On any given day the divorce rate averages between 50-60% in the United States. When you add in the number of women who stay in emotionally dead relationships and relationships that are physically or emotionally abusive, it's clear that only a small percentage of women are satisfied with their significant other. I've had significant relationships, but most of my adult life I've been a single woman. I'm not opposed to finding a new man or entering a new relationship in the future, but there are things about being single that I love and would hate to give up. If you struggle with singleness, the following tips can change your life by building your self-esteem, and increasing your financial and emotional security.
1. Get your work life in order. This does not mean you need to take a job you hate for a big fat paycheck; instead it means the opposite. Find something you love to do and do it to the best of your ability. Find ways to maximize income from doing what you love to do. Look for people you can love and support on their journey and people who will love and support you on yours. (Consider joining a support group, if you don't have friends or relatives who believe in and affirm you).
2. Take care of your health. Women are bombarded with erroneous images and statistics about health. Grocery stores, billboards and television sets show scantily clad anorexic women selling everything from coffee to diapers. 16 year old models are used to sell anti-wrinkle cream. It's absolutely ridiculous. I have always been a large, athletic, active woman. A few years ago, I was deeply concerned about my weight. According to medical charts I was between 40 and 50 LBs overweight. At my annual physical, I brought this up to my doctor. Her response shocked me. She said, "You have the blood pressure of an athlete, don't worry about it". So my advice-find a sport you love and do it 3 to 5 times a week. It could be water aerobics, dancing, karate or vigorous walking. Find a food plan that works well for your body. I eat mostly unprocessed organic foods including lots of fresh vegetables, some fruit, some dairy and some protein. I still like sweets so I allow them, but only in small quantities. By maintaining optimal health, you'll have optimal energy, lower medical bills and be more likely to have a better outlook on life. I exercise almost every day. When I don't, I'm prone to low energy and low grade depression.
3. Take care of your finances. Stay out of debt at all costs. There are so many creative ways to live well on very little money, provided you don't fall prey to advertisements or the desire to "keep up with the Jones'". There many books which provide excellent information on how to get out of debt and increase prosperity. If you're able to purchase a home and it makes financial sense, do so. Don't wait for Mr. Right. Even if, or when he comes along, he'll probably admire your financial savvy. Think about joining a financial investment group, or taking a class on the stock market at your local community college. Pay off your debts and start saving money.
4. Feed your maternal instincts. If you really want a child and you have the finances to support yourself and the child, and you have a large, loving supportive network of family and friends, adopt a child or apply to become a foster parent. If you don't have the money or don't feel like you can handle being a single parent look for volunteer opportunities that will meet your maternal needs. You can be someone's emotional mother regardless of your age, income or location. Many children with biological parents need more maternal support from the community.
5. Nourish your need for touch. The desire for sex and or to be touched is normal and natural. Some people feel fine about casual sexual relationships. I'm not one of them, and yet I'm a physical vibrant woman. The need to be touched is critical to survival. It is very helpful to schedule routine massages, and establish friendships where friendly hugs or kisses are expected and normal. I also love animals and share my home and heart with several pets. There's nothing as comforting as a cat sleeping on my lap while I read a good book.
6. Live in the moment as much as possible. One of the biggest challenges a single woman faces, is that we often project into the future. We think, "If I'm single now, I'll always be single". This may or may not be true, but in either case, we miss out on the gifts this present moment has to offer. According to Buddha's second noble truth, all suffering comes from desire and our inability to accept our circumstances. Once we embrace the present moment, the richness of life and the endless possibilities of joy are obvious.
7. Learn a quick comeback for relatives or negative self talk. If you're sick of hearing someone say, "...poor thing, so pretty and still single", or some such similar comment, find a truth or a joke that you can use as a quick, automatic response. For example, think about the advantages of being single. "I love my solitude," or a kind joke, "well you already married uncle Clyde". This eventually gets the point across and it helps you maintain your good feelings about your independence.
8. Look for the advantages of being single or the disadvantages of being married. I have a wide circle of friends and do not have to look far. Several of my girl friends married men who developed severe health problems. My friends now spend their time and money taking care of their partner. This has crippled their finances and creativity. On my worst day, I would not trade places with them. Another dear friend of mine is married to a man, who like herself is very opinionated and outspoken. They have horrific verbal spats. Company is no deterrent to this couple, and I've overheard plenty. These dear friends always make up, and appear to have a good marriage, but this is not what I'd want. As a single women I have 100% control over where I go, what I do, who I see, when I get home, how much money I spent and what I'll do with my time. I can put my pajamas on at 5pm or stay out all night. I love that.
9. Make and keep a good circle of friends. Some single women I know form travel groups, investment clubs, or are included in couples functions. It's important to give and receive love and maintain friendships regardless of whether you have a significant relationship or not. Learning to be a better friend and staying connected with people you care about is an important part of life's journey.
10. Keep your mind active. Whether or not you are in a relationship, it's as important to exercise your brain as it is your body. Watch science or nature shows, take a class, join a study group, or find some way to keep fascinated about life. The world is an incredible place; there is so much to learn, be and do. By keeping your mind active, you'll experience more of the joy of being alive. Additionally, if you're continually learning, people will find you interesting, your self-esteem will remain healthy, you'll meet new people, perhaps increase your health or finances, or circle of friendship and support.
Once you learn to be happy in your singleness, you may or may not choose to share your life with another. If you learn to be economically and emotionally responsible for your own health and well being, you're more likely to enjoy life whether you are single or not. If you choose a partner, it will be from a place of strength rather than need. Once you learn how to lovingly care for yourself, it's easier to avoid a partner who would bring you down or cause you emotional, physical or financial harm. In the long run, it won't matter whether you marry, have a lover or live alone. You will be living your life joyfully.