In my previous article, Mending a Broken Heart, I presented ways to cope with the end of a love relationship. The following will address some issues faced when you are once again entertaining the thought of looking for a partner and having to deal with anxiety and feelings of vulnerability. Here are some guidelines to surviving and possibly thriving in singlehood, which I hope are helpful.
Maintain your physical and mental health. You want to be a whole, healthy partner and hopefully want to attract the same.
Get out of the house. (Do you know anyone who met their partner while sitting at home by themselves? No,
neither do I!) Volunteer, participate in a new activity, accept and extend invitations.
Get out of your comfort zone. Take some social risks (safe ones of course). Confidence is built by experiencing successes! Risks include going to places and doing things on your own, and not shying away if you can’t find some- one to attend with you!
Take lessons in a new sport, language, dance, or skill.
Instruct, share your skills.
Don’t be too goal-oriented and narrow in focus. For example don’t prejudge social/recreational events and rule them out on the basis that you probably won’t meet anyone eligible there.
Monitor your self talk and beliefs about yourself and self-worth, and identify your fears. Watch for those detrimental ones like, – “I’m too old, -fat, -uninteresting.” Talk to your confidant or a professional if you find yourself sabotaging potential relationships due to low self-esteem and/or trust issues, particularly if the previous relationship(s) ended due to infidelity, dishonesty regarding substance use, spending habits, etc. Doubts can be triggered and sometimes false judgments or assumptions are made.
So, how do you deal with these ghosts from the past? When triggered, take a deep breath and examine what’s really going on. Stay in the present, monitor the tendency to be overly influenced and controlled by the past. Your present love interest will not automatically be the same as those from your past!
Stop yourself from prejudging and then reacting based on assumptions. Monitor when you make comparisons and slip back into unhealthy ways of being in a relationship (playing detective, testing, etc.) Remember that a person should be deemed “innocent until proven guilty.”
In a nutshell: be proactive, take control and make things happen in singlehood.
If you find yourself sabotaging, replaying old destructive patterns, or sinking into hopelessness then talk to a professional.
Mary Ann Rolfe is a Registered Clinical Counsellor with offices in both Courtenay and Campbell River. She can be reached at: 250-339-9730 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Types of Counselling
- Couples Counselling
- Mental Health
- Grief & Loss
Benefits of Counselling
- Confidential, individualized approach
- Provides a sense of relief and hope
- Opportunity to be heard and supported
- Free of judgement or criticism
- Provides direction, empowerment
- Client Centered & Solution Focused Therapy
- CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy)
- EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Re-processing)
- Clinical Hypnotherapy