It’s easy to get jaded about dating and throw in the towel thinking you will be alone forever. Well, what if I told you that while you’re worrying, your person is just around the corner waiting for you? They’re dealing with some of the same thoughts and issues you’re facing, but they’re as ready for you as you are for them. Here’s what you need to remember until you find each other (because spoiler alert: you’ll totally find each other).
- There really is someone out there for everyone. My favorite saying on this topic is that there’s a lid for every pot. In other words, there’s someone for everyone — maybe multiple someones. You don’t have to worry about all the wrong people you’ve met along the way because your person will come in due time. Being alone forever isn’t really something you need to worry about.
- Matchmaking doesn’t happen on your timetable. I know this isn’t what you want to hear, but you can’t force something to happen when it just isn’t the right time. I mean, have you ever tried to force a relationship knowing it wasn’t right? It just doesn’t go well. I know you want a relationship now, but the universe works on its own timetable. Things and people tend to come into our lives when they’re meant for us, not when we demand it.
- The universe has a plan for your love life. Think about all the times you thought you knew exactly what would happen but then things turned out another way. That person you thought was “The One” but they ghosted you. You can try to plan and predict all you want, but the universe has a special plan for your love life. There’s someone waiting for you that’s meant to be. Try not to stress in the meantime.
- You may think that there’s something wrong with you. You worry about how you’re the last of your friends to find someone. Furthermore, your biggest fear is that you’re unlovable because you’re broken or used up. These are all completely valid fears, but they aren’t real. You’re not broken. It’s okay that you’re still single. There’s nothing wrong with that even though you’d rather reality was different. Just know you’re doing okay right now and your person is coming.
- You’re perfect as you are. It’s terribly sad that you may think there’s something inherently wrong with you due to still being single. There’s nothing intrinsically wrong with being alone, especially when you’re perfect just as you are. Just as a parent wants the best for its children, the universe wants you to have what you desire and it wants you to know you’re worth it all along the way.
- Our person may be having some of the same concerns. Imagine that future lover of yours with their head hung low, thinking about how much they failed at dating. They’re also ruminating on how they think they’re worthless and they will be alone forever. This is your person! Just as it hurts to think about another person — especially someone who will be yours — thinking this way, it’s painful for them to think about you worrying the way you are.
- Think about how many mismatches two people in a couple have to face before they find each other. The path is littered with people who aren’t a match but are with each other anyway. It actually makes finding that special person even more valuable. This will be you. It will make perfect sense to you why it didn’t work out with anyone else.
- They’re waiting for you too. Your person is also hitting the pillow at night wondering when dating will stop sucking. They’re thinking about how all they want is a happy relationship with an amazing woman. Take comfort in knowing that you might have to kiss a few more frogs, but your prince or princess is just around the corner.
- It’s okay if you’re genuinely interested in being single forever. There are some people who aren’t interested in finding their person. Rather, they’re set on being alone. Sometimes this may shift, but other times this remains the same. It’s totally okay if this is you—you’re not required to desire to find a person.
- Not everyone has a forever person, but maybe a person who’ll be around for a while. It’s important to note that this person that’s in your future may only be around for a certain amount of time. It’s just reality that not everyone has a forever person. Nonetheless, you will have someone in your near or far future who’s meant to be for you. They could just be around for a few years, but they’ll make a huge impact on your life, making you believe in love again.
How to find peace in being single while you wait for your person
While you might have faith that love is on its way to you, it can still be tough to be patient until you find it. Here are a few tips to help you find peace in being on your own.
- Recognize that being single is pretty normal. While it might seem like everyone you know is happily coupled up, in the grand scheme of things, there are plenty of other people in the same boat as you. As licensed mental health counselor Anne Posey, LMHC, NCC, tells the Cleveland Clinic: “It is a misperception that being single is abnormal. According to Statista, 45.96% of men in this country have never been married. For women, that number is 40.87%. So, being single is quite common. However, there is a great deal of stigma around being single and much of it seems to be societal.”
- Understand that even if you’re single forever, you’re never really alone. As Posey explains, most people who are single long-term don’t feel overwhelmed by loneliness largely because lacking a romantic relationship doesn’t actually mean you’re on your own. “Most of the time, people who say they’re comfortable alone aren’t really alone. They have friends and they have church groups. They have social groups and they have work — they have lots of relationships,” she says.
- Know that you don’t have to live by society’s rules. While there’s absolutely nothing wrong with wanting a relationship — desiring companionship is human, after all — make sure it’s something that’s right for you rather than something you feel like you have to do because everyone else is.
- Focus on the positives. While there are plenty of benefits to being in a relationship, there are just as many advantages to being single. Why not take advantage of them while you can? Don’t take my word for it – science proves it. Not only does being single give you way more time to form meaningful platonic connections, but you’re also likely to be healthier than your coupled-up counterparts. You might even end up having better and more frequent sex despite not having a committed relationship partner. Can’t complain about that!
- Cultivate self-love. While it’s easy to focus on the love you have to give someone else, what about you? As RuPaul says, “If you can’t love yourself, how in the hell are you gonna love somebody else? And that’s true. As Posey reiterates: “If we don’t love ourselves, how can we receive love from others? Developing a stronger self-esteem can help us be ready for a relationship or be more content with being single. Both are positive outcomes.”
Things to focus your energy on while you’re single
While you’re unlikely to be alone forever, rolling solo now gives you an opportunity to do some amazing things.
- Work on yourself. As long as you’re breathing, you have work you could be doing on yourself. As brilliant Buddhist teacher Shunryu Suzuki said, “Each of you is perfect the way you are … and you can use a little improvement.” Ever thought about getting a therapist for all that childhood stuff you haven’t worked out yet? How about joining a 12-step program to deal with that habit that’s interrupting your life? Even self-help books or a willingness to be honest with yourself is a great start. Being alone is a perfect time to reflect inward and to grow into a better person.
- Travel solo. Always dreamed about traveling across Southeast Asia, stopping on luscious islands, eating delectable street food, and visiting holy temples? Now is your time. You’re not paying for dates or the outrageous cost of a wedding. Instead, pocket your savings and take that solo trip you’ve been dreaming about since you first saw pictures of Bali on Instagram. It’s one of those things you’ll regret not doing. If spending a ton of money isn’t in the cards right now, act like a tourist in your own town. Visit the touristy sites and relish in the food that is classic in your area!
- Further your education. Expanding your education could mean getting a degree or taking classes at a local center. Taking night classes replaces the time you may have otherwise spent nuzzled up with a sweetie. It’s totally fine — a course you’re passionate about makes almost as good a lover. Excel spreadsheets not your thing? The possibilities are endless. Money doesn’t have to stand in the way; there are low-income options. Take a sewing class at your local library or community center.
- Have an affair with your creative pursuits. Is there a creative outlet that calls to you, but you always hush it? In her book Big Magic, Elizabeth Gilbert encourages us to engage with our creativity like it’s a long-lost lover. Sneak away from your desk job for 15 minutes to “hook up” with your craft. Find a corner in the office to write poetry. Be ten minutes late to a meeting because you were savoring that amazing meal you just cooked. Get wild and have an affair with your creative pursuits.
- Get to know your own body. According to Statisticbrain.com, 89% of women admit to masturbating. When they surveyed married women, the number fell to only 70%. We can assume that some of those women are having great sex, but about 75% of all women never reach orgasm from intercourse alone. So, unless someone’s partner is taking great care of them, there’s a good chance even those having lots of sex aren’t having orgasms. Time spent alone is a great time to get to know your body and learn how to have mind-blowing orgasms.
- Grow your spirituality. Although most millennials don’t identify as religious, many identify as spiritual. A religious Landscape Study done by the Pew Research Center found that “51% [of millennials] say they feel a deep sense of spiritual peace and well-being at least once a week.” Maybe spiritual peace and well-being come from yoga, meditation, prayer, or involvement in some sort of center for you. Or maybe it means getting together for coven night with your gals. Whatever spirituality means to you, being alone gives you an amazing opportunity to nurture your connection with the universe.
- Help others. When all else fails, you’re absolutely guaranteed to feel connected to your fellow humans and the world when you offer a hand. Ghandi said, “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” Some days you may feel like being single totally sucks. On those days, go volunteer. Pick up the phone and call a friend who is struggling. Offer a homeless man more money than you’d like. You may just find that in helping someone else you discover the beauty of what makes you human.
- Be weird and wild. Get a ridiculous tattoo, have a witch read your tarot cards, try a sensory deprivation tank. Life is so short. You have no one holding you back. You don’t have to consider what a partner will think; you really just get to do whatever the hell you want. This is your life. Live it!