People may choose to remain single for any of a number of reasons: maybe career, hobbies, and friends are where you want to focus your passion; maybe you’ve been in relationships, even marriages, before and their conclusion led you to a different understanding of how you see your future; or it could be you haven’t met quite the perfect person and don’t want to settle for anything less just for the sake of not being a party of one.
On the other hand you may find yourself single by circumstance rather than by choice. Whatever the reason, you have every right to make the most of your singlehood, to embrace it – to LOVE being single, even! So how can you find the joy?
Just because you’re single doesn’t mean that the doors to the things you’d wanted to do “when you got married” are closed to you. While doing things as a single may present unique challenges (and really, anything worth having or doing can be challenging whether we’re single or not) there’s no saying you can’t be a parent, own a home, have a fulfilling retirement, or anything else you want for yourself! Want it? Go for it!
Don’t think that someone is happier because they are in a relationship. You are responsible for your own happiness whether you are coupled or single. Focus on being truly grateful for everything you have, for everyone in your life, for the big and small things. Taking the time to keep a gratitude journal can be a wonderful way to keep an attitude of gratitude and joyfulness.
No matter who we are, our time is rarely our own. Try to take advantage of your “me time” to nourish yourself physically, mentally, socially, and spiritually. Follow your passions – take up that hobby you’ve always been attracted to. Spend some vacation time on a spiritual retreat. Join a group for a tour in a country you’ve always wanted to visit. Start an exercise program. The world is your oyster!
Don’t be afraid to spend quality time with yourself – being single doesn’t mean being grounded! Enjoy a dinner out at a fabulous restaurant. Take yourself out for coffee. Relish in the peacefulness of a long walk with only your thoughts and the birds for company. You may be surprised at how comfortable you can make yourself feel in your own company.
Perhaps you were in a bad relationship with your child’s other parent, and being away from that toxic environment means you can heal and move on. Perhaps you entered parenthood as a single parent who intends to stay single. Nurture the relationship you have with your child(ren). Single parents and children of single parents are in no way blocked from being fully happy and successful. And you don’t have to go it alone – there are lots of parenting groups out there that you can join, and all parents can benefit from the encouragement of fellow parents and group support. You and your child both absolutely need and deserve love, and you can provide for all of each other’s needs.
Remember – every relationship takes work, including relationships with ourselves, and your EFAP counsellor can help guide you along your way. Take the time and effort to build that relationship, and you will reap the rewards of the single life!