trust and love again. We forgive our transgressors but often never forget our pain, and carry it with us into the next relationship until we learn to heal and end the pain-relationship-pain cycle.
It’s a mistake to view being single as a disappointment. These are your days to do all the things you couldn’t do when you were stuck in a poorly functioning relationship.
If you’ve longed to end an unsuitable relationship for years and the moment comes when it finally ends, there’s a feeling of euphoria at the realisation you’re completely free of the other person. What you choose to do with the time you had previously invested for relationships is up to you.
Some choose to get back into the dating pool and to choose their next relationship more wisely. Others choose to play the field and rely on casual sexual encounters for their fill of human connection.
For many, singlehood can signal the beginning of a long period of healing if a relationship has been particularly intense, or abusive, or psychologically challenging. The end of a relationship signals the start of a new relationship – one with yourself.
Singlehood is the perfect time for definition of the authentic self:
WHO are you
WHAT do you want from a loving relationship
WHEN will you be ready for a new relationship
WHERE will you see the relationship taking you in one year’s time
WHY do you want to pursue a new relationship
Other factors to consider:
- Did you like who you were as a person when you were in your last relationship?
- Did your feelings seem genuine, or forced?
- Did you feel completely happy when you were in a relationship, or did you continuously consider whether there was someone better for you elsewhere?
Relationships can often show us brutally what we lack in ourselves. Sometimes a client will say his wife irritates him, and describe what she does to irritate him, and I can see the same irritable quality present in the client’s personality.
Our partners are often mirrors of our own personalities – we are dating our mirror image. If you do not like what you see in another, often it is also present in your own psyche.
Once you are in tune with your authentic self and what you value, such as love, respect, honour, understanding, compassion, and tenderness you will attract the person with the same qualities to you.
Only then can you appreciate what you present to the world, and what the world reflects back to you, and capitalise on it to achieve the ultimate relationship.
About Robin Wright-Thurnley
Robin is an Associate Coach at Phoenix Relationship Coaching where he guides men towards achieving their dreams of lasting love.