In Our Single-ness
It’s Valentine’s Day…and you’re single…just like me. How will you celebrate this day of love? You may have decided to romance yourself today, or spend the day with loved ones, friends or your children. Or to you, it may be a day just like any other. Whatever you do, tomorrow you will probably be as single as you are today. And you know what? It’s more than okay. You may have been unexpectedly thrust into your single-ness when a relationship or marriage ended. Or, when there were no prospects, you made the choice to stop looking for love and remain single for a time.
People will have you believe there’s something wrong with you if you’re single…not to mention all of the questions single people are asked:
“Why is an amazing man/woman like you still single?”
“Are you ever going to get married?”
“Well, you know, you can’t just sit in the house and expect to meet someone!”
“You probably need to relax your standards!”
“I should introduce you to my co-worker who’s single…”
“You’re probably really lonely…”
Society also plays a role in single shaming – back in the olden days, a woman who hadn’t married by the time she reached the age of 40ish was called a spinster, and was usually portrayed in photos as a prune-faced angry old woman. People will also try to analyze “why you ain’t got nobody.” Maybe you’re “crazy,” or you lack domestic skills. Or you need to do this or learn to do that – like there is some magic potion to latching onto someone to love or marry. Well, friends, there is no magic potion. But there are things you can do to prepare yourself when Cupid does come along with his bow and arrow and shoots you in the you-know-where…
I’ve been married twice, divorced twice. Through my experiences I have learned that there are three things (among many) everyone should do if they find themselves single.
First, if you just got out of a relationship, give yourself time to remove the blinders of anger or sadness or thoughts of revenge, and realize that you played a part in the demise of the relationship. Yes, you! Let’s face it, it takes two to tango (ever tried to tango without a partner?). That finger you keep wagging in accusation at the other person? Wag it in your direction too! It’s time to analyze what your role was in the ending of the relationship, and if it’s something you can fix, it may serve you to fix it before trying to get into a relationship again. If not, you may find yourself right back where you started; which may or may not have been miserable the first time, but will be miserable to repeat.
Second, educate yourself. I have a theory that just because I’m not currently married doesn’t mean I don’t educate myself on tips about a successful married life. Think about it: before you embarked on your career, you attended a trade school or university to learn how to do what you do, right? If it is your plan to one day be in a relationship or to marry again, it’s important to educate yourself so that, as mentioned above, you don’t find yourself right back where you started.
Finally and most importantly, take care of, forgive and love yourself. So many of our spirits are tainted by bad childhoods, bad marriages, bad relationships, rejection, insecurities, and all manner of misfortunes. Yet, it is the wise person who knows they have to take the time (however long it takes) to get past these issues and love on themselves before trying to embark on a relationship with someone new. You need to be whole within yourself – so you present yourself as a complement to another – not get into a relationship to have someone complete you.
One last word – if you have set your sights on a committed relationship, don’t involve yourself in any other type of “interaction” (I will just leave that right there) that doesn’t serve the direction in which you are headed. Not only is it a waste of time and effort, it will not allow you to get your head on straight enough to do all the other work you need to do for the real thing.
Maybe next year on Valentine’s Day, there will be a love in your life. But if there isn’t, it doesn’t mean there won’t ever be. It just means there is more work for you to do. Or – it could mean the person you’re supposed to connect with for the romance of a lifetime – for your lifetime – has more work to do to come for you!
And don’t believe what others may say about someone like me who’s been married twice and divorced twice – that if I failed that means I can’t advise – not true! I’m the perfect mouthpiece! Marriage is beautiful, it’s really the people in it that muck it up! Through it all, I have learned that I’ve messed up enough that there’s nowhere else to go but up. Believe me, I’ve been working – so my husband-to-be that’s out there and who’s coming for me – he’d better watch out! But meanwhile, I’m going to enjoy my single-ness. I’m here, right where I’m supposed to be.
Hi, it’s me, Janine Lattimore and I want to inspire and encourage you to #keepgoing! Based in the Atlanta, Georgia area, and among the many other hats I wear, I’m a writer, mother and Editor in Chief for Classy Living Society, a women’s only national community service organization. I’m here to share philosophy, inspiration, humor, a bit of inside info and tidbits I learned along life’s beautiful journey. Welcome!