Being Single in a Couples’ World
Being single in today’s world can be very challenging in a number of ways. On a material level, it’s difficult to be solely responsible for your existence, and to find the time to keep up with everything in your life. But it can be even more challenging socially and emotionally given the frenetic pace and impersonal tone of our technology-dominated culture. In any given day, we may have more electronic contacts than human ones. And while email, voice mail and telephones are wonderful tools, they don’t address the heart’s deeper yearning for authentic human connection. In our workshops with singles, we frequently hear people express frustrations about their single lifestyle. We hear that there are no ‘quality singles’ out there, that ‘all the good ones are taken’ and that everything in our culture is geared for couples. We fervently believe that all of these are false, and if you are single, we would like to offer some positive tips and resources to help you enjoy your single lifestyle to the max, whether or not you are focusing attention on creating an intimate relationship.
To begin with, it’s important to realize that there are more adult singles than ever before! There are over 35 million adult singles over the age of 25 in the U.S., and over ½ million right here in southeastern Michigan. So there are plenty of potential kindred souls to connect with. As for the ‘quality’ issue, we all attract and resonate with whatever energy we create. So if you want more quality people in your life, take responsibility in becoming a more quality person yourself, whatever that means to you, and you will find similar people attracted to your energy.
The good news is that in addition to there being an abundance of singles in the world today, there are also more easy and efficient ways to meet them than ever before, whether you’re interested in friendship or romance. There are numerous excellent social and recreational singles’ groups in our area, with almost every possible interest and lifestyle choice represented. New single friends are literally just a phone call or click away (we maintain a list of singles’ groups and resources in southeastern Michigan on our web site, and can also mail a free copy to anyone who wants one).
There are also free or inexpensive Internet-based personal ads and chat rooms to help singles connect. Our bias is that real live human connections are deeper and more meaningful than electronic ones, so we recommend using the Internet to meet friends or dating partners locally, and then as soon as possible try to meet in person. Also, we urge caution in contacting dating partners through the Internet, since the possibility of misrepresenting oneself is higher than in any other medium. To keep things safe, we recommend that women not give out their home phone number or address to someone they have never met in person, and everyone should have an initial face-to-face meeting in a public place during daytime hours.
What about this idea that ‘all the good ones are taken’? This implies that all the good partners end up in committed relationships while they’re young and are never again available. But the reality is that many people experience the most profound growth only after a painful relationship ends, whatever their age. By by dealing with the breakup consciously they become far wiser and healthy than they ever were before. ‘Good ones’ aren’t all taken, in fact new ‘good ones’ are being created every day! There are an abundant number of people who have personally and spiritually grown from their life lessons and right now are emotionally and physically available to create the best relationship of their life.
Lastly, regarding the ‘couples culture’ we live in, while it’s true that many activities are geared for couples and families, it’s also true that today there are more activities than ever before exclusively created for singles. However, as a single person you may have to exert more effort to find them than a couple does. But this underscores the larger issue that if you’re single, you need to adopt a positive, proactive, responsible attitude toward your single life. No one will come knocking on your door and ask you to dinner or to play volleyball or go canoeing. But with the proper attitude and effort, a huge range of people and activities are available for you. In this sense, being single affords you a fabulous opportunity to learn a most precious life lesson: without anyone else there to blame for your woes or to pick you up when you’re down, you can literally see how day-by-day you are creating your reality and lifestyle though every choice, every decision, and every fear and self-imposed limitation that you choose to not resolve. And if you prefer a different life experience, you have the power to choose to create that as well.
It’s also essential to develop a positive support system of single friends, who will help you deal with the inevitable ups and downs of life, and be there for you when you need physical, emotional or even financial help. Far too many singles isolate themselves and then have no emotional safety net to fall back on. Or they start dating someone, but have no help in assessing how healthy their new relationship really is, and may not see some obvious areas of incompatibility that a loving friend could easily point out.
Being in a relationship and being single are really just two different sides of the same life coin: both have challenges, both have freedoms, both have lessons, and both are wonderful opportunities to learn to become the best person you can be and fully express the gifts you came to this life with.