The holidays are here, and because all of my friends have coupled off into serious relationships over the past year, I'm becoming painfully aware of my single status. I'm ready to find The One, but I keep hitting dead ends. Is something wrong with me?
Natalie Ruge, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist
The holidays can be a painful, lonely time when you are single. This season take the pressure off yourself and focus your energy on enjoying your friends and family. You can start your "single no more" game plan in the new year — a plan that starts with reflection and self-inventory. Think about these questions: Do I like myself? The way I feel, the way I look, the way I think and behave? Am I taking care of myself (health, nutrition, down-time)? What am I doing with my free time? What am I bringing to a relationship, emotionally, financially, physically, and spiritually? Am I satisfied with my career? If you're having difficulty evaluating yourself ask someone you trust for input. Spending time with yourself — being present with who you are and what you want in life — is a key precursor to finding a healthy relationship. You need to love yourself before you set out to find someone to love and who loves you back.
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Once you've answered some of these questions, formulate a few goals that are specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely, to help you become your best self. Next, take action, no excuses! Taking action may come in many forms: Don't limit yourself to cliches like weight loss or giving up a vice like wine or weekly manicures. Think self-growth. Think long term fulfillment, like a workshop on self-publishing, learning a new language, going to therapy to work on issues, volunteering in an area in which you are passionate. Think about meeting new people and new opportunities. As you make progress on your goals, you will feel more confident and empowered — and that's attractive! Taking initiative to create a full life for yourself, rather than waiting for it to happen to you, is key. This holiday, focus on enjoying yourself and appreciating what you do have as a single person. Take confidence knowing you will create a game plan in the New Year that will lead to a more satisfying life — whether you meet that special someone or not.
First of all, even though we can all understand feeling that way from time to time, there is Nothing. Wrong. With. You. So often we fall into the trap of measuring our self-worth by comparing ourselves to others — it’s just too tempting. Sometimes, a little comparison can actually be useful to help fuel us toward what we want. It can even open our eyes to what we are worthy of and inspire us to find a way to go and get it. However, when it comes to relationship status, we need to be careful that we don’t use it to measure our self-worth and lovability. We often feel that we need a partner to validate these things — but we don’t!
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It can be a real challenge being single in a whole room full of couples who seem to have what you think you’re missing. But, don’t forget that the grass is always greener. While you may be looking at your best friend who is married with kids in a nice house and wishing you had her life, she may very well be looking at you and longing for your freedom and independence that your single status grants you. During this season of reflection and giving thanks, don't fall into the trap of focusing on what we don’t have, and instead, look inward at what you are grateful for. Enjoy your single status while you have it, go hottie-hunting at every holiday party you’re invited to, and trust me, the right guy will take notice. Best of luck!