For some unknown reason, the world prefers people to be paired off. And while being in a relationship is positively lovely, it can be pretty difficult sometimes too, what with the grass always being greener and all. Being single is generally not a state you are in forever, so it’s wise to make the best of it and enjoy it while you can, because soon you’ll be picking up socks and driving kids to school and that is a whole other world.
There is, of course, a world of difference between being alone (yay!) and being lonely. So the key is to cherish the aloneness, and keep the loneliness at bay. How? I hear you cry. Here’s how:
1. Stop trying to be fabulously single
Why do singles have to be fabulous, and partnered people don’t? You don’t have to go out every night and pretend that you’re in Sex and the City. You are not obliged to regale your coupley friends with your sensational adventures as a single, fabulous woman. You are allowed to stay at home and watch House of Cards if you want to. In fact, that’s one of the (many) brilliant things about being single: you can do whatever you want, when you want – you are answerable to no one but yourself.
2. Work out what makes you happy
And then do those things. Doing things that make you happy will, uh, make you happy. And happiness is attractive to others. I’m not talking about doing this as a round-about way of getting a mate, I mean that when you are happy, others want to be around you and a vibrant social circle is going to make you even happier. Who has time for a man when you’re so busy having fun and being with your lovely friends?
3. It is better to give than receive
Seriously. Look out for others who seem lonely to you, and include them. Host dinner parties. Do some volunteer work. Phone your mother. When you think about others, in a weird way you begin to feel better about yourself, so it’s a win-win situation – our favourite kind!
4. Remember that you can CHOOSE to be happy or sad
You have greater control over your mind than you think. If you choose to plug into the negative loops going round and round in your brain, then guess what? That’s how you will feel. And that’s what you will believe about your life. If you refuse to listen to that negative chatter, and instead, start a new loop of positive and compassionate thoughts, then that is what you will feel and experience in your life. You are the only one who can make you happy – if you are waiting for a man (or woman, obviously) to make you feel loved and worthy, you will wait a long time because only you can truly do that for yourself.
Yes, really. It makes you feel proud of yourself, releases those feel-good endorphins and it’s good for you.
6. Make a nest
Spend time looking after your home. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking: oh well, nobody sees it so what difference does it make anyway? YOU see it! It is your safe haven so make it work for you and a place that makes you feel happy and relaxed the minute you step through the front door. When you are living with the Man Of Your Dreams you will have to negotiate the position of every picture and cushion and knick-knack and make space for his hideous boy stuff. So now is the time to have everything where you want it and to be as girly and pink as you want. And then go out and enjoy yourself!
Other articles you may be interested in:
Single but ageing well
Five tips for creating a better work / life balance
In praise of hibernation
Train your brain to be more positive
The art of attraction