Is there such a thing as Happily Single?
By Frank Kermit
Is being single really that bad? After all, when a person considers the amount of pain that a relationship or casual dating can cause, it may seem that just skipping the whole dating-thing altogether might make for a more peaceful life.
Could it be that intimate relations are simply not for everyone, and maybe you happen to be one of those people? How do you know if being alone is the right choice for you and is it even possible to be content, or even fulfilled in a life without romantic love? As always, that answer is completely up to you.
The people who struggle with this question the most are those people that never actually had an overly positive, intimate relationship with someone before. If that is coupled with an environment that was emotionally sterile while that person was growing up, it makes trying to find the motivation for seeking out a relationship almost obsolete.
Without having experienced what a health loving relationship can be, or not having experienced the positive attributes of being with someone that cares for you, it is challenging for someone to see the value is pursuing a goal they have no concept of.
Then the consideration comes in that some people are simply too damaged to be in a relationship. There are cases where someone may be struggling with a personal demon like an addiction, or still coping with a history of abuse. Those demons may limit their capacity for intimate relationships of any kind. In these cases, people tend to be encouraged to work on themselves before entering into romantic relationships so that the challenges inherent with romantic relationships do not distract the people from the healing process, nor allow the romantic relationships to exasperate a persons energy causing them not to have the personal resources to slay the demon.
This is most commonly understood when someone enters a drug and alcohol treatment center where patients are forbidden to have relations with each other and contact with loved ones must be limited.
I have often found that barring any major issues, that a few people are simply not ready to make the commitment to the amount of work that is necessary to change an area of their life they are not happy with.
Dismissed as laziness by some, the lack of willingness to put in the work required to change behavior patterns is nothing to scoff at. Changing anything in your life forces you out of your comfort zone. It takes work. The motivation to make such changes may very well require that someone hit an absolute rock bottom before having enough gumption to finally make that change. The same principle applies to changing the status of a persons love life.
It is unfortunate that people require that kind of rock bottom to reach a point where the pain of staying where they are is finally greater than the pain of making a change.
When I am asked if it is better to be in a relationship that is bad, or being alone, I often quote one of my inspirations. To paraphrase: Are you better off with that person, or better off without that person? There is no set answer.
It completely depends on the context of your situation. There are a number of other factors to consider in the answer to this question. Are you very miserable, or just so-so bored with your partner? Is your partner a good parent to your kids, or are your kids in danger around your partner? Are you fighting day in and day out with your partner, or have you and your partner settled into a quiet existence that you find a little bland? Is your partner someone you can rely on, or is your partner a dead beat? If you were alone, would you be able to manage not having the positive elements that you do get from the relationships you experience? Are you just a negative person and will continue to find fault with your life even if your leave your partner?
Ending a relationship is NOT always the answer when things are rough in life, because life is also going to be rough on you when you are single. There are always consequences to either lifestyle to choose, the question remains which consequences are you more adept to handle accepting?
Some people are just comfortable being alone, and there is nothing wrong with that. If you are happier being alone, then take pride in that. If you complain about being alone, then do something about it. If you complain about being in a relationship, again do something about it.
Communicate with your partner and find out what is possible to change the areas you are not happy with, to see if you can work to build the relationship together that you will find fulfillment in.
If you are trying to figure out if you want to give up on love or not, one of the ways to decide this for yourself is to sit down and work through the differences between your feelings towards single life and your desires for the kind of lifestyle you want for yourself. Start with your ideal lifestyle and work your way backwards to your current present date.
Once you have that ideal (and REALISTIC) lifestyle mapped out, see if you are the type of person that can actually attain it, and if you would be able to attract the kind of partner that you yourself would need to be.
FRANK KERMIT MA
EXPERT RELATIONSHIP COACH
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