Both singledom and coupledom have their advantages and disadvantages. When people argue about which country is the best to live in, it’s wasted energy because what is one person’s dream is another person’s nightmare and our needs change at various stages of our lives. So it is with relationships.
I know that I would rather be single than be in a relationship where I constantly receive negative messages or feel neglected and unloved. Regular negative messages can erode our self esteem and leave us feeling hopeless. Being single can be scary too though and many of us stay in relationships that damage us or don’t bring us happiness just because it’s what we know. This is so common. We accept criticism, neglect, abuse and many other variations of bad behaviour. I currently see many clients who feel stuck in their relationships due to lack of financial access or because it’s all they know. Feeling trapped leads to misery.
What to do
The best thing you can do is look after yourself and ensure that you have a fairly independent life. Have your own hobbies, friendship group and interests outside the relationship. Create a strong core foundation that allows you to feel safe irrespective of the relationship. Save some money too just in case – all these things can make you feel a little safer.
If you are single, enjoy your free time. Some of my clients tell me they feel less worthy being single. Society seems to push towards being in a relationship and some of my clients say they feel lonely. They go out and they tend to notice every couple holding hands and being affectionate. The thing is, we are indulging in confirmation bias when we do this. We are hypervigilant regardin what we don’t have. We are comparing our situation unfavourably to others – just remember being single has plenty of perks. When we ‘compare and despair’, we are basing our thoughts/feelings on what we see – we don’t know what the truth is. No relationship is perfect – even though they may do their best to covince you with their selfies on facebook!) In fact. most of my happiest times have been when I was single. I was very confident and being true to myself.
We tend to want what we haven’t got – we yearn for our single days when we are in an unhappy relationship and we long to be cuddled when we are single. Enjoy where you are, life changes. Make the most of the situation you are in. This doesn’t apply if you are in an abusive relationship. If this is the case. get help and get out. Abusers rarely change.
Singledom and coupledom both offer good and bad. it’s up to you to get the most out of your current situation but never be afraid to cross the divide. Count on yourself whether single or in a relationship. That will ensure you remain ‘free’ no matter what.