Your anxiety may be causing you to waste something very precious.
This is the second post in our series 8 Signs You Aren't Ready for a Relationship. I'm going to spend the next week or two delving into each of these more deeply, one by one, and discussing what you can do to make sure that you are ready for a relationship when your Mr. Right comes along.
Do You Need a Man to Feel Happy?
Do you find yourself turning down invitations to social functions because you don't have a date to bring? Are you the type of woman who needs to know you have a new boyfriend lined up before you will break it off with your current guy? When you find yourself single do you spend all of your time on the hunt for your next boyfriend that hopefully will lift you out of your depressed funk?
Of course most women, including me, are just much happier when in a relationship than when single. I mean, who doesn’t want to have someone with whom to watch the sunset, curl up on the couch and watch a movie, or share a home cooked meal? That’s totally understandable, totally normal, and totally human. We’re programmed for connection; we’re social creatures.
The problem arises when you find being single so depressing, so lonely, so, well, awful that you fall into the trap of getting into a relationship that’s not what you really want just to avoid feeling lonely. The problem with getting in (and worse, staying in) a relationship because you feel that it’s better than being alone is that you've just thrown a major roadblock in the way of finding true happiness.
You've basically locked yourself into a less than satisfying situation just to avoid what might, right now, feel like a worse situation. The risk is that you may find that you've locked yourself into this mediocre situation possibly for life. And that’s a long time.
So it’s time for you to break free of the chains of feeling like you need to be with a guy in order to feel good about yourself. The key is to learn to enjoy these alone times and stop wasting this valuable, precious time that could be well spent in discovering your true self, pursuing your own interests, and making new connections. Look at this time that you are unencumbered by a relationship as the gift that it truly is – the gift of time to do everything that you've wanted to do without being tied down by a relationship.
Find Your Community
One reason many women find it depressing to be single is because they don’t have anyone that they feel deeply connected to. It’s very important to have a sense of connection with other people and to know that there are others out there that care about you, support you, and love you. If you have this in your life in the form of family and friends, you won’t need to rely quite so heavily on a boyfriend to fill that very real human need. If you feel that you desperately need a boyfriend then chances are you don’t currently have this type of deep connection in your life. It’s time to build some.
An excellent goal is to have three to five people in your life that you feel deeply connected to; people that you can rely on to be there for you when you need to cry, scream, vent or just talk. Unfortunately, in our modern times with all of the theoretical connection that we have via email, Facebook, and the like, the reality is that most of us don’t feel deeply connected to anyone. While having three to five people is an excellent long term goal, it’s critically important to have at least one.
Be a Friend to Have a Friend
If you find yourself with no one to share your feelings with, and share in their feelings, then you need to start developing a friendship like this. The best way to build friendships is by being a friend. Reach out to others, find people that are in need of help and help them. If you have some old friends that you haven’t talked to in a while, pick up the phone and give them a call. Set up a time to meet them for coffee or to drop by their house for a visit. Go out of your way to meet them where they are.
I know this personally from when I was single and many of my long time girlfriends got married and started families. I felt deserted. I felt as though they had just disappeared on me, but the truth is that having a new family can be very overwhelming. I found that when I went out of my way to make it easy for them to see me, by stopping by their house and playing with their kids while we visited, we were able to connect and talk fairly easily. And the best part was that they loved me for it, because it provided a welcome distraction for their kids and some time for them to talk to another adult for a change.
Release Your Anxiety
Many times the entire reason for feeling depressed when you’re single is because of the underlying anxiety that you just might not find anyone. But what would being single feel like if you knew that you were guaranteed to find the man of your dreams within a year or so? Would that change how you view being single? You’d probably then be able to relax and really enjoy your single time. You’d find things that are pleasurable and fun for you that you could either do on your own or with your friends and family.
That’s exactly what being single should feel like. Look at it as a vacation from a relationship, and know in your heart that the man of your dreams is waiting for you just around the corner. Because if you can relax, release your anxiety, and really start enjoying your life and your current freedom you’ll be happier, more fun, more interesting and more social. And all of these can only help you to find the love you’re looking for.
Next post in this series: Are You a Rescuer?