Embracing Singleness, featured

How to be a Single, Whole Person

It’s Friday night. I’m newly single and have just recently moved into a lovely one bedroom apartment, all by myself. Everyone at work has some previous plan or other – although I didn’t want to hang with them anyway. Well, truthfully I would’ve liked some company, but nobody seemed interested. Sigh. So I call a cab and head home. And then it hits me – there’s no Friday night pan chicken and beer with him. No curling up on the couch and attempting to watch a movie online, albeit intermittently, because it pauses every few seconds to buffer. (I couldn’t understand why my neighbour didn’t upgrade his service so I could get a better signal). No packed movie theatre to go to with people shouting instructions to the screen, as if the actors can hear them. No dinner and drinks at a spot we are discovering together. No anyone. Just me. No anything. Just aloneness. This was my new reality – and it sucked. Big time.

Grieve

The fact is, I simply hadn’t learned how to be alone. I didn’t know how to enjoy my own company. With all the dating and coupling I had done through the years, I had spent no real time with me. After one relationship ended, I was on to the next, without taking time to heal. The grieving process for the dead relationship was a passenger in the honeymoon phase of the next. This meant that I was never alone. I didn’t know who I was if I wasn’t the girlfriend of so and so.

Find Yourself

The breakup to which I refer came after a long, long, long term relationship. And being alone after sharing over ten years of your life with someone burns very severely. It was truly one of the worst experiences I had had. Or so I thought. However, what this separation afforded me was the opportunity to get back together – with me. I learned how to be alone, how to do things by myself and for myself, and how to make decisions for me which I had always left up to someone else. I also discovered things about me that I didn’t know. You see, being coupled can cause you to lose your identity – there is so much ‘us’ and ‘we’ that you forget simple things, like the fact that  you prefer to eat your ice cream with a slice of white, hard dough bread, thank you very much. It’s almost as if you start morphing into your partner, and before you know it, you become an Arsenal football fan, leading you to need more therapy sessions than the broken relationship itself.

Spend Quality Time With Yourself

Thankfully, my Friday nights went from being Chinese food pity parties to quality time. I would spend time in my container garden, getting my hands dirty in the damp soil, while intermittently sipping on a glass of mascato and bobbing my head to whatever the background music I was in the mood for. On other nights, I would watch foreign movies, subtitles and all, or blast dance music and have a party with only one guest.

Do you feel like you are a single, whole person? Can you spend a Friday or Saturday evening with just you? Could you comfortably go out for a meal by yourself, or would you need someone else to accompany you?

Benefits of Being Single

Enjoy the benefits of being single. It’s a great opportunity to learn, discover, travel, make mistakes and learn from them, and to fix your brokenness before you invite someone else into your life. Being able to spend time alone with you is a blessing; one we don’t often realise until we are married. The fact is that being married or coupled doesn’t mean you will live a better life than you are currently living. Very often we look at our present state and think that we would be better off, or that things would be different if we were in a relationship. But a relationship comes with its own set of issues.

Remember, Adam was in the Garden of Eden minding his own business, well God’s business, and it was God who decided to provide him with a partner. So spend time tending to God’s business, which is your entire reason for being here to begin with.

How do you live your single life? Do you enjoy time alone, or would you rather have bad company?

Share your thoughts in the comments section. I look forward to hearing from you.

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