This post has been inspired by a tweet that I saw, a while back – regarding single, childless women over 26 years of age (if you follow me on Twitter, you may have seen said tweet).
Now, I’m not here to name call or pick on anybody… that’s not who I am!
This post is about me – your modern day, single woman – and about how I have gotten myself to a point where I don’t beat up on myself, every day for not having two of the things that I really want in my life – a man and children. I really do want those things… but notice how I say “WANT” and not “NEED”.
I’m here to talk to you, today about how I got myself from NEEDING those things to WANTING those things… and being happy, either way!
When I was younger, I was in and out of relationships, jumping from one to another (without a second thought about my ex). I couldn’t stand the thought of being alone, and genuinely believed that I couldn’t possibly survive if I were single. I have since realised that this is a genuine thought among a lot of girls and women (and, possibly, even men… this post will work for you too, fellas!); and, it’s something that really needs to be worked on.
You are a wo(man)! You DO NOT EVER need a (wo)man to define who you are, or how you feel! You can make your own happiness, and a partner is just a bonus.
When I reached the age of 20, my boyfriend at the time broke up with me, telling me that he’d been cheating on me. At the time, I was devastated but I begged for him to come back, nonetheless. You see – our relationship was extremely unhealthy… I had no friends other than his, and never went out unless it was with him. He went out, every weekend – with the other lads, to strip clubs, all sorts of things. And, I lived my life like this for 2 years, thinking that I was happy and that I couldn’t live without him. But look at me now – living and all!
We have been broken up for almost 9 years, now, and other than 2 small relationships (one lasting 4 months, and another lasting 6 months) I have been single ever since. That’s a long time to be single, and I bet some of you are reading this while thinking – “Shit, how in the hell has she managed to be single for that long? I can’t spend 5 minutes with myself without going mad!”
Well, today, I will be giving you tips on how to spend time with yourself without going crazy!
One of the most important lessons that I have learned from being single for so long is this –
How can you expect someone to spend the rest of their life with you if you can’t stand to be in your own company?!
This is so bloody important! I know some friends who have been like I was when I was younger – jumping from relationship to relationship, and believing that they would literally die if they were single and alone for any longer than a week!
It’s important to remember – this line of thinking does not make you weak or pathetic… it is something that we all think, and because we grow up with parents and siblings, we are used to someone always being there. And, once we get into a relationship, it’s a similar thing.
Once my ex and I broke up and I finally came to my senses that he was no good for me, I made the decision to work on ME… work on myself, build my empire, work on spending more time with my friends and family, and just generally focus on myself. These are what I like to call “my selfish years”… and, you can do all of this without being a complete dick about it, as well!
I decided that I was going to get myself to a point where I could spend time with myself without being bored. And, this is something that I achieved, about 7 years ago. Granted, it was helped by the fact that I moved out of my parents’ house (along with my brother); and, my brother spent half the week at his girlfriend’s, so I didn’t really have much choice in the matter. But this is something that you can do at home, or at university, or wherever it is that you live.
Allow yourself a couple of nights, each week to be away from your phone and people… take a long bath, read a book, watch a film, or simply get an early night. It’s literally as simple as that!
You might be thinking – “Oh, that’s easy, I already do that… however, I still don’t like being on my own.” How many of you are on your phone in the bath, or interrupting your movie time by being on Twitter or WhatsApp with your mates?! You aren’t truly alone until you can kick these habits! Watching an entire movie without touching the phone… OMG; A WHOLE 2 HOURS WITHOUT LOOKING AT MY PHONE?! Yep! And, you’ll immediately feel the difference!
I have gotten myself to a point where I can go the whole weekend without seeing anyone (I will still text/tweet/Facebook post when totally necessary – mostly for my blog – but not much), and it doesn’t bother me in the slightest. In fact, sometimes my life can be so busy that I long for those weekends, just to have a bit of “me” time!
Once you have gotten yourself to this point, you could even push the boat out, and go for lunch on your own or go see a movie on your own. There is nothing wrong with doing any of this! So many times, I’ve been out shopping and I’ve been craving lunch… because of the person that I am, I’ve thought “sod it” and stopped at Frankie and Benny’s for my dinner (on my own). I also go to the movies, a lot while alone. I LOVE doing these things… such good thinking times and “me” times!
If you can get yourself to the point where you can easily spend time with yourself and not feel bored, you are in a very good place, mentally… the reason being that the next time that you get into a relationship, your happiness will grow, but if the relationship falls apart in 6 months or a year or 5 years, you’ll know that you were happy before him; so you can do it, again. This is one of the strongest positions that any person (not just a woman) can be in!
You don’t NEED that person to make you happy. He (or she) is a bonus, regarding your happiness. And, it’s so important to remember this because you can make yourself severely mentally ill if you don’t… I’ve seen it, first-hand (among friends) and it’s not nice; it’s awful to see, and I can only imagine how awful it is to experience it.
So, remember these things, and you’re well on your way to becoming a strong independent person who don’t need no (wo)man –
- Your happiness is not defined by another person.
- If you can’t enjoy spending time with yourself, how do you expect anyone else to do so?
- Take some time out for yourself – have a bath, watch a movie, read a book, listen to some music, get blind drunk (at home)!
- It is okay to not be okay at times!
- It is also okay to work on things, and to just spend some time with yourself to figure out what is causing you to feel not okay.
- You are important; you matter; you are a strong independent person… and you have been working on that, yourself!
It is okay to seek help or to go spend time with your friends, if you genuinely believe that “alone time” will not work for you (because that will not work for everyone). Above are what have worked for me, and I thought that I would share that with you, as I hate the thought of some of you being out there beating yourselves up because you have high expectations of where you should be in your life… but aren’t quite there, yet.
People’s lives move with different paces… When I was younger, I thought that I’d be married and be with my first child, at age 25. I’m 28, single, with no kids… it didn’t work out for me the way that I thought. However, I own my own home, I have a good career, and I’m happy… despite being single! So, I’d say that that’s a win for me!