If you’re anything like me, you are so done with hearing the family and friends mantra, “Stop complaining about being single. Stop wishing you had somebody. You’re single, enjoy life! Who needs love?” As if that’s supposed to be comforting. The reality for hopeful romantics is that WE want love! We want partnership. We want laugher. We want crazy, stupid, incredible sex!
I hear you. I want those things too. But, let’s slide back into reality for a minute. Look down at where your feet are planted. They may not be standing in the ideal spot, but you are where you are at this very moment, right? You won’t be standing there forever, so why not figure out how to enjoy it – I mean truly and genuinely enjoy it? Why not take that very annoying advice from mom, from sister, from best friend – and just give it a try?
After my last relationship, it literally felt like God had put me on punishment for a year. I was convinced of it. Very few men approached me, and those who did were so screamingly disrespectful, I couldn’t be open-minded and fake enough to give them a try if I wanted to. Example?
The Dude: Yo, I ain’t in the mood to go eat. And I don’t do movies. Just come to my place. I promise to cook you a nice breakfast in the morning, sweetheart.
This Hopeful Romantic: For real? But, I just met you 10 minutes ago…
I am not kidding! All seven of the dudes I met upon my first year in this booming metropolis approached me in this way. And all seven dropped me as soon as I suggested that we meet up for a movie or dinner as a first date instead of HIS HOUSE. So, single I remained. I had no dates – not even a worthless prospect to complain about – for an entire year. Nothing. My world was just about as isolating as they come – new city, no friends, and no luck meeting people who stick. It took me awhile to finally wake up and accept the fact that I am where I am, and that maybe it wouldn’t be such a bad thing to take that cliché advice I kept hearing. Maybe there was something to it. And you know what? There was!
The Seven Benefits
I’m sure that my fellow hopeful romantics want me to say that after that year, I opened my eyes, accepted where I was in life, and voila! Love was standing right before me. Well… that’s not exactly what happened. I’m still single. But now, I can honestly (and not clichély) say, I’m happily single. I’ve gone from being a hopeless romantic to a hopeful romantic. There actually are some benefits to being single! Here’s what this Hopeful Romantic has discovered:
#1 – You Get to Redefine Yourself
This is when you have free reign to set new priorities for yourself that no one can weigh in on but you. What do you like? What have you always wanted to try? What talents have you abandoned? What goals have you always wanted to pursue? What old priorities (left over from the last relationship) do you want to release? It’s time to define what’s important to you, and then to fully become you!
#2 – It’s a Perfect Time to Socialize
Date! Meet new people, make new friends, network. Join a writing club, an outdoors group. Check out www.meetup.com. As you meet new people, you learn who you do and do not mesh well with. What do people seem to love about you? Use this time to learn about how you interact with other people, to work on any interpersonal challenges, and to discover your strengths.
#3 – You have time to Become an Expert
Get great at what you do. If you aren’t in love with your career path, start working on one that you can be great at. Start a new business. Strengthen yourself as a professional. Who doesn’t want to find ways to enhance their income? Get extra training. Go back to school. Invest in you! Now, while you’re single, is the best time ever to get it done!
#4 – It’s Your Prerogative to Spoil Yourself
No permission needed! Go get a massage. Treat yourself to dinner at your favorite restaurant. Spend a day in the tub with a glass of wine and enjoy a mani-pedi after. Go to a film festival or lose yourself in a pile of books at the local book store. Whatever it is, it’s your life, go do it! Go hiking, enjoy an apple pie, play the Wii in your living room. Do what you like with no judgment – but do it, of course, in moderation!
#5 – Nobody Complains if You Mess up a Meal
Try something new! Experiment with a new meal, and if you burn it, big deal! Dive into jewelry-making, and if you only come up with masterpieces that your mother would love, that’s okay! Just try it again later (or let it go and try something else). Rock a new look – a haircut, a new style of shoes, experiment with makeup. Step out of your comfort zone and take those risks now while it’s not quite so risky.
#6 – It’s Quiet Enough to Think!
Ahhhh… peace and quiet. I know sometimes the quiet is so loud that it’s hard to see it as peaceful, but it’s all in your perception. This is your chance to think, to process the patterns of your life, to consider where you want to go and who you want to be. Enjoy the peace and quiet of your world. Enjoy the calm of having one less person to impress or cater to. Enjoy the calm while you have it – because even in the best of relationships, sometimes the calm is all we long for.
#7 – This is Your Chance to Challenge Yourself
Prove to yourself that you can function at 100% and that you can become genuinely happy with your life in the “single” status. Prove to yourself that you are awesome enough to keep your life stimulated and fulfilled on your own. It is up to you to become a complete person, rather than wait around for someone to complete you.
Now it’s your turn…
What benefits have you discovered as a single lady or gent??? Leave a comment and let us all know!
The Hopeful Romantic