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

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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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3 Reasons Why It's OK to Not Be OK With Being Single

 

It's Good To Want A Relationship

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

 

Shouldn’t I Be OK With Being Single?

Our society tells us that men and women are interchangeable.  I actually saw an article that explicitly said that.  Women don’t need men, it said.  

So, if you feel like you need a relationship, there must be something wrong with you. 

You’re weak. 

You’re falling for the Hollywood fairytale that you need Prince Charming to come save you, right?

I always felt like such a phony when I would tell people, “I don’t need a man!” 

In my heart, I felt like I did need a man and a relationship. 

All of my self-help books (and Oprah) told me I was a complete person, but I felt like something big was missing. 

But I didn’t want to tell anyone that, because it sounded so anti-feminist. 

How could a successful career woman want a husband that would care for her and a family to dote on? 

...

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Don’t Be Mean

 

 

The Only Thing Worse than a Mean Girl is a Mean Woman

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

 

I was a nerd in junior high and high school.  As such, I was regularly teased and made fun of by the popular girls.

Even today, I tend to misunderstand when people are insulting me because I err on the side of giving the benefit of the doubt to others.  I don’t assume that sideways comment was shady until someone else points it out.  Maybe ignorance really is bliss, though!

Meanness seems to be more acceptable today.  Politicians, celebrities, reality stars, and social media trolls don’t seem to be bothered by their own mean behavior.  The anonymity of the internet makes it possible to leave hateful comments without having to take responsibility for the harm they inflict.

Even if someone does call out a celebrity on an inappropriate comment, the response is normally to delete the post and issue an apology, but if you’ve ever been hurt...

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One Foot in Hope, the Other in Despair

 

 The Ambiguous Loss of Singleness

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!

For singles who...

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7 Action Items You Need If You've Been Dumped - Part 2

 

How to Recover Your Confidence and Self-Respect

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

Click here to read Part 1.

The only thing worse than the pain of rejection is looking back on the rejection and realizing you torpedoed your self-esteem, dignity, and any chance you had at making him realize you are a high-value woman.  

If you adopt these strategies, you will increase your confidence, your self-respect, and your value in your own eyes (and therefore everyone else’s).

If you're in need of emotional first aid, look at this.

Given that you’re hurting, you MUST follow this plan.  You won’t FEEL like it, but trust me - you’ll be glad you did.

Cut off communication.  He’s probably used to you being at his beck and call. He also thinks that if he graces you with a phone call, a social media post, or a text, you’ll immediately answer. 

But think about it: if you got fired from your job, would you continue to spend money at the place you used to...

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7 Action Items You Need If You've Been Dumped - Part 1

 

How to Recover Your Confidence and Self-Respect

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

I was deeply in love with David.  A mutual friend had set us up, and though we’d only dated for 4 months, he had flown me to his hometown to meet his parents, had declared his love for me, and had swept me off my feet.  Still, I developed a nagging feeling that something wasn’t right.

One Friday evening, I planned to go to his house where I would spend the weekend - that was our typical routine.  We would go to dinner and then enjoy the weekend together.  He asked me to eat a snack before I came over because he wanted to talk to me.  Uh oh - the dreaded “We need to talk.”  And, eat a snack?

I still packed my weekend bag and made sure I looked cute.  He sat me down on the couch, and our conversation went like this:

David:  How do you feel about me?

Me:  I’m totally in love with you.

David:  I feel the same way - I love you.

(At...

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Dealing With Disappointment

 

 

What To Do When Things Don’t Go Your Way

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

 

Part of life is dealing with the disappointment we feel when things don’t go our way.

Maybe the promotion we’d hoped for went to someone else.  Or we never heard back from that cute guy after 3 dates.  Or you made an offer on a house and it was rejected.

Even though we know things aren’t always going to turn out how we want them to, sometimes disappointment is harder to get over than we expect.  We hash and rehash it over in our minds, hoping to figure out where things went “wrong.”  

If you’ve ever had disappointment grow and take on a life of its own, you understand how important it is to keep your perspective so that you don’t slide down into an emotional pit of despair.

Here are some ways to keep the disappointment contained so that you can move on:

1. “This is what is supposed to be happening.”

Marie Forleo suggests...

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Are You Being Masculine?

 

 If You’re a Successful Woman, YouMay 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...

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Being Single Makes You Complete - Part 2

 

The One Thing I Hated in Life is the Only Thing That Could Bring Me Happiness

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

 

In Part 1, we looked at how singleness was the only way I could have what I truly craved: a sense of wholeness and completion.

In his book, The Obstacle is the Way, Ryan Holiday uses the Roman philosophy of stoicism to teach the idea that the problem is actually the solution.  In Meditations, Marcus Aurelius (a noted stoic) writes, “The impediment to action advances action.  What stands in the way becomes the way.”

Let’s say you’re unemployed and can’t find a job.  Your lack of income forces you to get creative, so you bake some of your grandmother’s chocolate cupcakes and sell them for $1 each.  The cupcakes are such a hit, you take the money and buy more ingredients for more cupcakes.  The more you sell, the more the word spreads about your amazing cupcakes.  Before long, you have enough business to open...

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