For many people being in a relationship gives them a sense of identity, purpose and belonging. They feel that having that special someone, no matter how much of a compromise is required, allows them to comfortably fit in their social group, particularly if everyone in their circle is partnered. Being single can feel alone, lonely and an outsider.
- Letting the strain to be partnered build up can divert you into making bad decisions, feel impelled to hook-up with someone from a sense of necessity. That may be okay in the short term as a temporary stopgap, offering companionship for a moment, but it is important to recognise that for what it is.
So often people feel bereft when a relationship ends. Even the ending of a bad relationship can feel like a failure, creating fear, apprehension, anxiety. There might be concerns about the future; will I meet someone else, how long will I be on my own, if I have tried harder or stayed with the connection I had?
- But there’s nowhere more lonely than a loveless marriage, where one person stays due to financial reasons, a fear of being alone or of upsetting the kids or loved ones. The tension, inherent bitterness, hostility or constant bickering can result in a very miserable family. There’s nothing’special’ about a connection that’s missing love or mutual esteem.
After we’re desperate to get a special someone it may cause more problems than it resolves. Defining ourselves and others through our connection status can miss the actual point of having someone important with whom to share our life. That person should add value, not provide the only real reason for our existence.
- Some people might even enter our lives in a purely temporary capacity. As such, they may provide the impetus for us to move on from a bad situation, enthuse us to review our own lives, change career, upgrade our image, introduce us to new exciting hobbies and interests. But once that’s on track they may well then fade out of our orbit.
Other folks may be fair-weather friends or lovers, great when everything’s going well but not much good during stormy times. They can’t or don’t need to deal with any of our mess, complications or difficulties. Conversely there are those people who love nothing more than to trainer, problem-solve and fix us, the foul-weather friends and fans who enjoy deep and meaningful sessions but don’t much care to party or socialise.
Having a relationship with either may work well for a time, but is unlikely to be a long-term solution to your relationship status. But equally, not all special relationships have to be permanent.
- An important step would be to ask yourself what you want from a relationship; do you really need a special someone, does your life literally revolve around having a significant other in your life, does your relationship status specify who you are? What does that look like to you? It’s important to understand if you’re ready to wait for the right person to come along, no matter how long that may take.
Some people could be focussed on getting married or living permanently together, for others that are too intrusive. Some might want a constant partner where they do everything together, discuss everything, share every aspect of their lives, but others prefer to keep some independence and separateness, enjoying specific times together, like holidays or weekends, but living their own lives in other times.
- To locate our special someone it’s good to first start working on your own. Ask yourself who’s the most important individual in your life. Even if you still have young kids it is best if the solution is you. When you feel good about yourself, healthy, joyful and in peace, everyone in your life benefits.
Then you find that your quality of life improves and you realise that you’d rather be alone that with somebody who’s not right for you, who’s unsupportive or brings unwanted energy to your dwelling. Being on your own is better than good enough or fine, once you’re comfortable in your own company.
- When you learn how to love yourself you find ways to communicate your thoughts and feelings to others and have the ability to define appropriate boundaries of acceptable and unacceptable treatment and behaviour. Your desperate need to have a special someone abates and you are ready to be more selective and discerning, able to find someone who suits you and adds value to your life.
Sure, some things that bother others may be OK by you; that is good for you to know and can help you to become clearer about what you need from a partner.
It’s liberating to realise that a particular someone is only special because they’re right for you. The relationship then becomes a wonderful outcome and addition, as opposed to a requirement in your life.