It’s a weird thing that many of us have had happen. You’re out there, dating, being a single available person. But it just feels like we keep meeting the same people. And we can’t find one that captures our attention. We’re lonely, but then….
Then we meet someone, and we get swept away and suddenly there are suitors everywhere. While many of us have had this happen, it doesn’t really mean there were a bunch of available people hiding somewhere. Those people show up then precisely because they are subconsciously unavailable.
It’s like there’s a pheromone or something that everyone can smell. We give off some odour of being happily attached, and it acts as an attractant to any member of the opposite sex that is afraid of relationships and is therefore only attracted to unavailable people.
That effect can cause us to wonder if we’re really chosen the right person now that we suddenly see so much apparent choice before us. To avoid that confusion, we must learn to be successfully single. That way the truly available people can find us before the unavailable people do.
Truly available people look scary to those who grew up in homes with terrible or extremely disappointing marriages. Those people often don’t realize they are avoiding commitment, but because they are, all truly available people are to be avoided.
But that is not the case for the people who hold more positive ideas about relationships.
While it may be true that the pots with the biggest bends need to find people with equally bent lids; likewise, people who are lucky enough to have had life experiences that leave them fairly well rounded are also relatively round pots that best suit relatively round lids.
Unfortunately, relationship desperation –a very real and legitimate impulse for the profoundly lonely, or by women facing the end of their child-bearing years– can cause a fairly well rounded person to come across as a bit hell-bent regarding their own needs. The resulting intense desire to couple-up can lead us to make decisions we later realize were unwise.
As an example, there are people fixers who seek out struggling people to help. But most reasonably healthy people are seeking a partner in life, not a match for their codependency.
We all know that even as healthy people we all offer plenty of challenges to a partner. This means that even solid, well-rounded people are generally attracted to equally solid, well-rounded people. This is the value of being successfully single.
If we want to avoid the unavailable, and we don’t want to attract the desperate, our answer is to see our singledom as something to really invest ourselves in. If we don’t need anyone, then anyone we do accept is there because they add more to our lives than they cost, and we do likewise for them. But to do that we have to be healthy to start with –even while we are single.
Living a single life that leaves us feeling fulfilled or proud or sanguine offers many benefits. It shows potential partners that we don’t need them, we want them. We aren’t damaged and leaning on them in some unhealthy way.
We are human and fallible but we are also strong and capable enough to avoid codependency. And that’s attractive, because healthy people favour of the sort of love that can only be shared by two strong, reasonably healthy individuals who are choosing to unite.
A relationship is not a route to mental health or life stability. But, mental health and life stability are routes to a healthy relationship. For this reason we are all best to learn to see our lives in healthy ways before we’re attached.
We must learn to quell the voices within us that lead us to the desperate feelings that lead to poor choices. Life is too short, we cannot let our egos trip up the joys awaiting our spirits.
A serious childhood brain injury lead Scott to spend his entire life meditating on the concepts of thought, consciousness, reality and identity. It made others as strange to him as he was to them. When he realized people were confused by their own over-thinking, Scott began teaching others to understand reality. He is currently CBC Radio Active’s Wellness Columnist, as well as a writer, speaker and mindfulness instructor based in Edmonton, AB where he still finds it strange to write about himself in the third person.