THE RAW TRUTH
As I sit here and write this, my housemate is in the room opposite, laughing happily with her new boyfriend. They’re so happy together, I can literally see it in her face and she’s been single for five years, so I am equally as happy for her! But while I sit here with my Tim Tams, flannelette PJs (inclusive of fluffy bed socks) and a cup of tea, I can’t help but feel a pang of, what is it? Jealously? Or just a want for what she’s got? GOD knows I’ve been searching! Does that sound desperate? Probably…
Now don’t get me wrong, I’m no desperado, impatient yes, maybe… But when you get to a certain point in your life (not necessarily age restrictive) you just know you are ready to move to ‘The next phase’. You know, I want that shiny ring on my finger, I want the cute fiancé, the daggy “dad joke” husband and the cute kids, the whole package some may say. Truth is, I’m so ready for that. And yet who knew at nearly 28 years old I’d still be waiting!
Yes yes, I know it will happen. It will happen when I least expect it, when I’m not searching. I also know that I have to be happy being by myself before I can be with anyone else. But you know what, after years (five!) of being single, I think I’m a-okay being by myself. So good in fact I’ve mastered many-a hobby and made many-a friends. But as all your friends become ‘grown ups’ around you, it can be quite confronting to realise I’m ‘that’ girl. The girl that’s $2000 in debt due to a few essential winter wardrobe items, while her friends are talking home loans and weddings. The girl that’s wondering what she’ll wear this weekend, while her friends are talking about how their baby is growing out of their clothes so quickly. Yep, I’m the girl at the party that people say “have you got a boyfriend yet?” (This legitimately happened to me recently!)
And then there’s dating, dating! Don’t get me wrong, I actually quite enjoy going on dates, I enjoy meeting people and talking to people. But this whole swiping left and right thing has been both a blessing and a curse. (Is Tinder the death of dating? One for another time!) But to all my single soul sisters in the same boat, who’s over going on dates and then;
- Never hearing from them again;
- Being somewhat disappointed because they aint nothing like their tinder pics
- Spending a few weeks or even months getting to know them and then them saying ‘I’m just not ready for a relationship’
- All of the above
Now, if you are anything like my housemate (who was insanely positive in her five years in single town) or my mum or my sister. I know you are probably thinking, ‘its not that bad, you’re not THAT old’. And yep, you are 100% right, it’s nice to have the thinkers like you to help the thinkers like me (But I don’t think I am alone in my annoyance with singledom) I know that 28 is still young, and that I’ve got loads of good years ahead of me before I really need to start ‘worrying’ about these things. I also know that sometimes we (I) can place too much importance on finding ‘The One’. And I do believe you can’t rely on someone to make you happy or whole, that is 100% your own job. But that doesn’t make it any easier. Right?
So Vaulties, after taking the time to simmer over my mums advice and these other positive thinkers, combined with the experiences I have dealt with in my five years of singledom, I thought a guide-to dealing with being single in your 20s might help soothe the niggling feeling of wanting meet ‘The One’.
Surround yourself with other singles…
Being around single like-minded people who want to go out and do stuff is a great way to distract yourself from the single blues. However, if you’re in a similar position to me, you’re single friends may be few and far between these days. So hang with those you do have, but also make an effort to make new friends too, which brings me to the next point…
Make new friends, circulate and get to know new people…. Be interested!
You may be thinking ‘HOW do I do this?!’ Or ‘I already have enough friends…’ But by chatting to your local barista or making friends at yoga you are instantly making new connections that can lead anywhere. Adding people to your friendship circle is a great way to keep busy and discover new things. And who knows, maybe through this you’ll be welcomed into other friendship circles, where your next bae may be waiting! This takes effort, but be open to meeting new people (not just your soul mate) it’s actually really fun!
Find ways to push yourself out of your comfort zone…
If you’ve got an interest that you are yet to pursue, DO IT! Get out there and join a running group, take an improv class, go speed dating! Do something out of the ordinary, it will keep you on your toes and keep things exciting, and you never know where it might lead!
Do things for yourself…
Let’s be honest, this is potentially the only time in your life that you can do WHATEVER you want. So take advantage of your alone time and make the most of it! Life coach and happiness guru Melissa Ambrosini makes a point of teaching people to ‘flex their self-love muscle’ and it’s so true! One of her best tips is to write a Self-Love Menu. On this you write up to 10 things that ‘light you up’ It might be taking a long hot bath, going to the movies, yoga, whatever it is write it down and try and do at least one of those things for yourself each week. She’s got a really sweet template for free on her website…
Let things evolve…
As much as you may hate it (as I know I do) the reality is, you may be single. And so instead of fighting and resisting it with every sense of your being, just go with, accept your single status and just let things evolve. I read an amazing article once that said, if you were told that you would never in your whole life find love, would this change the way you live? At first this sounds like a morbid thought, but if you think about it, if you weren’t constantly shopping around for ‘The One’ how differently would you live your life? You’d book that trip and move overseas, you’d stay in on a Saturday and watch a movie rather than forcing yourself to brave the cold and go to a bar in the hope of meeting someone. Essentially, live your life as if you aren’t looking, and things will just happen!
And lastly how do you dodge the dreaded “Have you got a boyfriend yet?” question?
For me there’s two options… laugh and say nope, but if you know anyone I’m happy to be pimped out! Or if that’s not your style, just say no but you’re happy just seeing what happens.
So with these tips and the knowledge that it will happen one day, it’s time to sit back and just let things evolve. And If you are down in the dumps about your seemingly evergreen single status, know you aren’t alone, and know that there are people out there wanting the same things you want. And you’ll find them, we’ll find them one day! (May or may not have stolen that pep talk from my mum) But she’s right, after all there are over 7 billion people on this planet, there’s got to be a match for each and everyone of us out there somewhere. The fun is in knowing that and being excited about what’s to come.