Come this time of the year, many people begin to question their singlehood status. They look around to friends with significant others and think about their inadequacies, ponder over their deficiencies and ruminate about their seeming inability to find the “right person” for them.
Some of us may grow despondent about the desperation that we feel about not having someone in our life (or anyone in our life) to give us the loving companionship we may so seek and desire. As we spend day after day checking our online dating profile and reaching out to friends and loved ones, we may wonder, “Why am I the only one without someone?” or “Is there no one in this big wide world for me?”
If this brings some shame or embarrassment, or if you find it hard to imagine life without having the emotional support of someone else, you are not alone. Building healthy relationships take a lot of work. Some people struggle with social situations and find it awkward to find someone they like, who likes them in return. Others may find themselves single after the end of a relationship or a divorce which can be especially difficult after having spent a significant part of their lives with someone else.
Whether you have ever been in a relationship or spent the majority of time in a relationship, loneliness can be hard. You may tire of always being the third wheel and friends or family may pressure you to find a partner. The allure to find someone and quickly can be strong.
Before you leap into a relationship and make the choice to readily sacrifice your freedom, or lower your standards to find “anyone”, here are some things you may want to consider:
- Using other people to fill the void you feel, is not a good reason to have a relationship.
- Don’t abandon long term goals for short term benefits.
- Being single and miserable is less complicated than being in a relationship and miserable.
- You can absolutely be happy being single but committed to finding love simultaneously. It doesn’t have to be one or the other.
- Resist viewing a healthy break up as giving up, rather be compassionate to yourself and be open to going with the flow of single life (for now).
- Celebrate singlehood and focus on some of the positive aspects of being single. More time for yourself, and the freedom to pursue your goals.
That said, if you experience low self-esteem, are too picky or controlling, or have a fear of intimacy that leads you to undesired singlehood, you may need help breaking some of these patterns and hidden fears.
Therapy is often a good place to explore the dynamics of your relationship with yourself and others and contemplate whether you are ready to invest in a relationship in a meaningful way. Look for a therapist who can be open and honest with you and be courageous in your desire to heal yourself.
Good luck, and may you find that someone who is right for you.