This week's longer article is by Amy Taylor, our very own editor here at FemmeJolie. In it, she reflects on some of the benefits to being unattached. Most women in long-term relationships will tell you there are certainly moments when they miss the days when their own issues were all they really had to grapple with. But one of the most important lessons to learn, whether you are single or not, is to work every day to be happy with yourself and your life no matter who you are sharing it with.
If you're single, we hope this issue will help you keep your focus on the positive things you have going for you. If you're in a relationship, hopefully it will give you encouragement to carve out some space for yourself and the things you like to do alone from the space in your relationship. The rewards are long-lasting, and will help you form a sound foundation and sense of self you can carry with you no matter what happens in your romantic life.
Betsy Boyd, Heather Kendall, and Amy Taylor, Co-Editors, FemmeJolie
Some people say that being single is hard. You bet it is! Anyone who tells you differently doesn't know what they're talking about. Why is it so difficult, you say? Because when you're single you have none of those relationship distractions to keep you from spending good, quality time with yourself. And that can be really scary! Especially if you're not entirely sure who you are and what you believe.
But good, quality me-time isn't necessarily a bad thing. Some people go through their whole life looking at the periods between relationships as downtime or prep time for the next man who walks through the door. It is far better to take the time to get to know yourself and just enjoy being you. Learn to take pleasure in your time alone so you can control your own happiness. No woman NEEDS a man to be happy. Here's how to do it all by yourself.
Build Your Own Community -- Find people you can rely on for laughs, for serious and intellectual conversations and for just plain hanging out. Meet new people by joining clubs, taking a class, and volunteering your time. Or cultivate and strengthen your friendships with those people already in your life.
Take Pleasure in the Small Things -- It might be curling up with a good book, going for a walk, swinging in the park, cooking yourself a fabulous meal or settling into a warm bubble bath. The whole point is to spend time doing things you enjoy just because they make you feel good.
For ad details and prices... Susan@FemmeJolie.com
Live Life Now -- Don't save things you really want to do until you can do them with a partner. Have you always wanted to take a cruise? Take one now. Did you find the cutest little house? Buy it now. Your single life is not a dress rehearsal for your coupled life. If you can concentrate on making yourself happy now, and you'll have fewer regrets later.
Keep the Past in the Past -- Many recently, and some not-so-recently, singled people find that it is easier to be with the wrong person than to be alone. Don't let those sporadic feelings of loneliness force you back into something that wasn't right for you, because more times than not, it still isn't right for you. It's okay to be lonely, but try not to let that feeling overpower you with anger and resentment about things that happened in the past.
Let Yourself Be Passionate -- Life without passion is not much of a life at all. I'm not talking about the kind of late-night passion you experience in a dark bedroom. I'm talking about believing very deeply in yourself, your purpose, your vision, and your abilities. Use this passion to incite you to act on your beliefs and find your place in this world, and if you make this world a better place as a result, more power to ya!
Good Luck and enjoy every minute of it!
I had a friend give this book to me at just the right moment: I was single, I wasn't still getting over anyone, and I had once again started to have the itching desire to be "in a relationship" though there wasn't a reasonable prospect in sight. I was impatient for it, even. I was, as Amy suggests above, one of those women who lives the "downtime" as though it is temporary and a pause on the path to real life--in a relationship. This book brought me back to earth in the gentlest of ways, and let me see the benefits of my life as it was. We all need that kind of encouragement.