Have you ever felt like married people or those who are in relationships have some secret formula that you’ve missed out on because you’re single?
Do you sometimes feel like these friends are more fully developed than you? That they feel more complete or whole? That they have figured out something you haven’t yet?
Well, here’s the thing. Being single and being in a relationship or married are merely situations. That’s it.
That said, when you’ve been single long enough, and especially when it is something you feel insecure about, that sense of isolation and insecurity becomes to feel like a part of your identity.
But ultimately, being single is not some set-in-stone, definitive part of your identity. Your married friends are no more spiritually enlightened than you, nor have they been given some “gift” from the universe that you’ve been deprived of.
Here are a few reminders to keep in mind when you’re getting down about your singledom:
1. Someone married could be feeling just as alone as you do.
I remember days when my husband Hemal and I first married, and I felt so alone. I couldn’t understand why he didn’t get me, why we were fighting, why we couldn’t communicate with one another, and why I wasn’t happy.
I thought that getting married meant my whole life would fall into place. Somehow, I equated the idea of a lifetime partnership with lifetime stability and happiness. But that expectation probably fueled my unhappiness. I would often find myself thinking, Would life be better if I just went back to being single?
It sounds obvious, but it’s important to remember that there is so much under the surface of a relationship that we can’t see. Including loneliness.
2. Being in a relationship doesn’t mean you don’t have a lot to figure out.
In fact, people in relationships or marriages have just as much (if not more, sometimes) to figure out as you. As I mentioned, one of the biggest assumptions I made about relationships is that longtime commitment to another person necessarily means living happily ever after.
The reality of all relationships is that anyone you will ever be with is going to bring things up for you. That person is a mirror for what’s going on in your life and mind and heart. That is why I call Hemal, my husband, my guru. He is there to show me all the ways I need to grow and evolve as a human, which means facing all of my sh*t and learning how to be a better, more compassionate, loving human. I am also serving that role for him.
So when you see a married person, you feel like they have it all together, everything is perfect and they have it all figured out. But you’re moving through challenges in your life just like the married person is moving through challenges. We give them a sense of “power” in our minds because their situation is one we may covet. But really, the only difference is they’re married.
Like you, there are days they don’t feel lovable. Like you, they are trying to understand why they aren’t understood. Like you, they are yearning to be accepted for everything they are. It is just that your journey for right now is working through that being single, and theirs is working through that in a relationship.
3. There is always more to the story than you can see.
Sometimes, when you’re in a couple, you feel pressure to present yourselves as if everything is great. It is really only your closest and dearest friends that open up to you and tell you that it can be hard being married.
When you see happy images of couples on Facebook and pictures of your friends’ children and it looks like a perfect family picture, just know there is way more to the story. You never know where these people are in their relationship. Maybe you caught your girlfriend on a good day when she and her husband are really getting along.
But maybe you’re sitting here thinking, “I see them together all the time. I know They really are happy. They have the most ridiculously great relationship I’ve ever seen.”
Well then great! Now you can view their relationship as an example to see that what you’re looking for actually IS out there. It DOES exist. If it feels good to you, try spending more time around the people who have a relationship you never thought was possible. You, too, can manifest that kind of connection. You can believe it exists, and cultivate a sense of security and happiness in your single life in the meantime.
The next time you come across a married person who makes you feel “less than” because you feel like they have something you don’t, remember that there are a lot of unexplained reasons that two people come together and a lot of possibilities going on under the surface. By the same token, it’s possible to be single and satisfied with your life.
Based on these three perspective shifts I shared, how does that change how you see yourself and being single or what does it bring up for you? Tell me in the comments below, I’d really love to hear from you.