How to ditch the ‘I can’t, I’m single’ excuses:
Sundays, eating out, going to the movies
As a single person you very likely have a list of activities that you won’t do, or will only do reluctantly. Whether the limits you’ve set yourself are conscious or unconscious, most single people have them, and for a range of different reasons. We’re taught socially that there is strength in numbers and sometimes unfortunately, lovers and partners are worn as safety blankets that we feel naked without.
Whether your reasons for not cooking that roast on a Sunday or going to the movies by yourself stem from a lack of confidence, embarrassment, or sheer boredom at your own company, we encourage clients to overcome them.
Separating fact from fiction
The easiest way to stop ourselves from doing the things we want to do, but don’t have the confidence or motivation for, is to tell ourselves stories. Sometimes we engineer these tales ourselves, other times we borrow the clichés that others seem to be using and getting away with. For example, it has become acceptable to not cook as a single person because ‘it’s no fun cooking for one’ or because you ‘live alone and just want something quick and easy in the evenings’. These are very simplistic answers for what can actually be quite complicated emotions that you’re holding onto.
Think about it, it’s easy to stay home and assert that seeing a film on your own is odd or that holidaying and eating in restaurants as a single person is uncomfortable. What’s harder and braver however, is to take ownership of the real reasons you’re waiting for a partner to show up and join you in these activities.
TOP TIP 1: Split a sheet of paper into three columns. In the first column list all the things you would love to do but will only do with another person. In the second column, write the excuses you’ve used up until now about why you haven’t done them alone.
Recognising the truth
Whilst living life as part of a group or couple can sometimes be more fun and exciting, the real reason you’re not cooking a Sunday roast is nothing to do with the absence of a partner. There are many instances when it’s purely and simply about the absence of motivation and in some cases, self-worth. If you can only prepare a meal when someone else is there to appreciate it, then it’s time to reconsider the value you place on your own enjoyment and health.
Likewise, what do you really think is the more odd behaviour, going out alone to see a film you really want to see or, staying home alone to watch something you’re not that interested in? Be truthful about your decisions and recognise that you, for whatever reason, may be lacking the confidence needed to step out there and engage with the world on your own terms.
TOP TIP 2: Now in your third column write the real reasons you have not been doing these activities alone. Are you too shy, do you feel vulnerable or are you worried what people may think? Any reasons that even vaguely look like insecurities, fears or anxieties, investigate and don’t ignore them. There are countless options out there these days to help us overcome the things that hold us back.
Embracing your time, whether single or in a couple
The advice here, although aimed at single people struggling to lead a life they find fulfilling, can also be applied to those in a couple. Too many of us very quickly lose our identity within relationships and become a half of something instead of a definitive whole in our own right. Practicing being alone and comfortable in your own skin is a vital and recommended activity. A second person with you, whilst wonderful and enjoyable, should always be an option and not a necessity.