We live in a world of couples. And if you are in your late 20’s or 30’s it seems everyone around you is either in a relationship or getting married.
There is the societal and internal pressure to get out there and find someone. And if you don’t meet that special person, with all of the dating sites that are available, then you start to wonder, ”What’s wrong with me,” rather than “It will happen when it’s meant to be,” (sage advice from a Baby Boomer).
Your focus can become an obsession to meet and find the perfect match. You are on Tinder and JDate and Match.com and sundry other sites. You are so busy checking your phone and computer to see if you get a click, that little time is left to live your life. It can become a vicious cycle as rejection is easily felt if you aren’t getting enough traffic or you go on dates that are “just fine.”
You lose touch with who you are and what you enjoy because you are so focused on finding your soul mate or easing your sense of loss.
Sheena Sharma wrote a clarifying article on how the importance of having time with yourself after a relationship breakup is an opportunity for growth and self-reflection.
So often I will meet with individuals who struggle with defining their sense of worth based on being in a relationship and on what others think about them. After a date they are wondering how the other person felt about them with far less importance placed on their own reactions.
The solution lies in you getting to know yourself.
Rather than filling the void of not being in a relationship with distractions that may not be serving you well, enjoy your alone time.
You will gain clarity on what brings you pleasure and what you value in your life.
Here are some ideas to help you navigate this time.
· Spend quality time with friends and family. Having a community and a support system are integral to you sense of well being.
· Try new experiences. Explore different interests. Take a class, dive into a hobby that you have been putting off, learn something new. Be active
· Take good care of yourself. Eat healthy and exercise.
· Reflect on what is most important to you, what brings you joy as well as gain clarity on how you most like to spend your free time.
Journaling is often helpful as a way to sort out how you are feeling, see patterns, learn where you may be stuck and gain perspective.
· If you find yourself continuing to struggle, despite your best efforts, consider speaking with a therapist. Individual counseling can provide a safe and supportive place to share your thoughts and feelings, find solutions to the problems you are experiencing and see that there is light at the end of the tunnel.
It is with time and attention to yourself that you become most comfortable in your own skin. Learning and doing what you love and being at ease with allowing your emotions to guide you will enhance your self- confidence. You will bring a better self to any relationship down the road.