When talking about self love, the joys of singleness are often overlooked. I’ve noticed that conversations with friends usually surround looking for a partner, wanting a partner, needing a partner, and not being lonely. We tend to look forward to the day when we have a companion so, our singleness is taken for granted. But there are unspoken benefits that we all should know! Discovering yourself and enjoying singleness has been slept on, but it’s time to wakey wakey!
The mistakes and the moment
I have been single for about 3 or 4 years now, but who’s counting? For the first few years I was actively concerned about if me and my ex would get back together or when my next relationship would come along to ‘cure the lonely.’ But I neglected the healing I needed to undergo.
Instead of heading to therapy I stayed romantically connected with my ex. Two mistakes in one. I also created profiles on dating apps, and spent Friday and Saturday night bar hopping in hopes that my future boo would be found in one of those spaces. Fun times, but not what I needed for healing. But one day I stopped and asked myself “what do you want out of all this?” And boy oh boy, I was not expecting to ask myself such a serious question while mindlessly working out in the university gym. I immediately sprinted home to do some crying, journaling, and soul searching, because the journey had just begun.
The Unspoken Benefit of Singleness
The unspoken benefit of singleness is the mountain of time and dedication you can give to yourself. Singleness is primed for self love! This sounds cliche, and that’s okay. Not everything has to be earth shattering to be true and effective. So I want to start by sharing my personal definition of self love, which is doing the work to be emotionally free from the scars of the heart and mind.
That’s my personal definition as it matches the path I took to discover self love during my singleness. Self love can be defined in many ways, as long as the central idea is taking time to love yourself from the inside out.
Self love – open heart surgery
Nowadays there is a self care/self love craze that many are taking an interest in discussing and showcasing. And this is for all people, no matter the relationship status. But singleness is often looked at as the unfulfilled side of life, so self love is centered on “activities” to make you feel better. Those activities are fine, but that’s not what will lead to your healing. The first step for enjoying singleness is to figure out how to heal. My path begin with “learn how to open your heart to yourself.”
Everyone’s story is different, but all can benefit from focusing their energy on consistent healing. Some have a more difficult time than others since many factors shape how you’ll work through your journey to self-love – personality, spirituality, mental health status, emotional intelligence – just to name a few. So what can you do to start the journey of opening your heart to yourself? I am glad you asked.
Be aware of your options: three I can suggest are spiritual guidance, physical activity, and counseling or therapy. What you start with is not the key to freedom, getting started is the most important! Once you get a good rhythm you will see the difference within yourself, even if it’s small.
Do the work
After you get a good flow with your journey to opening your heart to yourself, step two is to do the work. Ask yourself the hard questions, make the big changes you’ve been avoiding, and set realistic goals. I should have mentioned this earlier, but acknowledging the truth of where you are in life and how you feel about your placement is vital.
That honesty will either motivate you to do the work or discourage you to sulk. Either path has its own set of difficulties. So it’s my hope that reading this encourages you to look in the mirror and tell yourself “I can do this, I will do this, and I will be pleased with the results along the way.” It will not be a walk in the park, but remember, the grass is not greener on the other side. The grass is greener where you water it. Doing the work matters!
The head spinner
Now I want to tell you what step three is, and it may make your head spin… Step three is to stay consistent because the journey doesn’t end. I learned the hard way that even when you are healed there is always room for growth.
For example, you are thriving occupationally, you are exactly where you want to be and can see the next step coming soon. But you work non stop and have no time for fun, socializing, or down time. While you may be recovered from the relational pains you journeyed through in steps one and two, you aren’t using your new found growth to build interpersonal relationships. Instead you are coping by masking as a workaholic.
Drowning your singleness with overworking and loving it is a sign of coping through avoidance. So once again you re-enter the journey of self love where you thrive to incorporate work-life balance. I understand this may not be everyone’s story. But the point is there’s always going to be a journey, and being aware of what work you need to do to elicit your best self is pertinent to your growth.
What not to do
Your journey is winding and you are feeling whole, complete, at peace! This is not the time to go soul searching. No, I am not saying do not date. What I am saying is don’t undo your discovery of joy and happiness by mentally planning a wedding and fantasizing about a relationship. That is both time consuming and a mental block for enjoying your right here and right now.
Instead, explore your city, volunteer within the community, attend more spiritual services with others of your faith, take up courses to obtain new certifications, learn to sew on YouTube, ride your bike, hang out with friends, start a healthy living program. Get in tune with you and all the things you can accomplish with so much time on your hands! If the right companion shows up along the way while you’re diving deeper into the wonders of living wild and free then embrace that. And if your singleness continues on as you are journeying through the vast adventures of the world then cherish that as well. Wanting a partner is not bad. But when your focus is solely on being boo’d up you miss the prime opportunity for your glow up.
The beauty of self love and singleness is that it does not need a Disney spin. In fact, self love is surrounded by truth and joy through knowing who you are. And you are constantly changing, so there will always be new ways for you to love yourself.
Food for thought
Lastly, before you leave my presence I would like to leave you with food for thought. If you are one of the people who happen to center their mind on romantic relationships (whether single or in a committed partnership) ask yourself these four questions to jump start your journey of self love
- Why do I want a relationship
- What will I get out of the relationship
- What will I bring to the relationship
- How will I grow in the relationship OR How have I grown while in the relationship
The main point is your self worth is always being validated from within, whether you are single, dating, or married. And please remember that this journey of self love and singleness is not always easy, but it’s worth it. So be gentle with your progress and know that setbacks are bound to happen. Know that you are capable! And if no one else does, I believe in your ability to successfully journey through discovering what love is and how to give it to yourself on a consistent basis.