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5 Things To Tick Off Before You Get Into A Relationship

If you’re single and on the look out for that special someone, but after many months of searching find yourself scratching your head as to why you haven’t found ‘the one’, then listen up. This unwanted ‘single time’ might be the best thing you’ve ever had, albeit uncomfortable at first.

Despite what the evolution books would say, we’re not just on this planet to couple up and procreate. Being single can benefit you in so many ways, specifically in the other ‘non-romantic’ parts of your life, like career, hobbies, friendships, health and um, finding yourself.

Adding value to yourself, rather than trying to add value to your life through other people is psychologically healthy, and this ‘single time’ can give you time to nourish yourself.

I regularly see people who are desperately unhappy, thinking its’ because they are alone or haven’t found their romantic match yet. People put so much effort in finding someone that can make them not only happy but also secure and safe, so much so that they neglect to try and create it for themselves first.

But what I often urge in those who are unhappily single, is to aim for happily single first.

How do I do this you ask?

1. Get To Know Yourself Well

Relationships are about getting to know another person, but knowing yourself first is imperative. Know what makes you feel happy, what your strengths are as well as your values. Understand what your fears are, where you need to challenge yourself, what you avoid, what you’re sensitive to and also where you tend to get a bit defensive. Know what gets your goat and where you get stuck in life. To know all of this takes a little work but getting to know yourself well, lays a solid foundation for not only a great relationship with yourself, but someone else.

2. Love Your Alone Time

Being alone doesn’t have to mean lonely, and it’s certainly nothing to avoid. Many of us have grown up in busy families that have helped form our mental blueprint. We use that blueprint in navigating our adult world, and often end up attracting people that fit with that blueprint. Even when they’re not necessarily right for us. Learning to be by yourself, without the influence of anyone, allows you to get in touch with your true self and be guided by your soul. Then when you do become paired off, you will maintain your independence, which makes for a better relationship.

3. Be Comfortable In Your Own Skin

We’re all a mixed bag of strengths and weaknesses, successes and mistakes, as well as good and bad. In a society that tends to show off the sparkly parts, it’s easy to feel uncomfortable about certain personal traits that you perceive as your lesser qualities. Rest assured that we’re all complex beings and are all perfectly imperfect. Get comfortable with all of your qualities and learn to own them. Don’t always shine your light and hide your dark away, because that’s what often will connect you to that right person.

4. Pursue Your Passions

Often when we spend so much time with someone, we can morph into the one we love. We start unconsciously fusing with their passions, and if we’re not careful, our own passions start naturally drift away. Sometimes so far away that we forgot we had any in the first place.

Having well defined path, goals, dreams and desires that are totally yours is a must. Then, actively pursuing them. That way when someone soon-to-be special comes along, you might have to make a little compromise or two, but not totally lose your own personal direction. The bonus also is that often when you are on your own well-defined pathway, you will find someone on the same frequency as you.

5.Manage Your Own Mental Health

All of us are likely to experience a mental health issue at some point in our life. After all, we exist in the complexities of our life and all that it brings (or not brings). In tough times we often feel stressed out, anxious or our mood is low, and we can not only take this out on those we love, but we look for them to solve it for us. Learning how to manage these times ourselves assists in building resilience. This might mean knowing which friend you can debrief with, which yoga class to take, what flowers cheer you up, which psychologist you can call on and what creative activity you can undertake to get you back on track and back to being you.

Whether you’re single because a relationship has ended or because you’re yet to be in one, learning that you’re so much more than one half of a couple is imperative in your journey through life.

** As published in Body + Soul

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