Dr. Seth Meyers, Clinical Psychologist

Dr. Seth Meyers, Clinical Psychologist

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Swinging Single: It’s Not So Bad, Is It?

When it comes to relationship status, the grass is always greener. Couples who have been together for years often fantasize about being on their own, while singles frequently idealize the home and hearth that coupledom purportedly brings. It is my belief that too many singles spend their time and energy longing for The One and miss out on the true pleasures of being single.

The best way to find your partner is to embrace your single life and accept all that it has to offer. It’s perfectly normal to want a relationship, but it is abnormal to be single and unhappy about it. Life is a nonstop series of curve balls, and what separates the happy people from the no-so-happy people is the ability to adapt to your circumstances.

If you’re single, embrace it! There are many freedoms that come with being single, some of which you must give up when you commit to a relationship. When you’re single, you have sexual freedom. In addition to that, you have a lot more spare time than you do when you’re coupled. Sound silly? It shouldn’t – as a couple, you have to navigate two separate individuals’ social calendars of events.

I’ve heard many people say that the best way to find a partner is to avoid looking for it. I think this is one of the greatest myths out there in the dating universe. The truth is that you must wear on your face an openness and interest in the possibility in order for someone to pick up the signals. However, it is possible to hold two different beliefs about the same issue at the same time. You can enjoy being single but say to yourself that you would also love the opportunity to meet someone meaningful.

The important thing is to accept whatever stage of life you’re in and accept the pleasures that come with it. If you’re in a long-term relationship, there are wonderful advantages. Society is much better at reinforcing the advantages of commitment than it is at reinforcing the advantages of singledom. Somehow, society puts a ‘better’ status on people who are in a relationship. Think about the question either you’ve asked others or others have asked you: “Why are you single?” That’s a pretty provincial question. It suggests that the person who’s doing the asking doesn’t yet understand that being single isn’t so bad and, in fact, has its advantages.

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