Rachel (not her real name) is a very pretty woman. I see no better way to describe her compelling beauty as she walked in; yet, it didn’t take long before her unhappiness state unravelled as we talked about her issues.
She’d been married to Tony (not his real name) for 10 years, but cracks started appearing in the marriage after three years. Tony is 13 years older than Rachel and she was attracted to him because she believed that ‘older men take better care of their wives’. But she soon learned this to be untrue in her case. She thinks she’s fat, tacky and unmotherly because her husband says that all the time. Thus, she has no self-worth.
Marrying an older man was supposed to protect her sense of deficiency, but it instead made it worse.
This is why I strongly believe that singleness is an unavoidable point in life if we are to live in fulfilment. There are 10 reasons (listed below) why I hold this view! Essentially, singleness will help you to:
Explore your freedom – your life doesn’t have to stand still. Avail yourself! To be single is to be free, so do something exciting with your time. Sometimes, the trouble with freedom is that most people exaggerate the past, underestimate the present and overestimate the future. Hence life for them isn’t maximised.
Explore your interests – you can only become an interesting and fun person to be with when you develop your interests. Don’t just stick with what you already know. Broaden your life and you will become a person of interest.
Explore your value – you can tell a person's self-worth by the sense of value evidenced by their work and general attitude. One of the spells of commercialism is that a lot of people (in a bid to have a sense of recognition) blindly pursue artificial realities instead of devoting time to discover their authentic self. Little wonder then there’s so much unhappiness in our opulent world.
Explore your purpose – some people are waiting for the sun to shine before they step out, but in the real world, the sun doesn’t shine all the time. The belief that you can or can’t are both self-fulfilling prophesies, but when you explore your purpose, you live with vitality and meaningfulness.
Explore your strengths – I don’t believe in a perfect relationship. I think it’s a myth. If humans aren’t perfect then the relationships they produce cannot be perfect. That said, we can have a complete relationship where or strengths are pronounced and our weaknesses are inaudible. This comes only through singleness.
Learn to be reliable – this is a prerequisite to a lasting relationship. Commitment increases trust and trust promotes loyalty. Cracks in most relationships start to appear when one partner senses dwindling commitment from the other partner. Let being single help you to hone this strength.
Learn to love yourself – if you ever decide to commit to marriage, the one thing you have to offer to your spouse is yourself but if your self image is unhealthy then you are going to become a liability to your partner. Love for another must be preceded by love for oneself. Any arrangement short of this creates continual unhappiness.
Learn to be courageous – you may never know just what you are capable of until you overcome your fears and take the leap of faith. This skill will serve you well in life as you face up to its ups and downs. Nobody wants to be around a crying baby in the skin of an adult.
Learn to build positive relationships – to me, relationship (whether it be friendship, comradeship or partnership) is the knit of productiveness. You will never be better than the people that surround you. Seek the company of people that influence you to reach for the stars. Being single grants you that flexibility.
Become a role model – to me, one of the highest forms of growth in life is when we can help others make better choices in life, by our examples. Experience may not always be the best teacher. However, it sometimes awards us ‘shinny trophies’ that prove to others that there’s hope for them.