I am not really the typical "single girl". I've been married before so I have been there, done that so to speak. I am not waiting on the one, I have simply witnessed the one walking straight out of my life and not looking back. It's a different type of loneliness. There's not the hope that someday I will find someone. I am living with the fact that I found someone, and as quickly as he was placed in my life, he was ripped out. My hope is in redemption. I want the chance to say I have lived and learned and I know better for next time. I know what red flags to look for and I know that I want in a man and in a relationship.
As I have been contemplating my unique singleness, I have reflected on the mistakes I've made so far, and I am sure other single ladies out there have to. I wanted to put together a compilation of these mistakes to save past, current, and future single girls the trouble. Oh, and judge as you will. At least I am being honest.
01. Rehashing what went wrong. Oh, guilty. The truth is, there are some relationships that end for no one reason. There may have been underlying issues all along that you both didn't see. Going through it all over and over in your head is not only counter productive, but it can be destructive. Allow yourself time to process, grieve the relationship, and heal, but once there's been adequate time let it go. Don't spend weeks or months obsessing over what you could have done differently. Learn from it and move on.
02. Contacting your ex. So, it's been three months and the curious bug has bit you square on the butt. Rather than feeding your curiosity and contacting your ex to see what's up, go for a walk instead. After my divorce I made the mistake of contacting my ex one too many times. I wasn't ready to let go yet, and I wanted to make sure that he wasn't the one thing I didn't want him to be - happy. If you find yourself in this position, do something else. Call your mom, best friend, go window shopping, throw your phone in the toilet (okay don't do that). Do anything but call your ex. You'll end up in tears eating way too much gelato in the end.
03. Rebound. Rebound. Rebound. I am a big fan of the show "Girl Code" on MTV. I think it's hilarious, but definitely flawed in their way of thinking. The way to get over an ex is not to "get under someone else". I don't think a rebound date, boyfriend, or sex partner will heal your wounds. Take this time to appreciate being single. One of my favorite parts of being "re-single" is being able to do what I want. That doesn't mean I have aspirations to go to law school and be a lawyer, or hike a nearby mountain. Let's come back down to earth for a minute. What I mean is, do what you want. Lounge in your apartment naked all day. Eat eggs for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Watch the same movie over and over. Buy the food you want in the grocery store no matter how many weird looks you get. I tend to buy food you'd find at a six year old's birthday party. It's your time to do what you want and I think you should focus on that for a bit. No harm in being a little selfish.
04. Be afraid to try new things. I am a big fan of routine, but that can easily turn into a rut. For my goals this year I want to live fearlessly. That can mean cooking a new recipe, meeting new people, or learning a new skill. I have voted for all of the above. If you're afraid to step out of your comfort zone, you'll lose the ability to try. I think confidence (true confidence) comes from overcoming fear and putting yourself out there. I think single girls everywhere should tackle what they're afraid of one thing at a time. Start out simple and work your way up. I promise, you won't regret it.
05. Think you'll be complete when "he" comes into your life. You don't need a man in your life to be complete. Focus on the relationships with others you already have. I made it a point to dive into family after my divorce. I was having a hard time, and they were the only ones I knew I could count on. They cried with me, got angry with me, made jokes to make me laugh, prayed with me, and comforted me. They always tell me that I will be a great wife and mother someday, and I know they mean it. Focus on the ones in your life that love and support you like that. You may find yourself wanting a relationship less and less. You will know when the time is right to find Mr. Right. For now, enjoy life with friends and family.
06. Getting caught up in what your friends are doing. Is it just me or do all of your friends get engaged, married, and pregnant after you become single? Oh good, it's not just me. After my divorce about 8 people I knew announced they were pregnant. I was devastated. Not because they were pregnant, but because I wasn't. I knew that it could be years before I am with someone and experiencing the joy of motherhood. I grieved for a couple of months over what I would never have with my ex. It was hard. The truth is, people will be getting engaged, married, and pregnant no matter what your relationship status is. My advice would be to embrace the joy and know that you will someday have your chance. It will come when you least expect it, so for now feel how you feel, but also enjoy the special moments of matrimonial and motherhood bliss with your friends and family.
07. Thinking this will last forever. The truth is, you won't be single forever (unless you want to be). I would get upset mostly at night time and think that this pain will last forever. It didn't and it hasn't. I have my days, but I honestly know deep down that I will find love again. I have so much to offer and I know that someday someone will see that. If you have these moments when you feel like being single will last forever, just remember that at one point in time you were single before. You lived and loved your life, and that was enough. Get back to that point. I know it hurts, it's lonely, and it sucks sometimes, but not always. As they say, "nothing lasts forever". That applies to being single as well.
I hope someone finds the above helpful. I have lived through this journey for the past 8 months and I have to say that it has gotten easier. I think if we all sit and think about it, we have a lot of good in our lives and a lot to be thankful for. I think being single is more than just catching the bouquet at weddings, it's about embracing your beauty during a time of pain and loneliness. Being single doesn't have to be endured, it can be enjoyed too.
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