Get Over the Stigma of Singledom

Single people get a bad rap. In the media, they are depicted as sad and lonely. Rarely do we see someone strong, well-adjusted and independent without a love interest lurking in the background. Then there is the butting in of certain well-meaning friends and relatives. They may come under some kind of delusion from time to time, and talk to you as if there is something wrong with you. “Why haven’t you found someone?” they ask. Or give you not so good advice like, “Maybe you should just lower your standards a little.” Just relax and remind yourself that you are in good company. The biggest growing demographic in the country today is single women. Sometimes we let what others say get to us. Don’t let them stigmatize you for loving yourself and leading your own life. Get over the stigma of singledom and enjoy flying solo. And in fact, while you are at it, help those other people get over their prejudice against unattached Americans as well.  Here are some reasons why you should feel lucky to be without a plus one. 

Ever see folks who don’t quite belong together try and make it work? It’s just sad. Why would you put yourself through that? Instead, why not wait for someone you can relate to, who flips your switch. Getting turned on is not just a sexual thing. It’s probably more emotional. It’s when you flow with someone. You have that instant rapport. There are different reasons why we are attracted to a person. When you meet that special someone who makes your heart skip a beat it dawns on you that this is someone worth pursuing. But just having a warm body next to you at the movies or on the couch isn’t worth it to those who have a brilliant mind, a full agenda and an independent spirit. There are people who jump from one relationship to another like frogs across Lili pads. These people are generally scared of being alone. But they don’t get a chance to really dig down deep and learn some personal truths about who they themselves are. A pause between serious relationships can give you time to breathe, slow down and focus on your own issues, where you are going and what you want in life. The person you have to love first and best in life is really yourself.

When you aren’t attached you can date around and see what you really like. Why not have some adventures? You can open up your social calendar and allow yourself some time to be a free spirit, sprint off without having to check in with anyone, or babysit someone who can’t keep up. Singledom is not a dilemma, it’s a rare opportunity that most people don’t have and some are downright jealous of. Now is the time to do the things you’ve always wanted to do. Go teach English in Asia. Volunteer in Africa. Explore your passions. Learn a new language. Start a business. Discover your family history or completely transform yourself into the person you’ve always wanted to be. Being single can feel lonesome at times. But at least you won’t ever feel trapped by or disgusted with your lover. You won’t feel smothered or neglected, rejected or treated unfairly. Jean Paul Sartre said, “Hell is other people.” Anyone who has ever been in a bad relationship knows what he is talking about. Instead, reconnect with yourself and find your own inner light. Once you are glowing like a beacon, someone worthwhile is sure to notice you. If you’re still not convinced or are just giving up the single game read,“Best Dating Advice I Ever Got”: 3000 Women Pick Their Favorite Love Tips by Ali Binazir MD.

Why You Aren’t Finding Anyone You Have Chemistry With

Dating wasn’t any level of hell in Dante’s Inferno. But it can sure feel like one sometimes. We generally think it’s a natural process. It’s all about chemistry. You meet someone. You like them. They like you and boom! The magic happens. Cue music. Except it doesn’t always work that way. Not in real life. Sometimes you date someone and they drop off the face of the planet, right when things were just getting interesting. What was it a fear of commitment? Did they meet someone else or get back with their ex? Or else they owed money to the mob. There isn’t much you can do at this point, except pick yourself up and keep going. Then there is for some a worse situation, a kind of dating purgatory. This is when you meet people all the time. You date and date and don’t have chemistry with any of them. What do you do? Some say chemistry is over-rated. It is compatibility you are looking for. Chemistry fades as soon as the “honeymoon phase” has worn off. Then if compatibility isn’t there, there are few things to keep the couple together. Others think you should hold out for someone who knocks you off your feet. So what is the best way forward if you aren’t finding chemistry with anyone you are dating?

You shouldn’t spend a significant amount of time with someone just because you want someone there. But if you have been on a significant number of dates or spent time with lots of would-be suitors and have no feelings at all toward any of them, consider where you are. What is your selection process like? Are you being too picky? Sometimes we want everything in a mate and refuse to settle. But we forget that each of us is a human being. We all have our faults. Consider giving it a rest for now. Focus on yourself. Then come back at it fresh. But begin looking at your dating life from another point of view. Some people are very goal oriented. But one’s love life rarely fits into the plans we’ve made for it. Usually, we say we want something specific and someone comes along and mucks it all up. There are those who have started to realize that their choices in past lovers may have not been the best. Chemistry can sometimes push us toward those who are not healthy for us. It is best to resist it then. But don’t think you will be stuck in limbo forever. Your system only has to be reconnoitered. Just be patient and wait for someone who gives you that “wow” factor and is also good for you.

There are those who find that nerves get in the way. It is often those people who are very reserved. Others are shy and introverted and take time to get used to others. Chemistry cannot be formed when one is experiencing high anxiety, or when one’s date is. Spend a little time with the person who is nice but whom you aren’t sure about. If you or they are nervous or seem to be, spend time in a setting that is comfortable for the uncomfortable person, on their home turf. If you just aren’t sure about them and nervousness doesn’t factor in, try and see them from a different vantage point. A new context or different environment can bring out other sides of a person, ones you may be more attracted to or less so. Take them out with friends, bring them along on a hike or do some volunteer work together. Realize that compatibility with a little bit of chemistry makes for a better long-term relationship than the other way around. You can do novel things together to turn that spark into an inferno. But compatibility on the other hand is an either have it or you don’t scenario. Realize that a love life just doesn’t work the way other aspects of our life like family, friends, or our career does. Those things are relatively straightforward. But a vibrant love life takes patience, confidence, and a great attitude and the ability to start over, to come out the other side unscathed and smiling. Just be yourself. Be happy, open, curious, and practice nonjudgment towards others. Sooner or later someone you fancy will be knocking on your heart’s door. For more on better ways to travail the often bitter landscape of the human heart readThe Secret Laws of Attraction: The Effortless Way to Get the Relationship You Want by Talane Miedaner.

How to Pick Yourself Back up Again After a Divorce

How to Pick Yourself Back up Again After a Divorce

Each couple is unique, and so are the ways their relationships end. But there are patterns. Some couples have known for a long time things haven’t been working out. For others, one person surprises the other. In this case the shock can be earth-shattering. Being rejected by someone you felt so close to, and loved enough to marry (at least once upon a time) can tear you apart. An orderly and predictable life is now tossed into chaos. Everything has to be rearranged with the person you would least like to spend another minute with. Even after the arrangements and agreements, perhaps court battles, are over, and the grieving done, challenges do not evaporate. People may think you are alright at this stage. But for many of the newly divorced, moving forward remains difficult. A large portion of one’s identity has died and he or she has to find out what they can do to fill the void, how to rebuild themselves and make a life anew. That is scary. Such a large form of rejection, for those who were walked away from, can leave deep wounds in the ego that must be healed. And those who have been burned often have trouble reigniting their love life as trust remains an issue. It is not an easy time. But rest assured, you can get through it and find happiness again. Here is some advice on how to pick yourself up after a divorce and build the kind of life you want.

Fall in love with yourself again. Begin by making a list of your good qualities. What characteristics do you have that others admire or emulate? What skills do you possess that make you unique? One of the hardest parts of a divorce is reinventing yourself. We get used to the thought of being married. It becomes a part of our identity. Now it is time to reshape that identity. And the way to do that is to come to a better understanding of who you are, who it is you want to be, and what about yourself you want to project to the world. Dig deep and find what makes you happy, really deeply satisfied and fulfilled. Do you want to own your own business? Go back to school? Wish to totally change careers? Want to author the next great novel or see the world? Understand that as a single person, you have more freedom. You do not have to check in with anyone. You can also reinvent yourself without someone holding you back. A divorce is an ending, sure. But it is also a new beginning. Don’t waste a second chance at new and better life. A divorce may even in hindsight a blessing in disguise, the best thing that ever happened to you.

Reach out to those close to you if you are having a hard time. Sometimes it really helps just talking things over, or bouncing ideas off of someone you trust. Another problem is it can be difficult to meet someone new. Be patient. Online dating can take some time, and be hit or miss. Just work with a one or two websites or a site and an app. Don’t use them together for more than an hour each day. But lots of people have met online. Send out feelers offline too. Shake your social tree and see what singles drop out. It can’t hurt to ask a couple of close friends if they know anyone who is single. Chances are you and the recommended will get along well together. And you have someone in common, so there’s an ice breaker already in hand. Just don’t blame your friend, or feel guilty should it does not work out. Consider what kind of frequency you are emitting into the world. Are you a magnetic ray of sunshine, or a dark and scowling raincloud? You need to feel your authentic emotions, but when you come to that point where the real suffering is over, undo your negativity. Step out of the shadows and examine them. Set out to find their root causes and ways to unravel them. Find a way to radiate light and happiness and you will naturally attract the mate you seek. Build a better you, and a higher quality love interest should soon be at your side.

For more on overcoming divorce and other devastating life experiences read, You Can Heal Your Heart: Finding Peace After a Breakup, Divorce, or Death by Louise L. Hay and David Kessler.

Possible Reasons Why You’re Still Single

Possible Reasons Why You’re Still Single

Some people are lone wolves. There is nothing wrong with that. In fact, it can feel like a life filled with freedom. But most of us are searching around for our other half. After a bad relationship, being single can feel liberating. But for most of us, there are certain instances where being single can make you feel lonely too. Times like getting a table for one at a restaurant, going on vacation by yourself, going to a wedding without a date, or sitting in a movie theater before the film starts, while happy, contented couples are yapping away. You begin to wonder why a great person like you could possibly be single. After a while a dry spell, or dating lots of people but where nobody stands out, can get tiresome. So if you are in the doldrums of love, what’s the deal? How do you get the squalls of passion bellowing through your life once again? Why are you still single? It could one of several reasons. Some people have opened up and gotten hurt in the past. They carry that around with them and it weighs them down. At other times, their last relationship left a negative residue on them that they can’t seem to rub off. Whatever the case, some daters are defensive. But by being this way you are repelling worthwhile candidates. Try to let go of bitterness. Find your fun, flirty self once again. Take a personal journey inward and let out your inner child come out to play. If you can bring out your fun side, you will be radiating positive energy and the right people will be drawn to you.

Next, think about the type of person you are attracted to. Are they good for you? Are these healthy relationships you have been having? Some people are attracted to the wrong type. They like the bad boy or bad girl, and think they can change him or her. It usually takes only a few times to find out the only person you can truly change is yourself. There are those who have a nurturing aspect to their personality. They are givers. They give and give and get upset when their partner cannot return as much as they put out. These givers need takers. But in a relationship both parties have to try and meet one another somewhere near the middle. One person has to learn how to give, the other to receive. For many their partner’s efforts are never enough. This could be true, or it could be a case of unrealistic expectations. Each should be recognized for his or her own capacities. In fact, one of the greatest parts of true, unadulterated love is being able to see another person for how they truly are, recognizing them faults and all, and accepting and love them regardless. But you have to find someone whose faults you can come to terms with and vice versa. That can be tricky but worth investing in.

Besides being too picky, falling into unhealthful patterns, and fearing intimacy, some people have a low self-esteem. They settle for those they really are not into, thinking that they cannot attract those they want. But these daters are always dissatisfied in their love life. The best thing to do is to learn to love yourself, work on yourself first. The most attractive people of all are those who are completely self-possessed. They are absolutely comfortable in their own skin. There are those who fear being humiliated through trying to date when they feel too old or no longer attractive. But love at any stage in life can bring with it tremendous joy. It also motivates us to be better people. We want to bridge the gap, invest in ourselves, and impress someone who has potential. But always remember that the first and most important person to love is yourself. Heal yourself. Invest in your journey. Fall in love with yourself and life all over again. If you do, your heart will glow like a beacon calling your beloved forth.

For more such advice read, If I’m So Wonderful, Why Am I Still Single?: Ten Strategies That Will Change Your Love Life Forever by Susan Page.

Men Have a Hard Time Understanding Women’s Emotions

Men Have a Hard Time Understanding Women’s Emotions

When a relationship is not going well, it is many times the woman who is dissatisfied. Ask any divorce lawyer or just look at the statistics and you will see the majority of divorces are filed by women. In these cases, they usually complain that their man does not care about them, or does not care about their emotional needs. But the problem is oftentimes not that he does not care, but that he does not understand what it is she wants. Men and women communicate differently. Men are very direct. Women come at issues from different angles. Men are problem-solvers. For women, the needs vary. Sometimes they need emotional validation or support, and at other times just some understanding. A gal does not necessarily want her guy to solve her problem, but just to listen. Women can usually read each other’s emotions quite easily, and they come to one another’s aide in sympathy and kind words without even being asked. But a man who can pick up on her general mood, may not notice all the nuances within it. Understand that communication is a skill in which we all learn. We are not limited by our gender. In fact, each partner should try earnestly to consider how the other person communicates, and tune in to their frequency.

This may mean that a man learns to not only hear but really listen to his girlfriend or wife. He should not be so quick to offer logical suggestions and advice. Instead, he should listen carefully, tell her in his own words how he understands the situation, and validates her feelings. Consider the difficulty of the problem and her capability of handling it, before offering advice. If you believe she is able to handle this one, keep the advice to yourself, or only extend it if she asks. For women if she has certain emotional needs her man is not getting, she needs to tell him directly, and learn to be more direct about her thoughts and feelings. Sometimes women have an attitude such like, “He should just know” Or “If he really loved me he would know.” But the majority of men communicate directly. So he has no hope in knowing. It also cuts out a woman’s responsibility to communicate her feelings to her man, in a way he can understand. But it too shows her anxiety surrounding these feelings. No matter how much alike you look at the onset, there are wide gulfs between any two individuals. If they are to stay together these chasms need crossing. Any worthwhile relationship is built on good communication. It is not a miracle simply arrived upon but the result of long, patient conversations and hard work.

For some women crying is a way of venting. It makes certain men uncomfortable however. And women may feel ashamed afterward. But really they just want support from their partner, not for him to pull away. Men are taught never to cry in our society. Ladies, if you cry just let him know that this is emotional venting. Guys, hold her and be there for her and you will make the relationship stronger. Lastly, fellas if a woman wants to talk about an emotional problem you two are having, do not get defensive and start yelling at her. You should not just apologize and clam up either. Both may put stress on the relationship, rather than relieve it, and the first choice definitely will. Instead, listen to her and re-explain in your own words. When she feels you get it, show her that you care, validate her, and work together to find a solution. Lastly, men sometimes have a hard time communicating their emotions. Ladies, be patient. Guys, find a way to tell her how you feel, so she understands you better. Communication is not easy. But get it right and your relationship will be so much closer, and you will end up cherishing every moment together.

For more on what to do when the real work in a relationship begins pick up a copy of, Post-Romantic Stress Disorder: What to Do When the Honeymoon Is Overby John Bradshaw and Joe Barrett.