Depressed About Being Single For So Long? - The Bright Side
Molly Hitchens studied business for years before launching her career as a journalist and analyst specializing in original and innovative business planning. She shares her expertise through her work with The Idea Trader as well as through in-person speaking engagements at universities around the country.
Single, Not Ready to Mingle
When it comes to self-image, there are many different internal and external factors that come into play, especially with regards to romantic relationships.
We all know that portrayals of romantic relationships in media are often inflated and exaggerated.
Even the idea of a lifelong relationship (i.e. ‘til death do us part) was largely based on the need for a practical living situation that would increase the chances of survival.
So if you’re feeling depressed about being single for so long, then it may be time to step back and ask yourself what you really want from life and from relationships.
Do your best to not let cultural norms influence your own needs and expectations.
Below, you’ll find some tips on how to gain a broader perspective of the single life and how to look for a fulfilling relationship without compromising your personal values.
Recognizing the Benefits
Believe it or not, there are many different benefits to being single, even for a long period of time.
For many of us, our default response to being single is simply to try and find a way out, looking for a significant other as quickly as possible, perhaps even making many significant compromises in the process.
But even if you’re unhappy with being single, it’s worth taking a time to look at the situation from a different perspective.
Let’s take a look at some of the specifics.
Getting to Know Yourself Better
Being single is an excellent opportunity to get to know yourself better. It’s an overused phrase, but it still rings true: you can’t love someone else until you’ve learned to love yourself.
Even if you think you have an accurate sense of self, it’s important to recognize that everyone is constantly changing in very subtle ways.
You’re a different person today than you were yesterday, even if it doesn’t feel like it.
There are many different ways to get to know yourself better. We’ve listed just a few suggestions here to get you started on what may become an ongoing process.
Exploring Your Interests
Ask yourself what you most like to do in your spare time. Sure, you probably already have several hobbies that you enjoy, but when single, you have a great chance to explore many new hobbies and interests.
Let’s say you’ve always had a deep love of listening to music. You go out of your way to find new artists you like and ask friends for suggestions.
But deep down, maybe you’ve always wanted to try and learn how to play an instrument.
Well, now’s your chance!
Maybe you’ve always wanted to learn how to play guitar. Even if you’re on a relatively tight budget, you should still be able to find a used guitar in your price range. You can also ask friends whether they could loan you one.
When single, you should have plenty of time to sit down and make a real effort to learn the instrument, either with the help of guided lessons or using the many resources the internet has to offer.
Your new hobby may become a new lifelong love in itself.
Free as a Bird
Another significant advantage of being single is that your free time is your own. Your schedule is not dictated by anyone but yourself.
You’re not restricted by anyone else’s preferences in the least, and that’s something to celebrate.
Enjoy your time alone, enjoy your life. Don’t wait until you’re in a relationship to do the things you want to do.
If you’ve been wanting to go to a museum in your city or take a day trip to a nearby tourist destination, go ahead and do it.
If you feel like dating around and getting to know people better, you can do just that. Many romantic relationships don’t allow for the same opportunity.
This tip is based on some advice that I received many years ago. It was in the wake of a bad breakup, and I was having a hard time finding any positive aspects to latch onto.
A good friend stepped in and made an important point: this was my chance to work on myself. If I entered a new relationship relatively quickly, I would have missed my chance to improve on a personal level.
While in relationships, many of us have the tendency to forget about ourselves to a certain extent, focusing instead on the other person, their needs and worries and wants.
Being single allows each of us an important chance to find the areas of our lives that we would like to improve. Then we can spend our time doing research on exactly how to improve.
As we mentioned before, if you’ve been single for a long time and have been making efforts to find a significant other, it can become incredibly depressing.
After all, finding someone you truly connect with can be a daunting task, especially in a time when internet dating services seem to hurt more than they help.
But finding someone you connect with and care about also doesn’t have to come about as the result of your efforts. It really can happen at any time.
And this is why it’s important to keep hope, especially when it seems like all is lost.
Revitalizing Your Social Life
If you’re tired of being single for so long, then it may be about time to revitalize your social life.
On one level, meeting new people can be a great way to find potential romantic partners. But having a healthy social life can also just be beneficial in a very general sense.
Filling your time with friends, especially friends who encourage you to do new and exciting things, will put you in a better mood and help you gain a more objective perspective of your current romantic situation.
For as nice as it is to have a loving relationship in your life, you’ll be fine without one. Always depend on yourself first and you’ll be prepared for a much more enjoyable relationship when one comes along.