My busy day had left me feeling exhausted. It was time to pick up my kids from school. I looked at the group of busy chattering mums at the school gate and I did not feel like joining the conversation. It would be the same old chatter. As my kids jumped into the back of the car, I turned and said, ‘Who fancies going for pizza tonight at the local shopping center?’ The decision had just popped into my head. I had previously planned what I was going to cook that evening and then in an instant, I just changed my mind. Just like that.
As we drove off I realized how free I was, to change my mind in an instant. There was no one to call to say I would be home late, or did they mind if I changed my mind about dinner. No, I was free to not worry and there was only me and the kids to think about.
The night before I had been trailing through a dating site. I was still telling myself I should be looking for a partner. This lightbulb moment shone like a beacon. ‘Hang on what was I doing?‘ Do I really want or need someone to report to or come home to? I can hear all you couples shouting down the wires. ‘It is not like that!’ No? When in a relationship I did this all the time. Women do tend to report in. How many times have you heard, I just need to check what my husband wants to do. The selfishness in me was jumping up and down for joy. And anyhow, I am now older and self-sufficient, my family is growing and all seems to be going splendidly. I get to have all the wardrobe space and all the bed to myself. Of course, there is a downside, there always is but finding the right balance to achieve happiness has to be my priority now. I have built a lifestyle I love and it will take a lot for me to give up. If there is a Prince Charming out there, you will need more than a white horse to get over my wall.
I blame Happy Ever After and the movies. We do live in a delusional world, There is nothing wrong with falling in love but there should be nothing wrong with choosing to be single either. Existing as a solo person that is not the other half of someone else, can have a lot of benefits. When you find yourself suddenly single, maybe you have lost your life partner or recently got divorced, the temptation is to run back into what you assume is the safety of another relationship. Many have made the mistake we call jumping out of the frying pan and into the fire. Just stop right there. PLEASE. Reset your thinking, take a deep breath and simply embrace the delights of freedom to just be you.
I still go on dates but I do not look too far over the fence of friendships. I want the chance of getting to know someone, to see if we feel comfortable, and then I feel I want to give it time to develop. A man once asked the question, ‘Did I not want to grow old with someone.’ I left that liaison, running as fast as I could, perhaps not giving it a chance. No!, I do not want to settle down into old age. I have much to do still. I am not prepared to drag someone who has not got the energy to keep up. Men on dating sites holding a fish or standing half-naked drinking a beer, or someone on a motorbike or any other boy’s toy is a definite no-no for me. Am I fussy? not really, it is just those things, do not appeal to me and anyhow, I would worry about the guy who thinks they are impressive.
My single life has opened up my world to more friends and experiences. I can go to places at a moment’s notice, when and with whom I choose. Why I was looking on dating sites again, I do not know. Perhaps in the back of my mind, I was still waiting for a Happy Ever Dafter. It is a crazy world out there and I needed to make some sense of it.
Take yourself out on a date.
Somebody said to me it is not much fun going out on your own, in some cases that is true. If I need company I can usually phone a friend, male or female, I like to be part of a group. However, I have got over the fear of going into a restaurant alone or even going somewhere for the day. This doesn’t mean I do not like to be asked out for lunch or dinner. I love the feeling you get when somebody else wants to spend time with only you. It does give you the chance to make some effort in dressing up. We all like to do that.
I have had the most fun and adventures when I travel solo. I was so scared when I first got on a plane and traveled to Thailand. It felt different. I was totally alone and felt a little vulnerable. Those feelings passed quite quickly. I met many other single travelers who invited me to excursions and the sharing of meals together. I wondered if this would have been easy to achieve if I had been a part of a couple. You do have to make an effort though. If you have your head down and are not willing to be sociable, it can get lonely. If you want to meet people then you need to be friendly and have something to say. If sparks happen, and they do, be ready. Sometimes I like to be alone and be in my own little bubble, especially if I am writing. I have the choice to do either and there are no compromises. I now find it much easier to travel alone but if the right person wants to join me then be prepared to keep up and not expect to trail along behind me. I have thought about how nice it would be occasionally to have a travel partner. Sharing accommodation has an upside to travel costs
Single life can be exciting and open up a wide variety of adventures. You often hear newly divorced people say how free they feel for the first time in their lives. Please do not rush out and get divorced yet. Being in a stable and happy relationship can be wonderful. I have been there too.
People are beginning to wake up. More people are embracing their single life and leaving behind the feelings of not feeling whole. The gap in your life does not always need to be filled by having another person attached to your arm.
We can blame the age old assumptions, being single does not these days turn you into a sad and lonely person that nobody wants. If you let yourself feel like that, chances are nobody will want you.
Love yourself and go and live life. Sometimes doing it solo is the only way to achieve what you truly want. So what is stopping you? There are some adventures waiting.