Friday, August 31, 2012

Is Being Single Really That Bad?

If you have experienced the loss of a beloved partner or, if you have divorced a spouse with whom you’re very glad to part ways, either way, you have now entered the Kingdom of Singleville. 

There’s a good chance that you never thought you’d be forced to move here – and especially at a more mature age. You survey the landscape, and you spy lots of young singletons, who have never left the kingdom, as well as many in the same situation as you.

You reluctantly set up your home and continue to go about the business of your life. However, you’re mad to be in this place and your attitude reflects it – so much so that, if I were a wagering woman, I’d bet you haven’t even given Singleville a chance. There are lots of good things in this kingdom, but you may be stuck in resentment over your circumstances, and this is making you oblivious of what it has to offer. And Singleville CAN be a great place, if you can look at it from a slightly different perspective. 

Here are three ways in which you can look at your situation. I urge you not to take offense at my comments; instead read them all through to the end.

1. Sure, you’re missing a companion with whom to share your life. However, maybe sharing is overrated. 

Look at the bright side. You can now hog all the covers; stay up as late as you want and not worry about bothering a partner; not shave your legs; wear ratty old underwear and PJs; watch what you want to on TV; eat cereal for dinner because you don’t feel like cooking; not have to sit through endless sports games; or not have to associate with former family members you never liked. This is a time to be selfish and not feel guilty about it.

2. The silence in your house is deafening. 

Look at the bright side. When you’re single, you may have lots of time on your hands to think and, even better, to dream. You can take this quiet pause in your life and utilize it to formulate an Action Plan for the next part of your life. Without having to worry about ignoring a partner because you’re too busy, you can continue your education or work towards a higher degree, pursue hobbies you love, learn new things, and volunteer for causes dear to your heart. 

3. You look at older couples walking in companionable silence and feel you’ve been robbed of the experience. Even if you meet someone new, he/she will only be able to see you as you are now and will never see the young person inside that your former mate did. 

Look at the bright side. I agree that this is a sad fact of losing a partner at an older age. However, if you look at the divorce rates these days, there’s at least a 50% chance you wouldn’t make it to your old age with one partner. When the institution of marriage was first invented, longevity for humans wasn’t in the cards. “’Til death do us part” might have only meant 20 or so years before one or both parties passed away. Without negating your loss, instead of ruing the fact you have to look for love at an older age, consider the idea that you’re a grown up now who knows what he/she wants and needs. The fact is that the next partner you meet might be better suited for you and the second half of your life than the partner you met and married at a young and naïve age. 

Now, I realize that even the good parts of being single don’t ease the pain of loss, and I certainly didn't mean to be flippant in my comments. Of course, you'd gladly share the covers with a partner, but the truth is that it’s necessary for you to work with what you have. You can’t undo the past, so your power lies in what you do with your present in order to build a bright future for yourself and for your children or children-to-come. 

 Living in a single state can be a very selfish time of life – and I mean that in the most positive of ways. Without the distraction of a partner and the responsibilities of commitment to another, it’s a period that can be all about you. How often in life do any of us have that opportunity to concentrate all our efforts on personal growth? Spend your time building your emotional, spiritual, mental and physical muscles. When you’re totally buff, you can use these muscles to lift you out of Singleville and onto your next adventure.

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