Relationships, even in the best of worlds, can come and go for a whole host of reasons. They can reach the end of their natural life through mutual agreement, or by one partner deciding to end it. This can be painful, even when both individuals agree that it is time for a change.
But there are other reasons for a relationship coming to an end too. David and Jennifer have been together for two years and feel a growing connection to each other. Jennifer has an opportunity to go to graduate school in another state and David lands his dream job at Boeing. They both decide, sadly, to go their separate ways.
Sometimes one person is ready to go to the next level, but their partner isn’t. The timing is just wrong. The net result—the relationship comes to a halt. In another time and place, things might have worked out differently.
And sometimes, finding the right person can seem like climbing Mt. Everest. “Where are all the good men?” laments Sonia. She’s tried all of the dating websites and is tired of first dates that don’t go anywhere. She wonders if “Mr. It” exists for her. It’s discouraging.
My mother lost her second husband from a long illness in her mid 70’s. He had been the true love of her life. She was open to meeting someone else, but didn’t feel any pressure. She was very self-sufficient and had many close women friends. As she moved into her 80’s, she didn’t want to be in a position where she would end up taking care of another ill partner. She is still happily single closing in on 91!
My father, on the other hand, lost his second wife to cancer when he was 70. He was scooped up by a 65-year-old woman, and was remarried shortly thereafter. He wasn’t alone for a month before he was ready to tie the knot. Many men can’t imagine being alone. Two weeks after the end of a relationship, they are ready to meet someone new. Two months later they are remarried!
My point—It’s important to learn how to be single, self-sufficient, and happy. When you are able to do so, adding another person to your life is a joyful addition. Feeling desperate to find a mate often leads to making a poor choice.
Here are some important ideas to nourish.
Being single gives you time to get to know yourself. Living alone doesn’t mean you have to be lonely. It gives you time to connect with yourself and your own interests. It can be a time to discover who you really are at a given moment in your life.
Being single gives you time to heal. When a relationship has come to an end, sometimes painfully, it’s important to take the time to become whole again. Don’t jump into a new relationship as a way of healing!!!!!!!!!!!!(Note all of those exclamation marks! I mean it!)
Take time to nurture your friendships. A relationship can and does take time away from friends. Singlehood provides time to reconnect and to nurture friendships. There is nothing as valuable as a good friend.
Learn to enjoy your own company. This is an important quality for all adults to nurture. My work is almost entirely social. I spend the majority of my day interacting with others, which I thoroughly enjoy. But I also enjoy my own company. I love going out and eating at a restaurant alone, simply enjoying good food without a word of conversation! I like to take long walks alone, marveling at the beauty of the Northwest. I am happy to go to the movies by myself. I especially appreciate the early morning before sunrise, my wife asleep, sitting alone, enjoying the quiet moments before my day begins. These moments bring me back to my self.
Let go. Remember, life is change and nothing is permanent. Learn to appreciate this moment, whatever it brings, and let go of the past.
Share your positive single moments!