It is 2:30 AM in my part of the world. Since I can’t sleep, I may as well write! I got a spark in my spirit to share this and I hope it helps.
In prior blogs, I discussed how being happy single is effort and society expects singles to be unhappy. The effort comes in consistently working on changing your perspective about singleness and defying societal expectation. Here are some steps I utilize to stay in a space of happiness:
1. Make Yourself Your Number One Priority and Don’t Fear Being Deemed Bitter or a Hater. I put me first before anyone else. If I don’t want to to do something, I don’t do it. Married people (especially married people with children) often assume that single people have time to offer since they aren’t married and singles feed that assumption by always making themselves available. If you have passion projects you want to pursue, don’t push off what you want to do to cater to your married friends-unless you truly want to. If you have friends that may be getting married or having kids, I have said and I will say again: if you don’t feel like participating, DON’T! I personally believe that a LOT of single people get sick and tired of bridal showers, weddings, baby showers, etc, but still participate because they don’t want to look bitter or jealous. Man-the hell with all of that. Send them a gift and cater to yourself.
2. Be Honest About Communication With Married Friends. People naturally talk about what’s going on in their lives. As such, married people talk about married things and often times single people are left feeling like it is one sided communication. It gets old-fast. Make sure you communicate to your married friends that you don’t want to always talk about things pertaining exclusively to their life. Ask your married friends to find common ground so you two can talk about thing and feed both parties.
3. Stop Self Stigmatizing. I wrote about this in a separate blog but it deserves reiteration. Stop whining, complaining and speaking negatively about your singleness. Singleness is seen as a curse and a disease because singles perpetuate that stereotype.
4. Do Not Overcompensate. Singles unconsciously try to prove to the world that they are happy despite of being single. Every social media post is carefully crafted to the point happiness looks forced. Stop that. You have nothing to prove to anyone. Gangstas move in silence. Happiness is an energy and people can feel happiness.
5. Accept that People Will Think You are Defective if You are Single and They Will Think You are Lying About Being Happy Single. Look-social conditioning will never go away. There will ALWAYS be people that think if you are single there is something wrong with you. It is your job to change your thoughts about YOU, not try to convince someone else to change their perspective.
6. Accept That If You Are Single After 35, People Will Question Your Sexuality. I have personally heard people I know question another person’s sexuality because they were over 35 and single. It’s going to happen. It is part of social conditioning and ignorance. Again, you can’t change another person’s perspective. You have to stand tall in who you are.
7. Guard Your Heart and Protect Your Space. No one will tell you to your face that they question your happiness, sexuality and marketability to get a mate if you are single. But you can tell if you pay close attention to what people applaud, talk about and gravitate toward. Vibes are real. If you pick up the vibe that a person questions who you are based on your relationship status, DISTANCE YOURSELF. You don’t need that toxicity in your life. Additionally-fill your space up with things that make YOU happy and stop scrolling through social media and looking at wedding/baby shower pictures. Social Media is directly connected to depression. If you feel a way about being single, looking at wedding pictures will just make you feel worse. Instead, Discover things that feed your soul that fit into your current life as a single person and focus on that. If you have friends that are self stigmatizing and unhappy because they are single, you may have to be strategic on how they operate in your space. You don’t want to cut friends off, but you don’t want to be around that spirit either. Balance is key.
8. Stop Chasing Dates and Ruminating on Getting a Mate. I’ve witnessed some singles date like it’s a full time job because they are on a mission for partnership. There is nothing wrong with dating, but look at your intentions-are you on the rat race to marriage or are you allowing dating to flow organically so it is a pleasant experience instead of feeling like a second career? Secondly, stop ruminating on getting a partner. Live your life and let whomever is meant come to you.
9. Accept that You May be Called to Singleness. Admittedly, this is HARD. This will take spiritual and mental maturity. The church as bamboozled women in particular that there is a husband for every woman. That isn’t true (Check put my Accepting God’s Will blog). I have prayed to a God that if marriage is not in the cards for me, mold me so that I accept His will for my life. Honestly, I don’t know where I am with this, but I know that accepting that marriage may not be for me is essential for my happiness.
10. Have Your Moments. Let’s face it: if you desire partnership, some days you may feel sad, angry or even depressed. Have those moments. Be honest with yourself. If you are honest with yourself, then you can be intentional in getting through those feelings. Just because you may have a moment doesn’t mean you aren’t happy overall. It just means that you are human. And that is okay.
I hope this is encouraging to you. It is an art to being single. If you paint the right picture, singleness is a beautiful experience.