I know so many people who are single and would like to have someone to share their lives with, or at least share dinner, theatre or the odd trip out. We hear so often that we are social creatures and our brains have certainly evolved that way. It feels good to be in the ‘in-group’ or to be acknowledged for our work or even for just being there.
During COVID, that lack of someone may have felt more acute (although the alternative view has been expressed – ‘thank goodness I am not quarantined with someone who I don’t like!’)
I once watched an American chat show where some women were saying, depressingly, that they would prefer to be with anyone rather than to be alone. I say ‘depressingly’ because I remember being that woman for some years of my life and it was a hard habit to break. I did it by being alone and working out who I was and what I liked. And more importantly, I found I liked who I was.
Let’s assume that you are happy with yourself and your own company and you feel ready to find a significant other. If you are then my question to you is, do you have room in your life for what you want? I ask that because so many of us have thrown ourselves into something, usually work, so that we don’t have to notice that we are alone. As a short-term strategy, this is probably fine (I speak as someone who has done it rather than someone with any psychological knowledge). But it can become a habit. Remember the oft quoted Parkinson’s Law that work expands to fill the time available? This is a good example of it.
Activity Is Not The Same As Accomplishment
Under quarantine, there have been many people working more hours to fill the time, and it has become a new habit. And many of us will believe that we have been productive for 14 hours a day, despite the current neuroscience that shows us that it is impossible to remain focused for that length of time. And as John Maxwell says, activity is not the same as accomplishment.
We need regular breaks and whilst not advocating being a smoker, the action of moving away from our desk, walking to a different place and staring into the middle distance or having a chat is great for the brain. I would suggest that more of us allow ourselves do this without the cigarette as an excuse.
When we are searching for a significant other, we usually look for someone who shares our values, likes and dislikes. We have created a world that suits us which is full of the people and things that are easy to like. As I like to describe it, we are whole circles, not a circle with a piece missing looking for a similar part circle. I believe that we need to be content with ourselves before trying to find someone else to be content with us. It took me many years of working on me to with who I was – to become a whole circle.
When I found someone interesting, I had to decide to let him into my circle: to be less autonomous. My question was always, ‘does this person add to my life?’ At first, the answer is not clear and we go through a dating or an experimental phase. It is risky and at times uncomfortable. But part of the process is giving something up in exchange for something better. Compromise or find a win-win wherever possible.
Be Intentional And Create The Life You Want!
My question at the beginning was are you making room for what you want? Are you disciplined enough to turn off your laptop at a certain time and find something you enjoy doing more? Are you curious enough about new people, places and experiences to be willing to move away from your ordered life?
If you truly want a relationship – any relationship – it takes a little discomfort along the way.
This blog is written by Jill Saville of Unlocking Possibilities. She is a Process Communications Certified Coach & Trainer. You can visit her website at www.jillsaville.com or e-mail her at email@example.com.
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