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Starting a happy single life


firelily

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I'm 29 and my goal for the next couple of years is to find inner happiness. I'm planning to do that by living a guy-free life, avoiding relationships that will pull my focus elsewhere. It will be hard but I feel like I really need this.

 

I'm not the type of person who jumps from relationship to relationship or who wants to be with just anyone. I might be the opposite. But still "finding one true love" or "finding a soulmate" has been my life focus since I was 3 (a true fact). I've heard from many people that it's not a healthy focus but even now I disagree. I do value the special connection that you can have with another human more than anything else. Not just any relationship, but one that lets you peek into someone's soul and see their inner universe. This is the most beautiful experience in the world, not comparable to anything else and I will stand by it. I will never feel like I'm over that dream and I don't wanna be.

 

However what I need even more is to be happy. Content, fulfilled, feeling good about myself and hopeful about future. I've been happy in love for years and I've even had a soulmate relationship that I've dreamed of. But if you take two depressed people and bring them closer, you still end up with unhappiness. And my other halves are usually just as tormented as I am. So I can only take care of myself and wish for their sake that they will take care of themselves.

 

There's a lot of advice online how to be single. The idea behind it is if you concentrate on finding love, you won't find it; pretend that you're alright with being single, get in shape, feel more confident, and the love of your life will appear before you know it[/i]. But this is not what I'm looking for. I want to be single for ME, not to find a better match and not to make myself better for any future guy. I want to stay in this stay as long as possible, as long as I feel I'm not holding myself back in life by it.

 

It's going to be very hard to learn that because I'm a very relationship-oriented person (like many women are) and my identity consists of other people. But I'm gonna try. For me. I hope I'll learn something on the way.

 

[video=youtube;bMpFmHSgC4Q] ]

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I've done it before, more than once and I am not going to kid you, it was tough in the beginning. But when you turn the corner, it's wonderful.

When and if you venture back into dating, you will go about it differently. You'll likely be more selective.

You'll value your time and yourself more and you won't settle for those you might have in the past.

 

I'll be here cheering you on!

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My first wish is to stop thinking that I need to improve myself for some current or future guy, real one or my dream ideal. I sure have a lot to work on, but I'm just tired of this thinking:

 

- I need to get in shape so that (...) will find me attractive

- I need to work on emotional stability to be a better partner

- I wonder if I should get a tattoo; maybe some men wouldn't be into it?

- I want to be happy so that my partner was happier with me

- I want to get a good job, or else no one with good job themselves will want me

- I won't impress my nerdy crushes if I don't put my nerdy hobbies into action; I should learn archery or sew myself a medieval dress to be worthy of them

- Should I start use nail polish or buy myself a good quality lingerie? I'm not sure what my style is, but guys really like that

- Can I use a bright red lipstick or dye my hair pink, or will my potential matches think it's too much?

- I should learn to cook, because I want to date a mature guy who can cook himself, so I don't want to look like a fool

- I probably should get myself braces, but that would mean no dating for a couple of years, right?

- If my partner likes me with braces, cellulitis and whatever hair color I choose then he's a keeper, right? Cause no other guy would love me like that?

 

[video=youtube;VdQY7BusJNU] ]

 

Screw them. I'm gonna be me. Someone may think I look horrible and eventually I may have to change some quirks or habits - for a guy, for a job, for countless reasons. But I'm not gonna spend my life guessing and adjusting. Life happens once and it's not worth to put that kind of pressure on ourselves.

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I've done it before, more than once and I am not going to kid you, it was tough in the beginning. But when you turn the corner, it's wonderful.

When and if you venture back into dating, you will go about it differently. You'll likely be more selective.

You'll value your time and yourself more and you won't settle for those you might have in the past.

 

I'll be here cheering you on!

 

Thanks! Any advice and ideas are welcome

 

Like I said, my goals is NOT to improve my future dating. I have faith I will do it right. In fact, I never made particularly terrible dating choices. I just want to improve myself, for me

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I'm 29 and my goal for the next couple of years is to find inner happiness. I'm planning to do that by living a guy-free life, avoiding relationships that will pull my focus elsewhere. It will be hard but I feel like I really need this.

 

I'm not the type of person who jumps from relationship to relationship or who wants to be with just anyone. I might be the opposite. But still "finding one true love" or "finding a soulmate" has been my life focus since I was 3 (a true fact). I've heard from many people that it's not a healthy focus but even now I disagree. I do value the special connection that you can have with another human more than anything else. Not just any relationship, but one that lets you peek into someone's soul and see their inner universe. This is the most beautiful experience in the world, not comparable to anything else and I will stand by it. I will never feel like I'm over that dream and I don't wanna be.

 

However what I need even more is to be happy. Content, fulfilled, feeling good about myself and hopeful about future. I've been happy in love for years and I've even had a soulmate relationship that I've dreamed of. But if you take two depressed people and bring them closer, you still end up with unhappiness. And my other halves are usually just as tormented as I am. So I can only take care of myself and wish for their sake that they will take care of themselves.

 

There's a lot of advice online how to be single. The idea behind it is if you concentrate on finding love, you won't find it; pretend that you're alright with being single, get in shape, feel more confident, and the love of your life will appear before you know it[/i]. But this is not what I'm looking for. I want to be single for ME, not to find a better match and not to make myself better for any future guy. I want to stay in this stay as long as possible, as long as I feel I'm not holding myself back in life by it.

 

It's going to be very hard to learn that because I'm a very relationship-oriented person (like many women are) and my identity consists of other people. But I'm gonna try. For me. I hope I'll learn something on the way.

 

[video=youtube;bMpFmHSgC4Q] ]

 

GO FIREFLY! You've got this. I loved your post, I wish you the best and lots of self love and happiness x JILL

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[video=youtube;yF2C6KuN328] ]

 

I think what I'm describing here is a more common problem for women in our culture. Of course, men also struggle with self-esteem, self-respect and standing for themselves, often sacrifice too much for the sake of relationships - one peek at this forum can tell you that.

 

However, I feel like women have to deal with this extra expectations in our culture.

 

We feel like we need to find the perfect place between Madonna and a wh*re. There's a labyrinth of ought tos, have tos and can'ts for us to traverse.

 

While men are required to do the courting, we feel like we have to be the ones making the emotional connection. We're the ones required to make the partner open up and feel safe with us.

 

We're the ones that need to communicate about conflicts in the relationship when they appear. We need to tell our partner that there's a problem in the relationship. We need to listen to him say that we are nagging him, and find another way to communicate a problem. We need to be the ones who buy a self-help book online to read how to talk to a partner. We need to be the ones to say that we need to break up because they haven't been listening to us for years when we said there's a problem. We need to tell them, again, what the problem was.

 

We need to tell them they have a problem. At least in my culture. If men are sick, we need to make an appointment with a doctor, buy their medicine and tell them how often they should take their meds. If men have problems with their sexual performance that are visible to both partners, we need to be the ones to convince them to change something. If our partners are addicted to porn and have difficulty with normal intercourse, we need to be the ones to tell our partners how to work on that. If our partners have an addiction, anger management problem, whatever personal problem - we tend to feel responsible for making them overcome it.

 

Well it's all SOO EXHAUSTING.

 

And guys... they can just be.

 

They smoke and drink, never buy sexy lingerie but change their boxers twice a week, and they're awesome. They don't need to do emotional work in the relationship and if they cooperate they are already wonderful partners. They just hang out with their guy friends, go to a beer with them, even after their kid is born. All they expect from themselves is to PROVIDE - which is still a burdening expectation but in a completely different area.

 

I envy them. There are days when I would just like to switch gender. To be smelly, dirty, careless and feel awesome about myself

 

So cheers to all the men on this forum. You have hardships too, or else you wouldn't be on this site.

 

And cheers to all the women on this site, because sometimes it would be refreshing not to be a woman for a day and be just a human being.

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change their boxers twice a week, and they're awesome.

 

I envy them. There are days when I would just like to switch gender. To be smelly, dirty, careless and feel awesome about myself

 

S

Ahhhh, now you are insulting us. I change boxers everyday. hahaha

 

Yeah, you are right to envy us, at the end of the day it's better to be a guy

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Ahhhh, now you are insulting us. I change boxers everyday. hahaha

 

Yeah, you are right to envy us, at the end of the day it's better to be a guy

 

Yeah I mean... we all turn into skunks when left alone

 

But in a relationship:

 

Guy: I'm wearing my boxers a third day now, hehe

Girl: Aww you silly! Go change or no sex!

 

Girl: I'm wearing my panties a third day now

Guy: (runs away screaming and makes a man-shaped hole in the wall on his way)

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Yeah I mean... we all turn into skunks when left alone

 

But in a relationship:

 

Guy: I'm wearing my boxers a third day now, hehe

Girl: Aww you silly! Go change or no sex!

 

Girl: I'm wearing my panties a third day now

Guy: (runs away screaming and makes a man-shaped hole in the wall on his way)

 

I corrected it:

 

Girl: I'm wearing my panties a third day now

Guy: Good! Dirty pants are sexy, I like to undress dirty girls

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Girl: I'm wearing my panties a third day now

Guy: (runs away screaming and makes a man-shaped hole in the wall on his way)

Yeah, because that's nasty AF. If you're a woman who accepts a guy whose underwear reeks of stale pubes, that's your own problem. Even homeless people will drop $6 every week so they can wear a new pair of Fruit of the Looms every day.

 

Honestly, while there's no doubt in the world women experience more than their fair share of struggles, particularly in the manner in which we raise them as girls, I don't think it's healthy or helpful to oneself to submit to a such a despotic dichotomy. I'll be the first to admit that I love being a guy. I get to pee standing up, men can eat ~600 more calories on average than women without gaining fat, I was able to lift **** even before I started lifting ****. My voice isn't high-pitched so it's not excruciating if I raise it. Tons of benefits. Still, men do off themselves at nearly three times the rate women do. There's a whole lot more nuance to being a man than the fact we're all CEOs who drink, smoke, bang women just because, and have women serving us free sandwiches whenever we want.

 

Now that's not AT ALL meant to derail your thread into a p*ssing contest between genders. If reincarnation exists, sign me up under XY, please. But I'd really try to push past this way of thinking.

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Yeah, because that's nasty AF. If you're a woman who accepts a guy whose underwear reeks of stale pubes, that's your own problem. Even homeless people will drop $6 every week so they can wear a new pair of Fruit of the Looms every day.

 

Honestly, while there's no doubt in the world women experience more than their fair share of struggles, particularly in the manner in which we raise them as girls, I don't think it's healthy or helpful to oneself to submit to a such a despotic dichotomy. I'll be the first to admit that I love being a guy. I get to pee standing up, men can eat ~600 more calories on average than women without gaining fat, I was able to lift **** even before I started lifting ****. My voice isn't high-pitched so it's not excruciating if I raise it. Tons of benefits. Still, men do off themselves at nearly three times the rate women do. There's a whole lot more nuance to being a man than the fact we're all CEOs who drink, smoke, bang women just because, and have women serving us free sandwiches whenever we want.

 

Now that's not AT ALL meant to derail your threat into a p*ssing contest between genders. If reincarnation exists, sign me up under XY, please. But I'd really try to push past this way of thinking.

 

Absolutely.

 

My point was, but that wasn't clear - that I want to make a mental makeover. This thread is a part of that.

 

I think the culture I live in is associating femininity with passive, codependent behavior, over responsible for other people and overly focusing on adapting oneselves for partner's needs. While it associates masculinity with standing still, stubbornness, perseverance, self-focus, protecting others (physically or materially). A man is supposed to be a rock and a woman a stream of water.

 

I love water but tired with being a stream. I feel scattered and colorless. I'd like to be more grounded, dense and colorful and I don't care that I won't match the environment as easily. I don't want to be manly or less feminine, I'm just tired and I want to pee whatever way feels comfortable without thinking how it looks like

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Today's lesson was a bit harder - depression. [WARNING - DARK STUFF BELOW - MAYBE YOU SHOULDN'T READ IF YOU'RE DEPRESSED YOURSELF]

 

When I lived in a relationship, or with a thought of a soulmate waiting for me somewhere at the back of my mind, it was easier to bounce back form the dark place. I knew I had to live for someone - apart from my parents and friends and other people whose lives I touch everyday, but when you're crying on the floor, the vision gets narrow and somehow they get out of view... I never hurt myself simply because I thought no well-functioning guy would want to date someone with scars from self-harming.

 

So now that I decided I live for myself and I'm not waiting for any prince to save me, well... it was hard. And it's gonna be hard adjusting to this new, self-oriented mindset on worse days too. Cause I have to remember - even inside the depression bubble - that I'm enough of a reason to keep living. That people with love me with or without scars, but I gotta respect myself just for myself, because I deserve to be treated with care and not with hate.

 

Some things that help me is drawing a heart on my skin to remind myself that I love myself and not to think of anything stupid. Or wear a heart bracelet that I have. I called several friends, cause I know I don't burden them, and I'm here for them when they need me, so it's ok to ask for the same thing from time to time. I reached to my family. There are always so many sources of love and support even when you're single. I drink a lot of water, it always make me calmer. And I need to write do some research for emergency situations, cause I wasn't prepared it's gonna be so much harder.

 

The love I feel for myself every day has to be enough of a source to reach when I'm in a more difficult place. So I'll try to fill my daily life with so much self-acceptance, self-love, self-care and self-appreciation that it's gonna be more than enough in hard times. It needs to.

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I have a lot of respect for what you are doing, firelily.

 

Something I read many years ago stuck with me and I think you'll like it. It's the idea of thinking of your life as though it is a big box divided into many little squares. Each square represents an aspect of your life - examples being, one for family, work, knowledge, health, friends,finances, partner relationship etc.

The squares are constantly changing. Sometimes a box will grow, sometimes it will become smaller. Sometimes you'll add a new box , sometimes you'll lose a box . Iif you have many boxes, it will be a little easier to deal with a loss in one.

The big box is you- and no loss or gain changes you.

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Good for you, Firelily. I jumped off of the relationship-focused merry-go-round years ago, and the good news is, that thing is always spinning any time you may decide whether you'll want to jump back on it again. The names change, but knowing that the dating world never fully outside of reach releases any the pressure in your cooker to reach for it--or not--in the future.

 

I've been happily single for over 25 years, and there's no cynicism involved in that choice. I date on occasion but have grown relaxed in the process. I'm the opposite of a man-hater, but that means I've found a good balance between any extremes. I'd consider myself living in a neutral range of 3 to 7 on a scale of 1 through 10, and rather than finding it 'difficult' to attain this balance, I've found it liberating to adjust my thinking away from being reactionary 'against' any given extremes.

 

First thing I'd challenge is these assumptions:

It's going to be very hard to learn that because I'm a very relationship-oriented person (like many women are) and my identity consists of other people. But I'm gonna try. For me. I hope I'll learn something on the way.

 

If you decide that changing habits 'must' be difficult, you'll make it so, and you'll position yourself for an unnecessary uphill battle. It's not a battle, it's a small set of baby steps toward desirable changes in the way that your critical voice operates in your own head. Considering that you own full control over THAT, it's just a matter of reminding yourself to 'correct' your default tone and statements at any given time to replace those with your new voice--that of an inspiring, encouraging and gentle coach.

 

Extremes are not accurate, so reacting 'against' one extreme can snap us into another extreme. That's overcorrection and can result in chaotic confusion rather than harmony. So my goal was never to view relationships as 'wrong' or 'bad' or even unfavorable, but rather as a lesser priority in favor of my own desires and self care.

 

While the examples you give are good ones, consider whether the superficial stuff of nail polish and tattoos or anything that's potentially motivated by attention-seeking can be temporarily moved to the back burner while you relish instead the stuff of -relaxing- into the highest intelligence of your True Self. Allowing intuition to drive your thought patterns once you've grown comfortable and relaxed in the habits of your most mature, liberated and contented Self will answer any impulses to adopt any extreme behavior as a knee-jerk reaction 'against' old patterns.

 

Relaxing allows you to not only forgive your earlier impulses, you'll view those as part of the growth process that got you to where you are today, and operating 'against' anything won't be a necessary driver. Operating IN ALIGNMENT with your True Self needn't cut you off from relationships in your life, but rather, you'll find and optimize the right BALANCE of all good motivations and behaviors for you.

 

Head high, and write more if it helps.

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[video=youtube;98xh5Hb9QAM] ]

 

I'm choosing power over my life. I'm avoiding helplessness.

 

I don't want to feel helpless about my job, career, life, relationships.

 

I choose the healthy place between being good to myself and being good to others. I resign from the attitude "I can always go an extra mile for someone, because it doesn't matter if I get hurt, disappointed, if I get nothing in return for being too giving". I realize I matter exactly the same as other people. And to myself I should matter even a bit more.

 

I don't want to be the one to send a valentine card first, saying I love you first, etc., because "guys have it harder and have to feel rejection all the time". I will meet people half-way, but only half-way.

 

Meeting half way is a good option. If someone doesn't want to meet me half-way, I'm not going to try to make them. Whatever issues they're struggling with, it's their own free choice, and I deserve to be getting as much as I'm giving.

 

I choose not to think of myself as inferior. I'm not less socially able, I just have different ways of reaching people. I'm not inferior to people who have cool, active interests like playing in a band or horse riding. Even if I'm not using my potential, I do have beautiful things about myself. I don't care much about my appearance, but I have a cool pink t-shirt with a unicorn that makes me happy. I don't have a beautiful house, but I like to buy myself flowers to put them on the table. I don't have animals, but I talk to my plants as if they were pets. I read only a few books in a year, but they matter to me. Obviously not everyone will think I'm cool. But I know I'm cool - and not inferior to other people.

 

I'm open to having people in my life, but I don't need anyone to breathe. I don't need their validation, their affection, their respect. I will give it to myself. And I will invest only in people that are genuinely willing to give me this things - but as an addition and not a base.

 

I will never "make" someone apologize. I will never break up with someone with hope it's gonna be a wake up call for them. I will never leave the house with hope of someone running after me. I will stop manipulating people, because it feels exhausting. And exhaustion is killing the spontaneity of relationships with people.

 

I will spend my days thinking about stuff that I care about - not to impress someone but just for myself. Like Irish dancing... the sweet warm pain of feet dancing in tight shoes for an hour or two. The joy that comes with connecting to body, to music, to knowledge and passions. Of reading about new things, trying out new things for fun, cooking new recipes. I will dedicate my days to pursuing that joy, and not to powerless dreams about being saved by someone's love.

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