Love who you are now as a single person and you’ll create singular individuality, freedom and independence for a successful relationship.
Adult single people are an elite breed of human. Anyone who has become a part of a couple holds a deep-seated respect and reverence for their single friends. (Those single friends who are truly living, that is. Not the sad, sappy, whining and complaining single friends.) In fact, the reverence and awe toward singles from their coupled-up counterparts is so great, it could be compared to that reserved for the Pope… or for, say George Clooney, perhaps.
Why do so many people in committed relationships hold such high regard for their single friends? It’s the singles’ wild abandon, their untethered souls and their ability to leave a grocery store without shaving supplies for their boyfriend or tampons for their girlfriend. All of these truths are whispered about with great respect and fondness in the halls of coupledom.
But seriously… I think singles can forget just how unique and special they are. They must. Why else would there be so many articles (with discussion threads to match) on the best way to get dates, find Mr. or Mrs. Right or how to dress to attract the perfect partner? It’s as if single people think they’ve got a horrible disease and the only cure is to latch on to someone. It’s sad, really.
When I was married, I can’t tell you the countless things I wished to do that would have been possible and easy had I been single. It was when I found myself thinking “maybe he’ll die soon” about my ex, that I realized — eh — this relationship may have run its course! There were so many things I longed to experience, that I could never do while married (for a number of reasons). I would have loved taking cooking classes with a top chef, learning to Rhumba, or traveling through Paris, pretending not to speak a word of English… oh, the list goes on.
I suppose that is why when my divorce was final several years ago, I heaved a heavy sigh of relief and, in addition to self-healing, therapy and exploring who I was (on my own, apart from being the other half of someone), I never looked back. I dove into my singleness with both feet and haven’t regretted a single moment since.
I love my singleness. My boyfriend, with whom I happen to live, loves his singleness as well.
“Say what? That’s not SINGLE!” you feverishly shout from the rooftops.
While being in a relationship does not make someone an “on the market” single person, or someone whom you could ask out on a date… I maintain that a singular, truly individual mindset is the healthy mindset required to be authentically and truly comfortable as you.
My beau and I both cherish and appreciate our singleness, but we also recognize our good fortune at being able to share it together. We share our worlds, yes, but we respect each other’s individuality, each other’s friends (who are completely different and separate from “our” friends) and each other’s tastes, which don’t always match.
We honor and respect our personal life choices too. Neither of us wishes to ever stifle or inhibit the other. If he wants to travel to Paris on his own, he knows that he can, and hell yes, I am on a plane, if I so desire. I admit we do things like that sparingly, because we so enjoy spending time together, but we foster a relationship where those options are always available.
And you see, we brought that attitude to the table. As a result we were able to co-mingle our approach to life easily. It’s more complicated and difficult to create an atmosphere of individuality and freedom in an existing relationship that doesn’t celebrate individuality or freedom.
And, while I hammer home the point that you should relish your singleness, I do understand that you don’t necessarily want to depart this earth with no one at your bedside. I understand that sometimes things are beautiful in different and more enriching ways when shared.
It’s when we stop looking and accept where we are, make the very most of every moment and of ourselves that we become ready for a Mr. or Mrs. Right, should s/he cross our path. When you have accomplished what you should with yourself, he or she will materialize. If you want to let him/her in, you will have that wonderful choice.
A version of this article was originally posted on Lisa Jey Davis’ Huffington Post blog.