“Focus on loving yourself instead of loving the idea of other people loving you.” ~Unknown
It’ll happen when you least expect it.
Let go. Stop looking and the right person will come along.
You need to love yourself first.
All sensible advice. And yet it can be really annoying. Annoying because it isn’t easy to love yourself when you feel that nobody has ever loved you.
We’re told that it is better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.
But what if you really have never loved at all? What then?
I’ve been single pretty much all my life, apart from a few flings that don’t qualify as proper relationships.
For years, I cried and cried, thinking there must be something wrong with me.
Then I’d pretend to be happy like everyone told me I should.
I tried not looking. I tried telling myself that it was better to be single than to be in a bad relationship.
Sooner or later, though, I came back to the same conclusion: I’m on my own. I’ve always been alone. I will always be alone. There’s something seriously wrong with me.
Of course, I didn’t tell anybody all this. I kept it to myself. I didn’t want everyone to know what a loser I was; what a reject I was. Nobody would want me if they knew the truth.
Occasionally, I’d see an article promising to tell me why it’s actually really cool to be single. Then I’d be disappointed to see that the examples given were from people who’d recently split up with someone, and who were getting used to being alone again, trying to embrace the positives.
I didn’t want to appreciate the plusses anymore. I wanted to fall in love, but I kept being told that I needed to fall in love with myself first.
But just how do you get to a place where you love your life and love yourself when you feel that no one has loved you?
Well, actually, no, it isn’t. The first step is to entertain the idea that it might be possible. Maybe. Kind of.
If you’re anything like me, you’ll know it isn’t easy to believe love is possible for you if you’ve never experienced it. You can look at yourself in the mirror and say how worthy you are, but there may well be a little voice answering back, “No, you’re not.”
So, go for “maybe” to start with and let’s move from there.
If you’ve never had a long-term relationship, it’s too easy to see yourself as a freak, damaged goods—a reject.
The tendency is to keep quiet about it, but this silence only adds to your isolation. When you have the courage to be honest, you may be surprised by the reactions you get.
An advantage of speaking out is that you’re helpable. If you’re honest about your situation, you can begin to find the right teachers, coaches, and guidance to help you feel better about yourself.
You meet or hear of others in the same boat. The more you open up, the more other people will feel comfortable doing the same.
Some people will be amazed. Hearing someone say how shocked they are that you’re (always) single can help you see that there’s nothing wrong with you.
And finally (and perhaps best of all), some people won’t even care. This is perhaps the best reaction you can get because you realize all the shame and embarrassment comes from you.
In my more bitter moments, I’d get angry about why so-and-so could get a boyfriend and I couldn’t: She’s not attractive, she’s not clever, she’s really annoying. It’s not fair.
Wonder why I was single, huh?
When you have such a negative mindset, it shows in up in your interactions with others. It’s not going to help you attract the kind of relationship you want.
It can also be tempting to look at married couples and those in a relationship and consider the negatives in their lives, trying to convince yourself that at least you don’t have their issues.
This only helps to a certain extent; before long you start to remind yourself of all the good things you’re missing out on, all the amazing relationships that others have and you don’t.
And in any case, do you want your happiness to be dependent on another’s bad fortune?
Try not to compare your situation to anyone else’s. If you see someone happy in their relationship, remind yourself that that’s what you’re going to have one day.
Learn to enjoy your own company. Discover what you like to do. Take up a new hobby or learn a new skill.
Think of the type of person you want to attract and work toward becoming that person. What we see in others, good or bad, is a reflection of our own self anyway, so rather than pining for someone to come into your life, work on uncovering that part of yourself.
What beliefs do you still hold that are preventing you from finding love? Getting in touch with these can open the door to what you need to do to lead a more fulfilling life.
Recently, after many years of personal growth work, I discovered that I was still holding several unpleasant beliefs, such as that I was too shy or inhibited to have a relationship. These beliefs were preventing me from taking any action toward finding a partner.
But that’s not the aim, right? We’re supposed to just love ourselves regardless, aren’t we?
Well, I’m not sure I believe anyone who says they actively don’t want a relationship. We’re human, and as humans it’s natural to want to feel love and affection.
However, taking steps toward finding a partner doesn’t have to mean joining a million dating sites or going speed dating. It can simply mean getting out of the house, getting involved in a community, or as in my case, going dancing—anything that increases the number of people in your life.
Then maybe you’ll meet “the one,” but if you don’t, you’ll have more fun along the way!
Rather than seeing your singlehood as something that plagues you, use it as a tool, something that points the way to what you need to do next, until you can fully embrace being you.
Then you may meet someone deserving of the real you. Or maybe not, but perhaps for the first time, you’ll love the person you’re alone with.
Single woman image via Shutterstock
Louise Watson is a meditation teacher and writer who offers a range of classes designed to meet different needs, lifestyles and locations. Her classes are mainly taught over Skype and include a variety of techniques, ensuring you find a practice that works for you.You can find out more and read her words of wisdom at www.louisemwatson.com.
The post Learning to Love Yourself and Your Life When You’re Always Single appeared first on Tiny Buddha.
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