When it seems as though all the people in your life are pairing up, it’s sometimes hard to feel good about your single status. Yet not being involved offers the perfect opportunity for you to develop a healthy relationship with yourself. We speak to life and relationship coach Shelley Lewin for advice on learning to embrace the single life.
Feeling the pressure
When your mother, best friend and friendly colleagues are all trying to fix you up, there’s no escaping the pressure to get involved. And while we may complain about their strategies, a lot of us do feel the need for a man – but this need is often based on mistaken beliefs.
“Many people unknowingly subscribe to a myth that a relationship will make them happy,” says Lewin. “The truth is, though, if you’re not happy with your life or yourself, a relationship won’t fix it”. Lewin also warns against becoming involved for the wrong reasons, for example to find financial security or to meet cultural expectations.
The advantages of singledom
Instead of feeling alone and pressured, focus on the many benefits of your single status. “The greatest advantage of being single is the freedom and flexibility to live the life you want, how you want and where you want,” says Lewin. She points out ways to take advantage of being single:
- Invest and indulge in self-discovery. Making good long-term choices (in life and relationships) requires clarity about who you are and what you want.
- Take responsibility for becoming the best partner you can be. For example, learn how to communicate constructively and effectively, become financially independent to alleviate any neediness, and so on.
- Let go of your past and recreate your life in alignment with your values and dreams
Release the need
“‘Needing’ a partner is a limiting self-belief,” says Lewin. “Choose to see being single as an opportunity and as a chance to get to know yourself. Knowing who you are will help you identify your best and most appropriate match.”
Being single gives you a unique opportunity to grow as an individual. You can do this in many ways, including making new friends or trying new things like returning to university, developing new interests or travelling. “Take more risks to enrich your life while you are free to make choices that don’t impact on your significant other,” suggests Lewin.
When you do enter a relationship, don’t use it as an excuse to put your needs second. Make a conscious decision to maintain your individuality, says Lewin. “Be sure to express your needs upfront to remain an individual who is open to becoming interdependent,” she advises. “Find a partner who wants to see you fulfill your dreams, and not only support him in reaching his.”
Visit www.newlifecoach.net for more information on Lewin’s services.