Alone Again? Rethinking Romance and Singlehood

It would appear that many of us are “hard-wired” to find a mate. Many of us can look back over our lives and see the problems this has caused us, whether in settling for unsuitable mates, looking for love in all the wrong places or feeling that you once again have failed, most of us can identify with the “trail of tears” that has brought us to this place.

Some people, on the other hand, do not seem to care about romance and stay the bachelor or bachelorette their entire lives, and seem to wear it very comfortably. Why the difference?

Our philosophy and self-image has a lot to do with it. Our feelings of needing to be accepted by another person on a “complete” level can be very powerful. The reasons some of us fall into that category may have to do with childhood issues, relationship dynamics when we were younger or maybe we learned by observation or by teachings how our lives should go. Our parents had a tremendous influence over us, and whether they were healthy, dysfunctional or somewhere in between, there were strong lessons we learned as a child that we may not even be aware of. These can drive our needs, our behavior and our view as to who we are as an adult. When we start to question these “lessons” we can begin to step back and get a different perspective on who we are, where we are in life, and what our needs are at this time.

Our belief about what we need stems from the messages and the images we show ourselves. We all have a tape and “projector” in our mind that even on a good day are unreliable for the information they deliver to us. The messages we get are messages we send ourselves. We got these messages from our life experiences, but they are not correct. They are opinionated, slanted and influenced by so many things that they have no real truth. The only truth is the validity we give this information and the willingness we have to conduct our lives according to it.

We cannot see ourselves accurately. It is impossible. Neither can anyone else, no matter how well they know us. So, if this is true, what can we believe when it comes to how to conduct our lives and specifically, our relationships? To begin to believe that all prior beliefs are invalid, no matter their origins, is a good place to start to shift our perspective. This doesn’t mean that you should or shouldn’t pursue relationships. What this does mean is that you can find freedom in knowing you can erase the “board,” that projected image you have been looking at for so long, and you can erase the tapes that come with it. You are free to decide differently, or decide not to decide at all about your needs at this time, your worthiness or your place in this world. You have the option of not categorizing yourself or deciding you have “failed,” simply because you are not in a comfortable, loving, mutually fulfilling partnership.

Who are you in a relationship? Who are you outside of one? Are you a more complete person when you have someone with whom to share your life? Is that what you tell yourself? Examine your beliefs about yourself. Look closely at the nature of you, your creations, your contributions to the world, your interests, and your friends and family. Is all of this only a footnote to your pursuit of a mate? Why? How large a piece of the puzzle that go to make up your life do you give to a serious relationship? Why is the piece the size it is? Would you feel more comfortable with your life if you made this piece smaller?

What we all can do is learn to tailor our thinking to modify our path. We can “design” our life to develop different desires and outcomes. We are not locked in to any path we are currently on. We can decide to make any shift we want. We can also learn to let go. We can learn to lay down our hurt, our anger, our disallusionment about life and our place in it. We can redefine who we are, our intrinsic value, our needs and the events that take place in our lives. To find a new perspective means letting go of the one we have, or at least pieces of it. We can choose to put the puzzle together a different way. We can redesign the size of the puzzle pieces to more comfortably fit us, rather than the other way around.

Unlearning uncomfortable values and creating different ones for yourself is an exciting adventure. You may find yourself at a new level of acceptance with the ability to let go of those people and things that have caused you pain. You are the creator of your own desires, your own thoughts and needs. Do not let the events in life determine who you are at this time. You are without definition. You can proceed to create yourself as you so choose. There is immense freedom in that.

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