When I was writing articles on various topics for encouragement this month, I thought of all the singles I know who are in need of encouragement. There is a mindset, or a panic, that there “has to be someone out there” who you just haven’t met and the time clock is ticking. It starts somewhere in your 20s and definitely on the megaphone from all by your 30s because “aren’t you going to have a family?”. By 40, it really seems to be “too late” unless you’ve decided to compromise to live a life with another within all of the various, new-found creative forms of marriage. For many, they meet someone special and live the happy life. Those are most of your friends. The ones you bought a beautiful present for, perfect for the couple, bought straight off the registry list for their wedding and enjoyed a delicious piece of buttercream frosted cake, while just knowing—just knowing, with one sip of the champagne glass that your turn is NEXT. Gosh by golly, you even caught the bouquet twice, and doesn’t that mean something?!?
The single life, while it has its benefits of independency—and some freedoms to come and go as you please, or buy things with maybe a little more leeway, decorate yourself and your housing with a little more personality based on your preferences, for example—can be fun as well as have plenty of lonely moments of going for the Ben & Jerry’s, single-size carton, as you wallow yourself in self-pity, one gigantic spoonful at a time, just trying to wade through misery moments of ‘one’ of having to do absolutely everything yourself including carrying all the burdens on one set of shoulders. Keep in mind, some of us have it worse, stalked by thousands of remote stalkers not just invading your personal life, but the shower, car, work, balance in your bank account, and telling everyone of which flavor of Ben and Jerry’s you finally decided on and sharing everything and anything more intimate as well just to be the scoop, all at your humiliation. On the upside, single-hood, is a time for self-exploration and a time for freedom and fun. With the freedom single-hood offers, singles tend to have more energy. With this energy and less commitments, singles can spread kindness to others probably even more so than married couples or families.
Staying encouraged as a single can be tough at times. This is where a dose of kindness can be helpful with a few kind words. The single begins to frantically analyze what the problem is. Is it my appearance?…Many books and magazines have suggestions for how to groom yourself for the ‘right one’. There are all sorts of products on the shelf and accessories which are sure to market yourself. There is self-confidence which comes with self-care and wanting to look presentable. However, more effective is spending time developing you! Is it my social skills?…Singles can find encouragement by finding other singles to be around. They can find encouragement through volunteer work and thus increasing feelings of self-worth. They can also find encouragement with self-improvement activities and learning new skills and hobbies. Is it my age?…Much of staying encouraged when you feel ‘you are being left behind’ is by looking at what you have instead of what you don’t have.
A lot of unhappiness comes from jealously. There is no use dwelling on a time clock that just can’t seem to match ‘the schedule’. Finding ways to refocus instead of drowning in misery can help escape from these melancholy moments. It may not be your time yet. Times are different now and living the independent life is more of the standard than relationships which are ‘out’ of style unless it is a quick encounter. After all, we have our electronic devices as our daily companions and ‘more options is best’ is the way which appeases many. Maybe it is time to see how to reinvent the meaning of in-person, ‘human relationships’ and from there be encouraged as singles to find ‘someone’ as the one.
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