Anyone who has survived a breakup, divorce or lost a loved one has wondered if they will ever again have a romantic partner. The confusion, self-doubt and lack of clarity for the future experienced during these times generates a lot of anxiety about our ability to attract a partner.
Single for the past four years and nearing my sixty-eighth birthday, I often wonder if—as my kids would say—I’ll ever hookup with someone again. It is during these times I can “what if” this worry to death. What if I am too old, not handsome enough, too wrinkled and grey, not charming or smart enough to attract a woman? My fears can make this a long list.
Fear is a tool of the ego
It was frightening after a long relationship to be single again. This was a time of self-questioning and low self-esteem, but they taught me that fear and doubt are the tools the ego uses to keep us from digging deeper into our true character. Questions starting with “what if” create the circular thoughts that lead to depression which then keeps you frozen in deep melancholy and inaction which is what the ego desires.
Have you ever wondered what the ego is after when it sends you to the crazy world of self-condemnation?
The ego wants security and predictability. You and your ego have been colluding towards this goal since you were a child. You learned coping mechanism that, to date, helped you survive in your family environment. Later in life, they guided you in selecting a career, a partner, a way of life that conformed to the approval of your world. But little did you suspect these ego-based strategies regressed you into a lesser self. They made you hide the parts of yourself you thought were “unacceptable.”
Like most of us, you entered into relationships with parts of you hidden from your partner. This provided the shelter your ego thought you needed, but your partner never truly knew your essence.
Losing a boyfriend/girlfriend, husband/wife leaves you asking innumerable questions for which you have no answers. During the days, weeks, months that follow, you also must endure unending emotional suffering. Your ego bombards you with self-doubt and depressing thoughts that can send you in many directions, alcohol, drugs and suicidal ideas. The ego’s purpose is to motivate you to fill the void and urge you to settle for the next available partner.
For as tempting as it is to numb your pain, what your ego asks is a formula for disaster.
It is better to be alone than to be poorly accompanied
I cannot answer whether I will rouse a romantic partner again. There is no guarantee in life I will. But I learned one thing during my travels; partnering with the wrong person can be so painful and make you so forlorn that you’ll wish you had never been born. It is ironic that I have felt more alone in marriage than I ever did being single.
As we all know, life lessons can come from how to do something and how not to do it. Both methods are just as useful in our development. In a spiritual sense, relationships are the commitment two people make to learn from each other and evolve into higher consciousness.
Although it seems like it, the end of a relationship is not a failure, it is an opportunity to learn from the experience so we can become better, more mature. This is only possible if we look at what we brought into the relationship without putting blame on the other person for its demise.
Learning these lessons requires the pain of grieving and the solitude to reflect on the journey you just finished. The only way around the grief is to live it. You will see the light at the end of the grief tunnel when you find some measure of peace and gratitude for the experience. It is only then that one gains the vision for what it takes to be better.
Attempts to cut this time short by settling for any partner to fill your void—as your ego wants you to do—will only lead you to repeat the same failed lesson from the previous relationship. This can only lead to a similar outcome with this new counterfeit partner somewhere down the line.
Learn to love yourself, for no one else can do it for you
Learning to love ourselves is not that easy, but you must strive to do it, for someone else cannot figure this out for you.
I was not aware of my tendency to consent to the wishes of my partner. It was surprising to discover it was rooted in a lack of self-worth. I had to change this or be doomed to attract women who would support the premise I was unworthy of love.
My commitment now to find a better partner is founded on the belief I am good enough just as I am and that I am worthy of love. This means the following;
I will never be with someone who does not value me and is not excited about our relationship. I will not choose a partner who is manipulative, deceitful and never apologizes for their actions. Someone who is often critical of me and others will not make my short list. My criteria will also eliminate someone who is dismissive and unsupportive of me and what I care for. Last but not least, I will not engage with a partner who is selfish and inconsistent in their behavior.
In return, I commit to be the same kind of partner like the one I desire. You should make similar commitments for yourself before reentering the love cycle with someone new.
Perhaps I just laid out the formula for being single for the rest of my life, but I will not settle for less. If that means I will forever be alone, then so be it.
Just because you are alone does not mean you are lonely. Loneliness is a choice. You can have a fulfilling life by enjoying friends and activities that give you passion and joy. Trust you are already complete; another person is not needed for that purpose. Yes, sharing a life with someone is a wonderful thing, but it is not a need. Learn to be comfortable with yourself by yourself. I suspect this will become the quality that will attract the right person to you. Have faith the universe will provide what you need in its own perfect timing. If that means another partner does not come, know it is not the end of the world.
Wishing you a life filled with joy, love and serenity.