Q. I am single and my life is good but I desire (not need) to have a partner to spend time and enjoy life together. I sometimes feel lonely and worry that maybe I will never have someone. What do you think?
A. I think what you desire is normal. I don’t know what your past experiences with relationships has been but often times being single is an awesome time to heal from past wounds, find a deeper relationship with yourself and just take a breather.
I think the reality with your question lies in who we choose and why we choose them. If you are looking for love “to complete you” then you might be setting yourself up for disappointment. We shouldn’t be looking for our “better half,” we want to look for someone who will enrich our life.
“There are worse things than feeling alone. Things like being with someone and still feeling alone.”
Something that is troubling in today’s relationships is the speed in which they progress. “I like you, I love you” can occur within days or weeks. What happened to the development of the “friendship.” It appears that many people have lost the art of the friendship, i.e., getting to know each other by asking questions and sharing information. Spending hours talking. (not by text!!) Face to face.
“The best thing to spend on your relationship is time, conversation, understanding and honesty.”
While in this single time of your life think about your previous relationships. If female, draw pictures of the men who have been in your life. List all their positive and negative characteristics. Also include your father. Are there any common themes? Do you continue to attract to what is familiar? (If you are male, do the same thing with the women who have been in your life, including your mother). This is very powerful therapy homework. If familiar hurts you, change must occur.
“Don’t marry the needy girl just to make yourself feel better, the knight in shining armor pays a high price.”
Try to have several activities and friendships that you enjoy. Build a life around doing things and being around people who make you feel good. Live life and see what happens. It is very normal to be a single person and hope someone really special comes into your life. So while you think about it happening go to that concert, take a friend to the art show, walk around the lake and just be single.
A great relationship is about two things: First, appreciating the similarities, and second, respecting the differences.
Vicki L Mayfield, M.Ed., R.N., LMFT Marriage and Family Therapy Oklahoma City
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