The Ambiguous Loss of Being Single

 

One Foot In Hope, The Other in Despair

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

 

Recently, my dad shared an article with me from Pepperdine Magazine - the alumni publication from Pepperdine University.

In the article, Kelly Haer, a licensed marriage and family therapist and director of the Relationship IQ program at the Pepperdine Boone Center for the Family, proposes that one of the difficulties singles face is the ambiguous loss that comes from grieving the spouse they don’t have while still hoping they will marry.

Grief and loss are more clearly understood if your married and your partner dies or leaves.  But, the complex grief singles experience that comes from not having found the relationship they desire or the fear that it will never happen.

The article states that for Christians, relying on God’s faithfulness eases the pain, but my experience has been that believing God is “keeping me single for a greater purpose” is far from comforting!

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How to Move Past Anxiety

 

Yes, It’s Possible!

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

 

Covid-19 has created a surge in adults (and children!) who are suffering with anxiety and depression.  The isolation that has resulted from shutdowns and social distancing has added to those feelings, and has amplified feelings of loneliness, which exacerbates anxiety.

If you’re single, you may be frustrated because it seems even harder to meet a new love interest. Plus, you may be cut off from family and friends. This leaves you “alone in your head without adult supervision.”

I’m an introvert, and I was fine for about the first 2 months of the pandemic.  Then the loneliness and isolation from my family set in.  In addition, I found myself dealing with a health issue that created the physical symptoms of anxiety, such as a racing heart rate.  

Through this experience, I have learned some useful and effective ways to deal with anxiety, and I believe they will help you, too.

Tell...

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How to Be Feminine

 

But This Only Matters If You Want a Man!

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

 

A friend of mine in one of my online dating groups was lamenting her poor luck with online dating.  She is 55 and hasn’t been asked out on any dates at all.

After looking at her profile photo, a few of us commented that her short, grey hair, glasses, and no makeup is probably keeping her dateless.  Her response to this was that she probably just needed to give up on love and get used to being alone.

Hold it!

Whether or not we like this, it is a biological fact (and a truth of evolutionary psychology) that men value youth and beauty.  It has to do with a man’s DNA knowing that a young, attractive woman has a better chance of having many healthy children.  Even men who have had vasectomies value youth and beauty.  Even gay men value youth and “beauty”in other men.

In the same way that women are programmed to value resources and provision in a man, men value youth...

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Successful Women Beware!

 

If You’re a Successful Woman, You May Be More Masculine Than You Think

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

 

Most of the women I know want an alpha male.  Sadly, if you’re a successful, single woman, much of your success is probably due to you being an alpha female at work.

This is why Dr. Pat Allen says, “You can’t get laid and paid.”  Meaning, the skills that get you paid are the same skills that WON’T net you a relationship.

Dr. Allen says you can’t have two feminine energies in a relationship, and you cannot have two masculine energies.  This isn’t about gender.  If you have an alpha female, a beta male is the counterpart.  For an alpha male, a beta female is the best match.

Almost all of us are in our masculine energy at work.  How can you tell?  Masculine energy is giving, driving, accomplishing.  Feminine energy is receptive, creative, and open.  Masculine is doing; feminine is being.

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Advice You Can Always Trust

Uncategorized
 

Trust Your Gut - It’s ALWAYS Right

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

 

In the TV show, “Scandal,” Olivia Pope used to brag that she trusted her gut because it was never wrong.

The good news is, gut accuracy isn’t a trait reserved for fictional heroines or “lucky” women.

We ALL have intuition that exists to serve us - men have it, but women are able to access our intuition more quickly.  Our problem is that we will frequently talk ourselves out of listening because sometimes our gut’s direction doesn’t make logical sense, or we feel “mean” about following it.

There’s a line in Girl With the Dragon Tattoo that goes something like, “People are more worried about offending someone else than they are about their own safety.”  The consequences of that can be deadly, and not just in the movies.

Whenever I have ignored my gut, I regretted it.  Every.  Single.  Time.  At work,...

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Let Him Win!

 

You're the Prize -  Start Acting Like It!

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

 

I recently heard Steve Harvey tell a woman, “Quit acting like he’s the prize!  YOU’RE the prize!”

She was trying to figure out how to get this man to want her, and Steve said, “Ladies - y’all need to quit acting like men are the prize.  YOU are the prize!”

That really hit me.

In this demographic, there are more single, professional women than single, professional men. 

Women all over the country complain about the dearth of good men. In this setting, it’s easy for women to get into the mindset that we need to “find a good man.”  We say our girlfriend is “lucky she found such a great guy.” 

We’re willing to negotiate and settle for less than we truly want because we’re afraid something better may never come along.

We put up with men who are disrespectful; men who won’t commit; men who...

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You May Be Giving Too Much

 

Learn to Receive!

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

One of the mistakes I’ve made in past dating relationships has been giving too much. 

Marianne Williamson says, quoting A Course in Miracles, “Only what you are not giving can be lacking in any situation.”

I took that to mean that if I wanted a man to compliment me, I should compliment him.  If I wanted a man to be generous with me, I should be generous with him.  If I wanted a man to feel cared for, I should do things for him to make his life easier.

This was a complete misunderstanding of what Ms. Williamson was saying.

While it’s true that women are nurturers, in a male-female relationship, it’s the man who gives.  Think about sex: the man “gives,” and the woman “receives.”

The same is true outside the bedroom.

When women initiate the giving, or give more than the man gives, that is masculine behavior. 

Dr. Pat Allen says you can’t have 2 feminine...

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What to Do When You're Feeling Sad About Being Single

 

You're Not Alone!

By Mary R. Dittman, M.B.A. 

I am in several Facebook groups for single women.  This morning, I read a post from a young woman who is struggling with singleness.  She’s tired of going everywhere alone.  It seems like all of her friends and family members are coupled.  She dreads the questions from her mother about when she’s going to find someone and settle down.

I think most of us can relate to how she’s feeling.

Even those of us who have been single for a long time and who have made peace with it still struggle with feelings of sadness.

I spent a lot of years feeling sad, left out, and left behind.  Even though 95% of the time NOW I am at peace with singleness, I still have hours (and days) where I feel sad because I would prefer to be married and have a family.  I feel lonely, and I grow weary of so much time by myself.

People who don’t know me sometimes have the impression...

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The Destructive Thoughts that Kept Me Single for Years

 

And What I Believe Now that Has Brought Me Peace

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

I used to believe that my singleness was beyond my control.  Perhaps I was “meant” to be single for some cosmic reason.  Or, there was just something wrong with me that I couldn’t identify (and couldn’t fix).  Maybe I just had bad luck.

 Today, I believe my singleness is an outcome of my own beliefs and behaviors.  Because I had beliefs about being single that didn’t serve me, I behaved in ways that were guaranteed to keep me single (even though I didn’t recognize that at the time). 

A Course in Miracles says that, “The ego’s dictate in love is to be always seeking, but never finding.”  That phrase really resonated with me.

 I’m well over 40, and one of the perspectives age brings is the ability to look back and see how our behavior has created consequences that we didn’t anticipate. 

I wasted...

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3 Ways to Kill the Belief that You're Single Because God is Mad at You

Uncategorized
 

Your Singleness ISN'T Divine Punishment!

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

I used to believe God was punishing me with singleness.  Or, at least, that I just hadn’t gotten good enough to “earn” a man.

If you grew up in church, you’ve probably heard of Psalm 37:4 - “Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.”

I took this to mean that if I didn’t have the desire of my heart (i.e., marriage and family), I must not be pleasing God. 

When you think God is mad at you, you’ll start jumping through hoops to be good enough.  And the major problem with this is that when you think God is mad at you, you cannot have peace.

I read one story about King David (who wrote Psalm 37) .  His heart’s desire was to build a new temple for God. 

But, God told David that He would not accept a temple built by David because there was too much blood on David’s hands. 

Unable to build a temple to...

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