More that 45.2% of Americans are single, approximately 110 million. 1970 it was recorded 70% of Americans were married.
We've all been in that space, especially after a break up, where we find ourselves single and happy. We take time to get to know ourselves because of course we say "I don't even know myself anymore..." Life is full of adventure being single again, we star enjoying our freedom, checking things off bucket lists, going to the movies alone, brunching with our friends etc. It's all seemingly beautiful, fast forward 12 months. The picture looks a little different, slowly it morphs into a less colorful canvas, now fast forward another 12 months, and there lies the cynical you. The you that doesn't need anyone anymore. The you that's lost faith in love and relationships. The "been single too long" you.
When speaking with my clients, I always reassure them that being along is a positive journey, it's the perfect time to get back on their path, to enjoy themselves again, but there comes a point when I believe we/they become too comfortable being alone, and the reality is, it is our human nature that requires partnership and close relationships. In order to truly be our best selves, we do need intimate relationships, it's an integral part of our humanistic tendencies.
Ways to Know You've Been Single For Too Long
Your routine has become mundane.
Being single always starts out as a fun journey of self discovery, getting to know yourself and all the passions you have. You start to get into a groove of routine, you've got the workout down, the food down, work, and your social life... except it's always the same. You'll find yourself doing the same things, having the same conversations, and life can become dull after a while. This is because having some sort of healthy romantic relationship in your life offers a level of intimacy and gateway to another part of you, and who you are. Just like you have your work self, and your weekend self, you also have a romantic self, and just as all the other areas in your life need attention, so does your love self. Eventually all of the habits you pickup as a single person may begin to lack meaning and depth in your life. This is definitely a sign that you may be living the single life for more than it's welcome.
You've become cynical
Cynicism will become the virus that eats at your core, it's a terrible perspective to have in life and especially towards love. Every lid has a pot, an old saying my mother would say to me when I would become cynical about love and relationships. It may take a while for you to really and truly believe this, but you were not meant to be alone forever, and you won't. Being single is the perfect time to get yourself together, to pursue your goals, but to also know your needs and desires. It isn't the time to give up on relationships. If you've become cynical because of a past relationship, being single is the time to take inventory of why your past relationship didn't work, discover how you can make changes in the future, and start processing and healing, NOT continuing to feel the same emotions and sinking into that negative space. Not only is becoming cynical detrimental to you and your growth, but also isn't going to put you in a position to be open to new things and new experiences. If you're in the cynical space already, it's time to re-evaluate why you are single, and if you're truly happy being single.
You've created a laundry list of deal breakers
As discussed above, the single life is the time for analyzing your choices and your past, your failures and successes, everything. It's the time to get to know what you need in a partner, and simplify your prospects by knowing what red flags are for you. You may have children, so perhaps someone who says they don't want kids, would be a red flag. This makes sense, it isn't asking too much, it's making smart choices. However, making a list that consists of deal breakers like "lives off the 101" or "wears wide leg jeans" or "makes corny jokes" is taking it way too far. Become overly picky and spending too much time developing this list will most certainly leave you swimming in a pool of 2 fish, both being your 2 guy friends. If you've created a list with petty deal breakers on it, you've definitely been single for way too long.
So, you finally decide to get back out there, everything is going well, you're on a the first couple of dates and it all looks promising, until your cynicism kicks in. It tells you to be careful, not to trust it, to doubt everything, and so you begin to react to that. You push your date away, leave them thinking you're undoubtedly crazy, and give them an unfair judgement of not only themselves but of you too. This is text book self-sabotage. I was guilty of this every time, just waiting for the other shoe to drop and if it didn't I would create a situation to see what my new guy would do, but I didn't realize I was creating drama and turning him off. I did all this to avoid being hurt, avoid having to get any deeper in my emotions, and essentially avoid being in a happy relationship. Being single is great, until you become so good at it, that you subconsciously begin to ruin any sign of something good, this is when you've spent a little too much time alone that you lose all idea of how to let someone in.
You're starting to feel it
Lastly, you just know it's been way too long. Humans need interaction on so many different levels, but intimacy is one of them. After a period of time, you'll yearn for love and a relationship, you'll start to feel lonely. Not just single. This is when your heart, spirit, and soul are talking to you; listen to your inner self. The time that you have spent being single is for just that, listening to your inner voice. You cannot be scared or tormented by the past, you cannot let your bitterness take over your joy, and you cannot stop love from finding you. It will, and it will find you best, when you're open, you're ready, and you're happy.
Just like infants who receive that nurturing loving beginning, turn out to be more wholesome children and then stronger citizens, so do we need that as adults in order to push us to the next level of our needs.
With abundant love,