Let’s admit it. There’s a lot of selfishness that comes with being single. Your world is about you. You aren’t preoccupied with kids and a partner. “Selfish” has a negative connotation, but in the single world, you can turn your selfish time into a very positive thing. I want to explore your single years and how to take advantage of this selfish time.
If you are single and over the age of 35, “are you dating anyone?” is a question that tends to penetrate most of your social conversations. That question is like nails on a chalkboard even though the inquiring party is innocent and likely coming from a caring place. Sitting there and explaining your dating life gets real old, real quick. Once you answer the question, it somehow spontaneously develops into you receiving dating advice that you didn’t ask for. Secondly, the advice you are receiving sometimes does not align with who you are. You probably don’t see most marriages as the type of relationship you want. You would rather be single than engage in relationships that are status quo. On the contrary, it hurts. It’s not easy to go home alone, night after night and deal with the mind F*** of your own thoughts. I personally think that this silence and period of time to deal with self is painful, but a blessing. It is also your gateway to changing the nature of relationships and putting an end to the destructive relationship patterns that we as a society have come to allow.
Last year, I allowed the pain of being single to penetrate my life more than I am proud of. I listened to other people way too much. I allowed their opinions and advice to become my internal dialogue. As a result, I felt less than, as if not being in a relationship made me less valuable of a woman. I’m shaking my head as I write this, because that is a crazy thought! It negates everything that I have accomplished and become in life, but that is what the mind F*** of being single can do. After a while, I got tired of being obsessed by it. I realized that the advice I was getting was not translating into dating success. And even more importantly, I realized that I would never want to model myself after the majority of relationships that I was observing. When I took a true inventory, there were only a few marriages that represented a co-committed relationship that I was looking for. The rest were filled with deception, volatility, disrespect, addictions, and control. Yes, all relationships have issues and no relationship is perfect, but how much are we challenging growth and co-commitment, versus settling in order to feel secure and avoid loneliness?
This was my turning point. I’ve been married before, and I understand the magnitude of what it means to have that bond. Everything that your partner is and isn’t affects you. Good marriages, even the few that I identified as possible models, have ups and downs. The difference in these marriages versus others, came down to authenticity, truth and doing the work. The manner in which these couples ended up together wasn’t pretty. It involved other divorces, kids, career challenges and personal challenges that broke them open to be their true selves. Not that these specific challenges are required to become your authentic self, but as humans, we tend to delay this level of growth until life smacks us in the face. I think we often praise the seemingly perfect relationships where man meets woman, man marries woman, man and woman have kids and post happy pics of life on Facebook. Meanwhile, behind closed doors…it’s ”big little lies”. I am not making this next statement to offend anyone who is married and in this situation, but I’m stating it so that other singles can appreciate the now.
Once you get married and especially once you have kids, the life you knew as yours is somewhat out the window. You now have other people to consider in all of your life decisions. And with that could come some regrets, unfulfilled dreams and desired alone time. Marriage and kids also comes with immense joy and happiness. But your unboundless single life is truly gone. You only have this selfish alone time temporarily. It takes just one look, one conversation, or one meeting to change your life forever. When we are single, we can really take that for granted. We don’t value our single selfishness as an opportunity to explore, grow, become amazing people and do the work that it takes to attract other co-committed individuals. We go out, swipe left and right like maniacs, and ghost the most recent dating interest once we figure out that they aren’t the one. So no offense, but what the heck do you expect once you get married? If you are acting like that as a single person, what do you think you’re going to get once you get married? Marriage surely doesn’t make those characteristics go away. Moreover, marriage is guaranteed to be challenging at some point. So if you show up as inauthentic, deceptive and unevolved, that will 100% become part of your marriage and what you expose your partner to.
The point is, you have a choice. While you are single and selfish, I hope that you are encouraged to become the best self that you can possibly become. I hope that you learn self-love, so that you can in turn love others in the manner that they deserve to be loved. I hope you learn how to have uncomfortable conversations and how to speak your microscopic truth. I hope you learn that you are human and imperfect and there is no fault in that. I hope you learn how to communicate and reveal your imperfections so that you can experience vulnerable moments with your partner. And more than anything, I hope you learn to love yourself to the point that settling never becomes an option. Not in the pursuit of perfection, but in the pursuit of a co-committed relationship that is honest and equal to your greatness. May you live your muse and attract your equal muse.
CEO & Executive Visionary