I had a discussion recently with a friend of mine where he has been in love with a girl for a couple of years now but she is unwilling to commit to just him. One of his responses as the conversation progressed was that he just gets so lonely. It really made me think later about my own situation. I have been divorced and living on my own for a long time now and the only time I really felt loneliness creep in is when I was feeling really bad about my life. Even with my breakup 4 months ago (we did not live together) I have felt many feelings and emotions but lonely was not one of them. I look at my time outside of a relationship as freedom. I see it as an opportunity to reflect on where I am right now, what I have learned, and how I plan to move forward. I understand the grieving process after a break-up requires time to be sad and I fully embrace allowing yourself to wallow for a short period in that sadness and heartbreak. Once you have given yourself time to work through it, (I have heard a month for every year you were in it and that has really worked for me), then you should start to push yourself to explore what comes next.
Perspective is everything and when I look at my friend and his situation I just get frustrated. It makes it hard to be supportive to a person who is choosing crap every single day. Are you really so lonely that you prefer to just be someones number two over being your own number one? Why do people act like being single after 40 or 50 is such a sad situation? So sad that you are willing to settle? I feel like my forties is when many things really started falling into place and making sense to me. My morals, values, beliefs, goals, finances, relationships with family and friends all really started showing fruit from my labor. My daughter has turned 18 and graduated high school and started college so I am even more free to come and go as I please. I am more clear about who I am and the woman I want to grow to be as I move forward. I am more clear on my career goals and financial game plan as I move forward, and I am more clear on the kind of relationships I want in my life. I am also paying attention to my mental, emotional and physical health more at this stage in my life.
There are so many aspects of being single that are positive to me that I never even considered the word lonely, I often referred to it as being free. Free to eat what I want, when I want, free to stay home instead of going out, free to watch television or read a book, free to go to lunch or have coffee with a friend. I was free to do all of those things in a relationship but there is a different kind of freedom when you don’t have to explain your choices to anyone. You can decide at the last minute exactly what you plan to do without having to consider anyone else. If I want to wake up an hour early and write I don’t have to worry about disturbing another person. If I want to vacuum my living room and do laundry at 11 p.m. I can, without consideration for anyone but my pets. The ability to see the positives and focus on the opportunities in your current situation is the difference between those of us who are constantly growing and those who just remain stagnant in life. I often speak of taking personal responsibility for your health, choices, finances, relationships…this also means looking at your perspective on situations. Are you choosing to look at certain situations only one way? Change your perspective and you could change your whole life.
At this moment and time I have no desire to pursue a relationship. I have only been apart from my ex for about 4 months and I am just now starting to pull out of the grief process. I understand that I have my own stuff to work on and work through but I am excited about it. I am learning so much about myself and constantly getting better in every aspect. When I am ready to move forward and start dating I know I will be a healthy and happy individual that will only add to another persons life and I hope he is out there doing the same!
With love, health and happiness,