Harville Hendrix, Ph.D. says it best in his book “Keeping the Love You Find”: “Singleness would be recognized as a vital stage of the journey to maturation, a time to learn about who we are, to learn responsibility and self-sufficiency, to identify our true desires, and to confront our inner strengths and demons, a time to make changes in the things that stymie our pleasure and progress in life, to learn how to connect and communicate on all levels. It would be sorely needed relationship training.” (1)
Action Steps for Navigating Your Single Life
The following are some practical tips and suggestions for managing your single hood to promote a positive acceptance and enjoyment of this special time in your life:
Create a checklist of the opportunities that being single affords you and start living them!
Start a journal about your single-status and what it means to you. Answer the following questions:
Why am I single? How do I feel about that?
What do I want from being single?
What thoughts, feelings, and behaviors hold me back from being able to embrace this time of my life?
How do I contribute to my own unfulfillment with being single? How do I sabotage myself?
Don’t deny your feelings or ignore your desire for a relationship. Process these feelings in your journal and write about ways you can create more meaning and purpose in your life.
Identify the biggest challenges you face with being single and develop goals to defeat them.
Develop affirmation cards. Grab some index cards and write positive thoughts, motivational statements, advantages and opportunities of being single, and self-improvement goals onto the cards. Read them to yourself daily to begin internalizing the messages. Alternatively, stick the cards in a jar and during times of loneliness or depressive funks, refer to the cards for a quick pick-me-up.
Identify things you’ve always been meaning to do or try but never made the time to pursue or learn. Take action.
Build your support system, join a class, volunteer for a cause that’s meaningful to you, commit yourself to health and wellness
As you can see, being single provides you with many opportunities for self-growth, fun, and preparing yourself for your life partner when you eventually meet him. Take advantage of this crucial time in your life to accomplish your life goals, improve your self-esteem, work through any internalized homophobia you may be struggling with, and build your interpersonal skills.
It’s important to avoid glamorizing relationships because “the grass is not always greener on the other side” and to realize that having a boyfriend does not take away problems that you may already have in your life.
Appreciate this time of your life and don’t measure your happiness or worth as a person on your relationship status.
The Law of Attraction states that we attract situations, people, and experiences in our lives that reflect who we are and what we focus on.
Negativity about being single will only mirror, magnify, and attract more negativity. Counter this by taking charge of your single life and crafting it into being the most meaningful and fulfilling time of your life with its alignment to your life vision and purpose. Cheers to your becoming a successful single!
(1) Hendrix, H. (1992). Keeping the Love You Find. New York: Pocket Books/Simon & Schuster, Inc.
© Dr. Brian Rzepczynski, The Gay Love Coach
The suggestions and feedback offered in this column are but one perspective of multiple approaches to dealing with problems or challenges. Information provided in articles and advice columns should not be used as a substitute for coaching or therapy when these services are needed. None of this information should be your only source when making important life decisions. This information should not be used for diagnosing or treating a particular problem, nor should it take the place of a consultation with a trained professional. It is your responsibility to consult a professional prior to making any life decisions.
Dr. Brian Rzepczynski, contributing author to GAYTWOGETHER, is one of the leading love coaches for the gay community. As a licensed dating and relationship coach, Dr. Brian Rzepczynski, DHS, MSW has over 18 years experience as a psychotherapist and life coach specializing in helping GLBT individuals and couples develop and maintain successful and fulfilling intimate relationships. He holds a doctorate degree in human sexuality from the Institute for Advanced Study of Human Sexuality and a master’s degree in clinical social work from Western Michigan University. He also runs a successful private therapy practice, Personal Victory Counseling, Inc. http://thegaylovecoach.com