Today I wanted to talk to you about HOW to be single because I vividly remember 2 versions of being single:
(Appreciate this is both the title of a funny movie and that by now you may feel like you have a degree in being single, so quite frankly can’t see that there’s more to learn!)
- Firstly the relatively miserable one: being constantly blindsided by men’s actions, choosing guys who represented some kind of dating entropy, huge amounts of disappointment, then dealing with the fallout of these emotions badly.
- Secondly, it is really, really good fun: finding meeting men easy, not taking any BS, having great female friendships, amazing life experiences, and bucket loads of sass.
When you’re inhabiting this version of being single you feel great: and as a bi-product of that make better decisions for yourself with the men you meet.Importantly, you discover you actually have CHOICE as to who you want to settle down with... if indeed you want to settle down at all.
So how do you get from point A to point B..?
Here is a list of 7 simple steps you can take!
1. Learn how to say no!
Sometimes we can fear to say `no’.It could be a `no’ to that friend who you (whisper it) feel pressure to see, more than actually want to see. Or `no’ to a guy who is 50/50 in his efforts, because, well, someone is better than no-one? Or `no’ to that `what are you up to?’ message that arrives late on Friday night.
Remember saying no to the wrong things expedites our journey towards the right things.It can also feel really good to hold that boundary, and your head up high.
2. Learn how to say yes!
Breaking out of our own ruts, and daring to be optimistic again, can be another major dating challenge. It’s easy to wind up staying in our comfort zones: especially when previous experience tells you when you do go outside of them, you get disappointed.However, if you only see the same friends, go to the same places, or choose to date the same kinds of guys, this will keep you stuck.
Remember those good boundaries, and knowing who you are, and what you want, will enable you to put yourself out there and stay emotionally safe.And that whilst our comfort zone keeps us away from experiences that may hurt us, it also stops us experiencing things that may heal us.
3. Make a bold decision!
One of the great things (and the hard things) about single life can be that you’re living in this big expanse of unknown. You don’t have someone tying you to a particular place or thing. This can feel at times like you don’t have much stability: and when you’ve been single for a while you may crave someone that you can come home to.However, in this case, I would lean into your freedom.
In all likelihood, your life will, in one way or another, become more settled. You’ll become more tied to a particular area, person, or career that means you’re more committed, and whilst you can still have a lot of fun ... that fun may require planning.
When you look back, right NOW will appear as a great time to do things you’ve always wanted to do. It could be making a career change, going travelling, or changing neighbourhoods. If you can swap it up now go for it and enjoy it.
One of the things I did during my 'bold decision time' hopped on a plane to China to go live with one of my besties for a month. I could never do this now, and as we see 'Facebook memories' of our adventures flirting with Brazilian footballers, island hopping and eating a lot of noodles, popping up I feel nostalgia!! And like 'thank God I had that time to myself...'
Go make some epic memories!
4. Date yourself!
Your me-time is sacred.
Also, there are very few things in life that require a man to be enjoyed.Nice restaurants, mini-breaks in the Algarve, spa days... you name it these can be enjoyed just as much solo!If you haven’t tried going on a solo date all ready, maybe go for a solo brunch this weekend?
Soon you’ll value that time with yourself and the headspace it gives you far more than hanging out with a man you’re only 50/50 about. I actually used to really enjoy plonking myself down in a restaurant, surrounded by couples, and ordering some elaborate meal for one.
In fact, I still enjoy it.
(You might want to check out my beginner's guide to how to be alone for a deeper dive into the art of aloneness!)
5. Date without needing an outcome
If you go into your dates thinking: could he be The One? it’s nearly as bad as it’s opposite, Oh God how am I going to get out of this? I really can’t be bothered. Shift your point of focus on dates to having fun, and being curious about the other person.
If all dates are judged on the criteria of `could he be The One?’ or NOT you will find that a lot more emotionally draining in the long haul.Instead aim to learn something about the person you’re with, choose dates that are fun for you to do even if you don’t fancy the person you’re with, and trust if you’re continually taking the right actions you will get the outcome you want.
6. Shut the door
Your time and energy are precious: don’t spend them looking backwards.When there’s not much `going on’ in your dating life it can be too easy to rake back over `what if’ with the last person who really excited you.
Also, it doesn’t take much of a glance on YouTube to realise a lot of people are googling, `how do I get back with my ex?’ I am not a fan of teaching you strategies for this: because I think that may keep you stuck.
Being stuck on an ex can also be like being stuck on a mirage. The longer you haven’t been together, the further away the idea you may have of them will be from the reality of what it was like to be with them... and in fact who they actually are today.
Don’t keep the image of them alive any longer than is needed in your headspace. Write a list of reasons you split up, remove reminders, and start growing into a new version of yourself who no longer feels the same way about them.
7. Acknowledge your wins
Feeling great about being single isn’t about always `succeeding’ with getting a guy. It’s about you knowing that you’re taking actions every day that are in line with your values.
If you are very goal orientated as a person try shifting away from:
- I must go on two dates a week
- I will meet him by the end of the year
- He will choose me
- I am an opportunity creator in my own life
- Good things happen to me
- I’m going to try new things, join that app, and yes flirt with that guy I see on my commute, and just see what happens
- I’m proud of myself
By working towards your values and acknowledging every day where you are successfully creating change this is how you’ll stay motivated.And if you take the right actions for long enough, the end `goals’ will just be a bi-product of you living a purposeful, content life on your own terms.
This is HOW to be single.