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Single in a Couple's World
by Thelma Mariano

 

I live in Montreal, where 37% of the households are single-person.

Similar statistics apply to the population of most North American cities & if we add single parents, the number is even greater.

Whether we choose to be single or it has chosen us, we need to stop living our lives on hold.

Let’s explore the benefits of being single & get the most we can from this lifestyle!

Advertising for St. Valentine’s Day seemed more relentless than ever this year.

sad_valentine

Everywhere I turned, I saw candy hearts or jewelry glistening in store displays.

Radio announcers drummed the message home through constant promotions of dinner for two. There was no one “special” in my life.

I had been working hard on my home-based business, running two personal development programs & then writing well into the night, week after week, to expand my website content.

I wanted – & felt I deserved – a little appreciation.

So for the first time I did the unthinkable. At a flower shop, I ordered an exquisite arrangement of orchids & lilies for myself.

I also purchased a box of chocolates to share with friends. The flowers still brighten my kitchen table & lift my spirits.

The media tries to convince us that being part of a couple is the ideal. If that were true, why do half of all marriages, particularly in the West, end in divorce?

Why do so many relationships stagnate & prevent us from being ourselves, from growing?

Many people stay together because they fear growing old alone. I admit that I have been there, too - unhappy in my marriage but afraid to leave.

The unhappy couple

Paradoxically that was the loneliest period of my life. There was a serious lack of communication; below the “respectable” surface of couplehood, I lived in quiet misery.

From images of successful couples in the media to dinner parties, society is always pushing us to “pair up.”

However, many of us experience protracted periods in our lives where we do not have a partner, times when we need to heal and/or discover & develop ourselves.

Singlehood should be seen as a viable option.

I have been single for over 15 years. If no friends are available, I go to a movie or a restaurant alone without feeling “strange.”

I see others, too, coming on their own.

For years now, I book a flight south and take a solo vacation, packing a few books along with my swimsuit and shorts.

I am convinced that people find it easier to approach me as a single; I have never lacked for company either on the beach or while traveling.

Though I never elected to “be” single, I have grown in ways that would not have been possible had I remained in a relationship.
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