For many people being in a relationship gives them a sense of identity, purpose and belonging. They feel that having that special someone, no matter how much of a compromise is required, allows them to comfortably fit into their social group, especially if everyone in their circle is partnered. Being single can feel alone, lonely and an outsider.– Letting the pressure to be partnered build up can distract you into making bad decisions, feel impelled to hook-up with someone out of a feeling of necessity. That might be okay in the short-term as a temporary stopgap, offering companionship for a time, but it’s important to recognise that for what it is.
So often people feel bereft when a relationship ends. Even the ending of a bad relationship can feel like a failure, generating fear, apprehension, anxiety. There may be concerns about the future; will I meet someone else, how long will I be on my own, should I have tried harder or stayed with the relationship I had?
– But there’s nowhere more lonely than a loveless marriage, where one person stays because of financial reasons, a fear of being alone or of upsetting the children or family. The tension, underlying resentment, hostility or constant bickering can make for a very unhappy household. There’s nothing ‘special’ about a relationship that’s missing love or mutual respect.
When we’re desperate to find a special someone it can cause more problems than it resolves. Defining ourselves and others through our relationship status can miss the real point of having someone important with whom to share our life. That person should add value, not provide the sole reason for our existence.
– Some people may even enter our lives in a purely temporary capacity. As such, they may provide the impetus for us to move on from a bad situation, enthuse us to review our lives, change career, update our image, introduce us to new exciting hobbies and interests. But once that’s on track they may well then fade from our orbit.
Other people may be fair-weather friends or lovers, great when everything’s going well but not much good during stormy times. They can’t or don’t want to deal with any of our mess, troubles or complications. Conversely there are those people who love nothing more than to coach, problem-solve and fix us, the foul-weather friends and lovers who enjoy deep and meaningful sessions but don’t much care to party or socialise.
Having a relationship with either may work well for a time, but is unlikely to be a long-term solution to your relationship status. But equally, not all special relationships have to be permanent.
– An important step is to ask yourself what you want from a relationship; do you really need a special someone, does your life literally revolve around having a significant other in your life, does your relationship status define who you are? What does that look like to you? It’s important to know if you’re prepared to wait for the right person to come along, no matter how long that may take.
Some people may be focussed on getting married or living permanently together, for others that would be too intrusive. Some may want a constant partner where they do everything together, discuss everything, share every aspect of their lives, but others like to keep some independence and separateness, enjoying specific times together, like holidays or weekends, but living their own lives at other times.
– To find our special someone it’s good to first start working on yourself. Ask yourself who’s the most important person in your life. Even if you still have young children it’s best if the answer is you. When you feel good about yourself, healthy, happy and at peace, everyone in your life benefits.
Then you find that your quality of life improves and you realise that you’d rather be alone that with someone who’s not right for you, who’s unsupportive or brings negative energy into your home. Being on your own is better than good enough or fine, once you’re comfortable in your own company.
– When you learn to love yourself you find ways to communicate your thoughts and feelings to others and are able to define appropriate boundaries of acceptable and unacceptable treatment and behaviour. Your desperate need to have a special someone abates and you’re able to be more selective and discerning, able to find someone who complements you and adds value to your life.
You become clearer about the things you will and won’t accept. Sure, some things that bother others may be fine by you; that’s good for you to know and can help you to become clearer about what you want from a partner.
It’s liberating to realise that a special someone is only special because they’re right for you. The relationship then becomes a wonderful outcome and addition, rather than a necessity in your life.
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