I'm not writing some "love yourself" type article. That will probably come at a later date. I'm writing something that I've been thinking about writing for years. It didn't originally stem from the movie How To Be Single, which by the way, is not really how all single people live. It came from years of people coming to me asking for advice on how I remain single and am actively not trying to date.
Face it. In this day and age, if you aren't in a happy relationship, you're obviously single and according to many people, struggling with being single. Being alone has this stigma where you're miserable. Even if you aren't.
When you're single, you literally can do anything you want without having someone else whine and complain. Ok, not all SO's whine and complain. I'm already imagining all of my friends in their happy marriages being like "That's not how all relationships are." Through my experience, the men do whine and complain when you want to do something that they don't want to do.
When it comes to advice on being single, you get people who are in happy relationships telling you this:
- Just stop looking, they'll show up at random.
- You're so pretty and smart, not sure why you're single. Just keep putting yourself out there.
- You'll be so happy once you find a great man (or woman).
- Have you tried Match.com? (I don't suggest it. It's a crazy waste of money).
These are just some of the things that I personally have heard over the bulk of my life. Trust me, I could write several books on the advice I was given when I first became single. I was even given books as gifts on how to enjoy being alone. Don't forget the dreaded cookbook "How to Cook for One." Seriously, I've seen it all.
I chose to remain single. After all, I had a lot of shit to fix after my ex and I split up. But through the years, I found true happiness.
"If you're so happy, why are you writing about it?" Because some one out there needs to hear it. You can be happy being single. You don't need someone else to make you happy.
But there are steps. Just like there are with everything else:
Step One: Welcome to Singlehood! If you've been here for awhile now, like me, this step can honestly be skipped. But no joke, go out with your friends, or make some new single friends and have fun! Spend a week, month, year partying like a rockstar! Ok... not really partying like a rockstar. You still have to work.
I know it seems insane, but seriously best thing ever. After my ex and I split, I made some new friends and we bonded over our hatred of our ex's and beer. Actually I met one of my best friends after my ex and I split. We're still friends today and he still annoys the piss out of me. But having a solid base of friends who really get it, is good. Really good. They helped me move past the "I need a boyfriend" phase.
Step Two: You can do this while nursing the hangover in Step One. What is it you want to do? With your career? With your kids if you have any? With your life? I had this notebook that I wrote down everything I wanted to do in the world. Kind of like a list of quests. This list had things like "lose weight" (this was before I actually got smart when it came to health and nutrition), "get married" (before I discovered good beer), "buy a house", "land an awesome job", etc. Clearly I'm the idealist. Anyway, I wrote everything in this little notebook. I really suggest you do the same thing. If you want to travel the world, travel the world. You want to go to the movies more often, go to the movies more often. (FYI about that movie thing... it's $5 on Tuesdays at AMC if you're a Stubs member). The point is, you need to realize you don't need a partner to do these things. I promise you, you don't.
Step Three: Make a POA.
Set some goals. Not lofty goals. Pick five major things you know you can accomplish by the end of the year. Or, since this is mid April, by the end of next year. From there, break it down in steps. One of my goals is to complete a Spartan Trifecta. However, I'm not conditioned for one and I really dislike putting myself through that kind of pain and agony over an amazing banana, mud pits, and spending time with some of my favorite Corn Fed members. Ok. I guess there's some good points to that goal. Anyway, I broke it down into steps. First was to get the trifecta pass. Second, register. Third, training. And then fourth, is the race. Obviously there is more involved, like what kind of training.
The point I'm trying to make with this step, is know the breakdown. If you have a bunch of little goals in order to scratch off a big one, you'll feel WAY more accomplished.
Step Four: This is probably the most important step. Wipe all notions of needing a boyfriend/girlfriend. Dead serious. If you go through the rest of your single life thinking you need a SO, it's not going to go well. You'll be depressed that you aren't finding anyone worthy of you. And get slightly frustrated when you talk to people who just get out of a relationship and jump right into a new one. Ok, that last part still gets me. You need to take this time of being single for you. No one else.
Step Five: This is the longest and hardest step. Figure your shit out. Now that you have a POA set. And you realize that you're worth way more than some idiot on Tinder. Figure. Your. Shit. Out. This is the time to cross off goals. Go on vacation. Take classes you've always wanted to take. Sit in the patio area of a Starbucks with sunglasses on pretending you're reading but you're really people watching. Have fun with your friends. Be adventurous. Figure out what you really want in life.
Step Six: Repeat Steps one - five. Add more steps. Honestly, do whatever you want! The sky is the limit.
Here's the best advice I could ever give to some one who is single. Live your life. Do what you want to do! Take chances and have fun! That's how you truly enjoy being single.
Kristy Kronas is a Writer, Photographer, and Certified Personal Trainer in the burbs of Chicago. She is a single parent and author with a children's book almost finished! She has a passion for lifting, boxing, kayaking, and a hatred of running. If you have any questions, comments, or just want to say hi, shoot her an email!
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