Debunking age-old myths and confronting the reality of being single in an age of attachment.
Today we live in a time of varying descriptions of relationship statuses ranging from, “ it’s complicated”, “married”, or “a civil union”. This variety allows us the ability to create a plethora of declarations of our own individuality. So why, in this time of ambiguity, does updating our status to “single” carry such a negative internal correlation? To be fair, there are lots of reasons why someone is “still” single, ranging from simply making a choice to be single, not being able to find the one, or what seems to be date “fails”. However, for the majority of singles, their reasons fall somewhere in the middle. So if you’ve found yourself caught in the quagmire of “how do I fix myself,” you can’t, because you’re not broken. You can, however, take a look at society’s supportive quotes for singles and read between the lines of, “you’re just too picky.”
In Enrich Fromm’s book, The Art of Loving, he quotes “it’s best to look for “someone who is like what you like best about yourself.” When trying to find a partner, we’ve all been told to work on ourselves first, implying something is wrong with you that may be the reason for being single. The words are sharp but the message is true. Who are you, really? Can you sit down and list the things that bring you joy in your life? Can you describe the qualities, morals, and principles that make you who you are? If the answer is no, then the time is now! Knowing yourself first allows you to create healthy boundaries with yourself. Without boundaries, relationships are either nonexistent or toxic. So take a minute, evaluate your moral guideposts and the things that you do in your life because they simply make YOU happy.
As single people you’re also told, that you don’t put yourself out there enough. This can seem like yet another dagger, but take a moment and assess if it is fear that has been preventing you from getting out there. Does your fear create unattainable rules in which a possible partner may never live up to, such as fear of rejection, fear of failure, or fear of success? In M. Scott Peck’s, The Road Less Traveled he explains, “Courage is not the absence of fear; it is the making of action in spite of fear, the moving out against the resistance engendered by fear into the unknown and into the future.” So challenge your fear, go have dinner alone in a restaurant, go by yourself to a movie, check out a dating website, go skydiving, it doesn’t matter the action as long as it challenges you. Without personal growth, we can become stagnant and complacency can create negativity.
Throughout your quest to find love, you will be provided a myriad of well-intentioned pearls of wisdom. However, the answer does not lie in trying to fix yourself because you are not broken. There is nowhere in existence a magical book, pill, or retreat that you can follow to find “The One”. The only way you can slightly nudge that hand of fate is if you are truly happy with yourself and constantly challenge your personal growth.