Some of the best times of my life have been when I was single. I could see whomever I want, eat toast for dinner and go to bed without having a shower until the morning (only on the really lazy nightsâ€¦Â of courseâ€¦.). Typically though, as is a common human trait, I have always wanted what I havenâ€™t got. So when I was single I would watch other couples being cosy and feel envious and wish I could be in a relationship again and then when in a relationship I would hanker after the carefree days when my future was completely in my own hands.
The trick is to make the most of whichever situation you are in. Being single doesnâ€™t have the stigma it used to carry. These days it is seen as a lifestyle choice. Being single was a necessary stage in my development. It taught me resilience as well as common sense. I realised that I could stand on my own two feet and that felt very empowering. A boyfriend once told me that I would never cope alone as I would have to pay bills and they are so involved and complicated. When it came to leaving him I was stressed about how I would ever cope with paying bills but once I actually got stuck in and did it, all I could think was â€˜really? Thereâ€™s nothing to thisâ€™. If I had stayed with him I would forever have feared bills thinking of them as the Mount Everest of singledom. I laugh about it now but being in a relationship can lead to you inadvertently clipping your own wings. You rely on the other person to do stuff instead of mastering it for yourself and then you forever feel vulnerable with that lack of knowledge. Being single forces you to learn how to change plugs, drive into London (something I never attempted when in a couple) and make decisions alone and live with those decisions.
I also think that being single speeds up the process of getting to know yourself. You learn about your strengths and weaknesses far quicker when you have to rely on yourself.
Of course, there are disadvantages to being single â€“ thatâ€™s just life but I now know that I would never stay in an unsatisfactory relationship because I know I can cope alone. So many women stay in unhappy relationships out of fear. Fear that they will be alone forever or not cope and this is very sad. No one else can be responsible for our happiness. We have to find it for ourselves. You will know if you are selling yourself short or â€˜settlingâ€™. Listen to that inner wisdom. So many times I have heard women, once they have made the break, say to me â€œif only I had listened to my gut instinct and done this a long time agoâ€.
It is never too late. Being single can be fun and an adventureâ€¦not necessarily a Bridget Jonesâ€™ style life of meals for one and loneliness.