It seems to be the way of our society, and maybe there is some truth to it also, people who are single, all too often seem to be in conflict with their single hood and wish they were not single.
But, I have a theory that many people who are single for a length of time, are single because they actually deep down want to be, and need to be single.
For those who are afraid of being alone, it's not the hardest thing to find someone and then to shack up. You know who you are and you are most likely paired up already. These people can easily find someone to shack up with. You need not be good looking, attractive, rich, nice nor even kind to find a significant other.
What I am trying to say is that if you really wanted to get married, or get committed, or even just find a companion you would find someone to do it with pretty easily, if you weren't being that selective. What many people want or are looking for, is someone or some ideal that they have in their mind. There is a desire to be several things, and to have several things in their partner, and it's just a bit harder to find, and it's somewhat of a frustration, but there are the benefits too
The interesting thing is that these 'single' people I am referring to, are not afraid of being alone. They don't necessarily love it nor like it and may even catastrophize or generalize their single hood by saying things to themselves like, "I am not deserving of love," "I am unattractive," "I always pick the wrong girl/guy," or "I will be single forever," but deep down they'd rather be alone than settle down with someone just to be in a relationship.
The point I am trying to make is to suggest that single hood should be embraced.
It's a good idea to acknowledge that you love being alone, that you love not answering to people, that you love your privacy, your freedom and your independence. These are all things you don't really want to give up, especially since we already know that many people sacrifice some or all of these things for love, for intimacy, for sex, for connection, for relationships.
Ideally, we wouldn't sacrifice anything, but our better minds keep warning us to tread lightly, for if we are not careful these gems of single hood can be taken away from us all too soon. Call us commitment-phobic, call it wild and free, call it whatever you will, in the end we like what we have, our juicy nuggets of singlehood, so much so that no one can really take it away. YET.
If you're single I want you to meditate on these 6 concepts.
Meditation, mindfulness and consciousness are a big part of what I like to teach in sexuality, and even if we are single, and not engaging in regular sexual activity, we can develop a a mindful focus that embraces who we are and helps us develop our connectivity to the world, through honesty and love.
1. Get rid of the idea that you are undeserving of love, or that you are unattractive, or that you will be single forever. These concepts suggest that you don't have a lot of control over your life, and that you are a victim. Instead, seize your life. I want you to list all the positive wonderful things in your day to day that you love about being single.
2. Recognize that you love those things about being single, and that you have chosen in this very instant to steer clear from the things which invade your solitude, your independence, and your single hood. Make a list of all the choices you have made in your single life, that got you to where you are today. Make sure you don't second guess your choices. You made them for a reason.
3. Open your mind to the idea of relationships. Think about previous relationships, think about what you did not like about them and what you did like about them. Write these down. Be sure to be fair.
4. Now, clear your mind from the negative, and be honest with yourself. What are your fears about getting into a relationship? Admit that you may have some, and write them down. Make a conscious effort to accept your fears, and sit with them. Meditate on your fears, think about them. Cry if needed. This is an important one. When we avoid acknowledging that which paralyzes it, it continues to control our lives.
5. Write down what would make your fears more tolerable. Is there something you can do to manage your fears, either in a relationship or out? What is holding you back?
6. Visualize you in 1 year, in 5 years. Who are you and how does someone else fit into that picture? Are you leaving enough room for someone else to enter in your life?
Sometimes we are ready to accept others into our lives, and sometimes we are not. Either place is okay. There is no wrong or right. Being single is a very acceptable way of life, and many people are quite happily single. There is a myth perpetuated that single people are not happy. This is not true. If you are single, there may be a possibility that you are not ready to share yourself with another person. You are the expert on your needs and on your life. Be honest with yourself and decide what part of being single you do like, and what part you would like to change, if any at all.
Mou is a Sex Therapist based in Los Angeles.