Singlehood is the ability to live a rich, fulfilling life as a single adult whether you are alone, looking for a partner, dating, or in a committed relationship. A person who has achieved it does not need to be in a relationship to be happy. They know that a person must be happy on their own to have a healthy relationship.
A person who has achieved it does not date or get into a relationship because of any personal weaknesses or outside pressures from parents, relatives, friends, clergy, employers, or any other institution in their community. They are not opposed to dating or being in a relationship, they just want to be free to choose when and if they date or begin a relationship. And if they do decide to begin either they will only do so with a person who they strongly feel is right for them. They strive for the best in themselves, in a partner, and in a relationship. If they decide to find a partner, they do so with great effort and determination knowing that this is one of the most important decisions of their life!
Singlehood is a level of maturity and self-awareness that transcends the old order of the couple’s only society. Society has often assumed that it means aloneness or inferior relationships. This was sometimes true of the couple’s only society in the past where the few remaining unmarried people were often social misfits. Today things are different. Because of many changes that I’ll discuss next, singles can now choose when and if that want to marry. The result is a rapidly growing unmarried population, which in the United States is at 89.6 million or 50.3%, according to the 2006 U.S. Census.
Society’s Shifting Expectations
There has been an expectation in society that everyone should be married, be in a relationship that is leading toward marriage, or be in the process of looking for a partner to marry.
This expectation has extended to most social events as well. There has been an expectation that everyone who attends a wedding, a family reunion, a dinner party, or the annual company party should come with a marriage partner, a prospective marriage partner, a committed relationship partner, or at the very least a date! The same is true if a person goes to a movie, out to dinner, or on vacation alone.
When it is discovered that you are alone and unattached the inclination is to express some subtle condolences followed by an offer to introduce you to someone who “they think” would be “perfect” for YOU!
Society has seen it as an inferior status. Just the word “singles” evokes many negative connotations. Even when it is used in conversation to identify a particular group, dance, or website there is often a skeptical sneer or a belittling comment that follows. The inspiration behind the creation of the name Solotopia was to eliminate all of these negative associations.
Changing Attitudes and Latitudes
Attitudes about singles are changing. There is still a long way to go but the progress has been significant enough to reduce a lot of the negative attitudes and limitations.
How far have we come? There was a time when physical survival required that men and women partner. There was also a time in many countries around the world when parents or clergy chose marriage partners. This practice still exists in some places.
Not too long ago most people had to marry due to economic reasons just to be able to move out of their parent’s home and get a place of their own. This was truer for women than men because job opportunities and salary levels were so unequal. Today, although not yet perfect, most women can choose to live on their own without being dependent on a man for support. This has enabled women to choose when and if they want to be married. This has also reduced the pressures on men.
The result has been the freedom and mental clarity to choose partners more carefully. This freedom has also lowered the probability of bringing unhealthy problems into a relationship. And technology has advanced the partner selection capabilities light years ahead in a very short time.
There are four (4) steps to achieving it. Each step builds upon the one before. Here they are:
First, you need to get rid of everything you have ever been taught to believe about being single. This includes everything you’ve ever read or heard about it. Just wipe the slate clean. From here forward, refuse to allow any negative or limited thinking about it to occupy your mind.
Secondly, choose to adopt a new set of beliefs. Select a new set of beliefs that views the single life as a respected lifestyle choice. A lifestyle that is productive, meaningful, and generous. Choose new beliefs that see singles as a powerful, influential, and valuable group within society.
Thirdly, you need to learn how to be happy and at peace alone. This means having the ability to go out to dinner alone on a Saturday night and truly enjoy it. This means being able to spend an entire month of weekends alone and be completely content. Once you have achieved contentment and fulfillment alone, you will have attained freedom! Freedom to choose when and if you start or end a relationship. This enables you to enter a new relationship from a position of strength and not neediness. If a relationship turns out to be a bad match then you’ll be able to end it gracefully and not be emotionally chained to it. If you choose to remain alone for the time being or permanently you will be at peace with that choice as well.
To learn more about how to be happy and at peace alone, read the article entitled, ”Being Alone to Be Strong Together.”
Learning how to be happily single not only allows you to enjoy your life today but it will enhance your ability to have a successful relationship in the future. Become the person you know you can be, find happiness on your own, and then go share it with someone like you. To get some insights and help in this area read the article entitled, “Self-Evaluation & Preparation for Relationship Success.”
Lastly, you need to create a full life for yourself independent of a partner. There are many ways to do this. Here are some suggestions.
Join an organization, sign up for classes, or attend seminars that match your passions. Join a club that centers on the sport that you enjoy most. Join a community service group that does work that is meaningful to you.
Create a social circle of single friends. You can do this by regularly inviting a select group of unattached friends to activities that you organize. Here are some suggestions: Saturday evening potlucks, Sunday morning brunches at a unique restaurant, volleyball games at a local park, and holiday dinner parties. Valentine’s Day parties can be especially fun, and even enriching, if you get creative. Before you get started though, you need to decide what kind of group you want it to be. Do you want it to be about meeting potential partners or building friendships? I would recommend the latter. The group will be inclined to follow your lead if you clearly communicate your “intentions” right up front. In the beginning, you’ll need to do a lot of the work yourself. Later on many of the other members of the group will start to reciprocate.
Start a vacation or weekend getaway group with single friends. This group could be any size. Being a group, you should be able to negotiate some discounts.
The main challenge with singles is getting commitments. They resist making commitments on their free time. Therefore, it will be necessary for you set clear unwavering deadlines on submission of deposits and enrollment information.
If you are really feeling inspired, you might consider starting your own singles club. I’ve done it and it was one of the greatest experiences of my life! To learn how to start your own read the article entitled, “How to Build a Successful Singles Club.”
The most important aspect about singlehood that I wish for you to embrace is that your value as a person, your ability to make a meaningful contribution to your community, and your capacity to enjoy your life is not in any way connected to whether you are dating or in a committed relationship.