I see it too often – friends and clients who are attached to the idea that they will be “complete” when they meet “the one”. I used to believe it too until I found myself single at age 47 and realised that I needed to fall in love with myself and my own life before I invited anyone into it. There are a lot of myths out there about being single that most of us take on as truth – but they aren’t truth – they’re a belief held in the collective unconscious. I have defined them below as 5 myths.
Myth Number 1 – I will be happy and complete when I’ve found my true love
Yes, and you will also be unhappy! Relationships come with just as much pain and sadness as being single. When we accept the truth that happiness is a choice we can make independent of our outside circumstances, we can choose to be happy as a single person. All around us we are getting messages from the media and other people that romance will complete us – it never will, until we complete ourselves.
Myth Number 2 – We are all meant to be “coupled”
We are each perfect, whole and complete as an individual, and perfectly capable of being happy and fulfilled as a single person. When we realise that we have all that we need within us, that we don’t need to be fixed, that we can nurture ourselves and love ourselves better than anybody else can, we can let go of this belief.
Myth Number 3 – Being single is an “in between, limbo” time
While being single is a great time to go within, get to know yourself and heal from past relationships, it’s also a time to be embraced fully and to do all the things you want to do. Explore your passions and your gifts, take up an interest, re-educate and become a better version of yourself. The fact is, not all of us is going to meet the right person in this lifetime. When we accept that, we begin living the life we want to live, instead of waiting for Mr. Right to give us the life we want.
Myth Number 4 – Being single means being lonely
Loneliness is a feeling that comes from within us. It may be triggered when we are alone, but we can also feel lonely when we are in a relationship. I know I often felt lonely when I was married to a workaholic. When we are single, we are open to many other relationships which can fulfil our needs – close friends, colleagues, like-minded people, family members – each of them has something to give us. Loneliness is something we need to make friends with. Sometimes we need to just sit with ourselves, feel the loneliness and tell ourselves it’s ok. Becoming your own best friend is the best gift you can ever give yourself.
Myth Number 5 – “The One”
One of the most popular questions I’m asked when giving a reading is “Is he The One?” My short answer is “If you need to ask me that, then he probably isn’t”. My other short answer is “There is no such thing as The One”. There will be positives and negatives in any relationship, and you are going to meet people who are more capable of meeting your needs than others, but nobody will ever be “perfect” for you, because on an earthly level, none of us are perfect! Believing in “The One”, “True Love” and “Soul Mates” can put an overly idealised romantic expectation on another human being. When we attempt to put anyone on a pedestal and they disappoint us (which they will inevitably do from time to time), they have a long way to fall. Let go of the myth that you have to meet “The One” and instead have a more grounded, realistic approach when deciding if someone is suitable as a long-term partner.
I hope I haven’t burst your romantic bubble – it’s not meant to. I’m a great believer in romance – but life can be romantic without a partner as well as with a partner. Life can be amazing as a single person. I’ve been in a relationship now for three years with a wonderful man, but I do find myself poignantly looking back at my mid-life single years with wonderful memories and no regrets. There was a lot of growth, a lot of fun, a lot of friends and the world was my oyster.