As someone who has written an abundance of blog posts and articles about breakups and how to heal from them over the past 3 years, it would be wrong of me to portray the idea that the single life, although hugely fulfilling in many ways, is always empowering and rosy.
I really believe that so many of us are sad and lonely are times but don’t want to admit it. (That can actually be true when single and in a relationship too.)
Many people have remarked that as a coach who has a reputation for helping people with matters of the heart, why aren’t I in a relationship? Shouldn’t it be effortless for me? Surely I know ‘how’ to date perfectly? My response is always truthful and it’s no different from many other single women out there. I just haven’t met the right person yet.
I walk my talk in the sense that I have firm boundaries and I’m 100% clear on my wants and needs. 3 years of being single has given me that time to reflect and regroup and I’m not prepared to settle for something and someone that’s not fully aligned. And I’m ok with that. I’ve met some great guys and enjoyed the whole dating experience.
There are bad days though. Behind the scenes of my work where my passion is to help inspire, heal and uplift others on the daily, there have been other things going on that if I’m honest, have held me back from enjoying life at it’s fullest and finding a relationship. Over the past 18 months I’ve been dealing with multiple autoimmune illnesses, spent days at a time in bed and gone through numerous major food elimination protocols that haven’t worked. The accumulation of all of this has meant my quality of life has been quite the shadow of what it was when I was at the ‘peak’ of my singledom.
This post isn’t to whine and dwell about my health – I’m not a believer in that – but I do believe in being open about struggle. It’s what connects us and makes us feel less alone. Being single during this time has felt hard because it would often be so nice to just have someone to talk to, to take my mind off it and feel like part of a ‘team’. To share my experience with and to immerse myself in their life too. When you’re going through something alone it can feel all-consuming. Maybe it isn’t health for someone else reading this – maybe you’re going through a rough time in your job, within your family, perhaps some kind of loss. Maybe you just feel low.
Let’s call a spade a spade! Being single during those times can be hard.
However at the same time, this personal experience has also taught me even more about the importance of life, love, relationships and wellbeing. On the bad days, I allow myself to feel sad but on the flip side of that, it helps me get even more clear on what I do want. I journal, I meditate, I listen to my body, I create, I read, I use it as fuel. I see this as even more opportunity to know what it means to truly take care of yourself, what makes you happy and how important that’s going to be in or out of a relationship.
The truth is, a relationship would be nice-to-have and I’m fine with admitting that, but it wouldn’t ‘fix’ everything. It will come when the time is right and I’m open to that. Staying open, despite what’s going on means that you don’t have to stress about the when or the how. You just have to believe and trust.
Something else that also helps is to be grateful for the tiniest things. That weekend with family, a phone call with a friend, a beautiful walk in nature, gorgeous hot pink nail polish even! Keeping gratitude at the forefront of your mind is a serious life tonic. As my own life has been stripped back in many ways, I now see the joy and pleasure in those things I previously took for granted.
So if there’s any piece of advice I have for those bad days, it’s to firstly be ok with it. Don’t dwell but just be ok with feeling it. Be upset, angry, sad, lonely. Feel it and feel through it. Focus on your self-care. I know we hear so much about it and it can all sound a bit trite or like another platitude that gets thrown around, but it’s said so many times for good reason. Figure out what self-care is for you. Have gratitude for everyone or every little thing that makes you happy, smile or feel good. Feel proud about how much inner resilience you’re creating right now, even through the hot (or sometimes, not so hot) mess!
And then trust and believe that the right person is out there. They’ll show up exactly when they need to and your only job meanwhile is to be ok with where you are and live life to it’s fullest, whatever that means for you right now.