I actually believe that being single is a state of mind and work with clients over and over again who have thought themselves into being single. This is all too familiar to me since I lived in a single state of mind for the best part of my 20’s and early 30’s.
I do agree, however, that certain sociological changes have contributed towards making it harder to meet that special someone. These include increased time spent at work and less personal time, the rise of social networking leading to less physical contact with people and women becoming more career focused and still having to prove themselves more at work than men.
My experience, however, shows that all these sociological changes can be overcome and that the real thing that is stopping my clients and single friends from meeting the one is what they are inwardly thinking and believing.
So what is a single state of mind?
A single state of mind is when you repeat thoughts or hold beliefs which confirm your single status, such as, “I’m fine as I am and can cope without a boyfriend/girlfriend.” This thought or belief usually conflicts with a deep down desire for a loving and fulfilling relationship.
You can also repeat thoughts or hold beliefs which act as excuses for you not to do anything about changing your single status, such as, “No one will want to take on my baggage.” Someone else could usually argue rationally against these excuses, such as, “Baggage is normal when you reach a certain age, so potentials are willing to take it on.”
How can I tell if I have a single state of mind?
If you recognise any of the below ways of thinking, you have a single state of mind:
- You are super independent and never ask people for help. This way of thinking signals to any potentials out there, “Keep away, I don’t need anyone else in my life.”
- You have low self-esteem and believe that you are not good enough in some way such as, unhappy with some aspect of your appearance, not intelligent enough, boring or lacking in spark or unskilled in something such as cooking. When you suffer from low self-esteem, any potential partners will get the message, “Stay away, I’m not good enough to be in a relationship and will continually remind you of this and become overly needy.”
- You have an excuse for trying anything new regarding relationships or dating such as, “I’m not going to do Internet Dating since I prefer face-to-face communication.” Has this ever stopped anyone using online recruitment sites when they have been made redundant?
- You are living in the past and your mind is preoccupied with an ex. You think so much about your ex and idolize him/her so much that no one else is ever going to live up to them or even have a chance of getting close to you.
- You are deluded in some way and deny having any relationship problems such as continually attracting the wrong types or getting involved too quickly or giving too much. Staying trapped in these patterns will ultimately leave you single since none of these relationships will work in the long-term.
- You don’t think that anyone will ever live up to your expectations and reject most people who show any interest.
Why do I have a single state of mind?
You are not usually born with a single state of mind but if you experience trauma such as abuse of any kind or observe your parents in an unhealthy relationship, a single state of mind can begin to develop from an early age. It may also develop as you get older and experience more and more pain from failed relationships. Once your mind has experienced a certain amount of pain (this can vary from person to person) it will create mechanisms to protect you from further pain. Believing that you’re not good enough for a relationship or believing that you are better off on your own than in a relationship stops you from getting involved and so protects you from getting hurt.
How to change your single state of mind.
It can be hard to work through your limiting thoughts and beliefs and in my coaching I take clients through a 3-step process:
1. Identify your limiting thoughts and beliefs around relationships and where they come from.
2. How to challenge and overcome these thoughts and beliefs.
3. Create new empowering thoughts and beliefs to replace the old disempowering ones.
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