How to Start Making Peace with Singleness


The First Step in Creating a One-Derful Life

By Mary R. Dittman, M.B.A.

I used to feel that my singleness was something that was happening TO me.  Because I disliked being single, it felt like bad luck, or bad karma, or some kind of punishment.

I blamed many things in turn: my parents, my ex-boyfriends, lack of quality men, myself, the Universe.

I spent years trying to figure out what was wrong with me.  Why couldn’t I find a husband?  I only wanted what most women want: a loving marriage and a family of my own.  I didn’t have unrealistically high standards.  (Okay - I had pitifully low standards, but more on that another time.)

With every failed relationship I felt more and more like a victim of some cosmic prank.

I think we can all look at something in our past that messed us up.  Perhaps it was a person or situation from our childhood.  Maybe it was in our formative adolescent years.  Possibly even in adulthood.

One of the most powerful steps I took in making peace with being single was taking responsibility for how I got where I was.  I realized I had some core beliefs that were keeping me stuck.

I’m single because there’s something wrong with me.

I could fill an entire library on this point, so I’m just going to touch on some of the highlights here.  I saw my singleness as evidence that I wasn’t “marriage material.”  The harder I worked to be “good enough,” the worse it seemed.  I was constantly trying to look better, be better, do better. 

That struggle is incredibly off-putting to men, unfortunately, because it comes across as uptight, rigid, and hard.  I’ve never read a survey, article, or social media post that says men (or anyone!) are looking for women who are uptight, rigid, and hard.  Men want relaxed, accepting, and soft. 

My inability to relax and accept life on life’s terms was like an invisible wall keeping good men away.

Whoever shows up is The One.

I spent years being very confused about acceptance.  I thought if a decent guy liked me, I needed to reciprocate.  Maybe he wasn’t what I was looking for, or I didn’t feel any chemistry, but maybe that was God trying to teach me to accept people how they are and not be so rigid in my expectations? 

This was faulty because acceptance and settling are not synonyms. I wasn’t accepting; I was settling.  Just because a stray cat crosses your path, it doesn’t mean you should take it home.

Make this work because there may not be another one.

This is fear-based, scarcity thinking at its finest.  I would be so intent on making the relationship work that I would stop being myself, and would focus on being whatever I thought it would take to keep things alive.  More than once, a man ended the relationship with me stating that either I had changed, or I wasn’t who he thought I was.  That was valid: even my friends told me they didn’t recognized the version of myself I would morph into when I was dating someone.

Realizing I had some core beliefs that were keeping me single was my first step. I’d like to say that I identified them, changed, and found my Mr. Right.  That hasn’t happened. 

I identified my core beliefs, have been working on changing them, and have learned to make peace with being single.

That’s what I call the One-Derful Life: making peace with being single even when you don’t want to be single.  It’s not about resigning yourself to a life alone, it’s about creating a life you love - even if you never have the relationship you long for.

If you're struggling with a broken heart, check out the ABC's of Healing - it will help you soothe the heartache so you can move on.

Question: Do you have any core beliefs that are keeping you single?

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