Being single and not wanting to be single can be a frustrating and lonely experience. Being single and being a parent is very challenging. Now mix the two. Being single and a parent who doesn’t want to be single takes to another level of challenging. I was divorced and had custodial custody of my son for a number of years. Just like many seasons in life, I wish I could have done some things differently as a single person. In retrospect, it is all about the perspective and approach you take towards life as a single parent. Be honest with yourself. Where is your heart and head? Getting a few things figured out will help you become a healthy individual which will help your children in their development as well.
Learning Contentment vs. The Pursuit of Happiness. It’s not about making yourself happy. “Wait, I can’t be happy?” Of course you can. Learning to be content with your current marital status is the key. Take the saying, “I’m happily married” and apply it to your situation, “I’m happily single.” If you want to married, don’t rush to get to that marital status. Maximize your opportunities while you are still single. Going on trips, pursuing a hobby, taking an online class, starting a business while making friendships are some of the things you can do now that take on different dynamics when you are married. What can you do while you are single?
Being Alone vs. Being Lonely. I remember being in a house party during the holidays almost 2 decades ago. The house was full of people, yet I felt lonely. I looked at my couples-friends. There were about 6 married couples that I can remember. I focused on what they had and what I didn’t have. I didn’t have a spouse. I didn’t have a mate. It is all about how you see things. Is it not? I should have jumped in a time machine and traveled to 2016 and saw that out of the 6 married couples only 3 of the couples were still married. Learn to appreciate the value of being alone. Albert Einstein said, “I live in that solitude which is painful at youth, but delicious in the years of maturity.”
RomCom vs. Reality. It is not a good idea to base your life on the romantic movies we all know and love. The lonely protagonist in the movie overcomes her lonely state with an amazing and tear-jerking good ending, but it is how she got to the good ending that is not realistic. We set ourselves up when we then think we are the exception to the rule of building healthy relationships just like our romcom actor. It only took her 90 minutes to attain the love-life of love-lives! Let’s be real here. Many of the leading ladies and men of these romantic movies we watch have horrible relationships. That’s not the standard you want to set up in your life. Focus on being healthy instead of being happy.
If you are a single mother or father, one of the greatest things you can provide your child is stability. You are their rock. The last thing they need to see is their parent going from one relationship to another. Is that an easy thing to do? Many times, no. Is it the best thing to do. Yes, it is. Maximize this season of being single to focus on yourself. Nobody wants your emotional baggage. You don’t want your baggage. When you are a healthy individual without the baggage, then you won’t settle to be in a relationship with someone who has baggage. Maximize this season of singleness to focus on your children. You are setting them up for success. You want them to be emotionally healthy as well. If you are choosing to re-marry, then the dynamics change to a step-family and mixed-family situation. If you and your children are not healthy, then what? Getting married doesn’t heal broken individuals.
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