What to do when you're single
For many, the most challenging times in life are when we are on our own and don't want to be. The discomfort for many of us can be palpable. Luckily, many things can help. Here is what you can do.
1. Don't give up. There is someone out there for you, but the connecting process can be difficult. Even with great friends and the internet, you can spend many evenings by yourself and lonely. But keep looking: you were not meant to be alone.
2. Stop thinking there is something wrong with you. Bad timing is the main reason people fail to get together. It's not because of some kind of personality glitch. You are better than you think you are.
3. Stop comparing yourself to other people. Yes, some do find new mates fairly quickly, and that's not happening for you just now. But this fact doesn't make you less desirable or a flawed human being.
4. Double your efforts. If you are already on a relationship website, join another. If you aren't online yet, please start now.
5. Make some personal changes that will help you feel good about yourself. If you don't like certain aspects of your life, another person is going to pick up on it, and he or she may well feel it, too. Start making changes and see what happens.
6. Go on practice dates. Go out with friends and go out with the people who ask you online, so you can get used to handling yourself on a first date. These dates don't have to be perfect; this is a rehearsal, so the pressure is off.
7. Work through the hurt. Being alone can be painful, but you don't have to suffer. Talking about it, writing and venting your feelings are just a few of the things you can do to help heal the ache in your heart.
8. Read a good book. It doesn't have to be a self-help book. Anything positive will do. Reading will help get your mind off your loneliness, and you may gain some insights you didn't have before.
9. Don't settle, but don't set your standards too high. No one will be or have everything you want, so be prepared to compromise.
10. Remember that rejection is protection. Learn from your experience, and know that someone is coming along who will be better for you. It's best you work hard to heal the heartbreak and get yourself ready.
Everyone has gone through something like this, and looking back, many people see that they could have used the time they were alone in better ways, doing things for themselves that you don't need a partner for. Take these tips to heart and let them help you heal it.
- Dr Barton Goldsmith is a psychotherapist and author of 100 Ways to Boost Your Self-Confidence - Believe in Yourself and Others Will Too.