Why can't we have THIS when we're single?
By Rich Santos
While some of us associate single life with loneliness, a ticking biological clock, and social pressure, it's possible to live a healthy life while single. But you must avoid bad "single life habits." They are all too easy to perform and repeat, and sometimes you don't even know you're doing it until you stop and think about it. These habits can bring on depression and loneliness, and they can also prevent you from meeting someone.
Here are some behaviors to avoid when single:
1. Letting Other Balls Drop
Ok, so your dating life isn't going the way you want it to. Make sure you don't let other parts of your life slide. They say "when it rains, it pours," but you can avoid that.
When you're single, you have an opportunity to work on your career, and on yourself. After that, the dating stuff usually falls in to place. Remember not to let other parts of your life trend downward just because your dating life is at a low.
Yesterday at the end of work, I had a craving for NYC's City Bakery chocolate chip cookies (a glorious gooey mess of chocolate chips and dough that seem barely cooked). I promised myself I'd go to the gym after the cookie, but I didn't. Totally let that ball drop.
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The easiest way to get out of a single funk is to get out and meet people. But it's so easy to hole up in your place and stay cozy. Many weekends I'm confronted with the choice: go out and hang out with friends until 3AM, or veg out on my couch in my PJ bottoms, cook stir fry or soup, and watch bad movies or good horror flicks. It's hard to choose.
3. Commiserating with Your Bitter Single Friends
If you're constantly hanging out with bitter single friends and complaining, you may put yourself in a rut that's tough to get out of -- negative thinking keeps you down. So limit those Sex and the City angry brunch/lunches with the girls.
4. Being Third Wheel with Annoying Couples
I've got mixed feelings about being third wheel. Sometimes I'm motivated to date when I'm around certain couples. But some couples are so annoying, I tell myself I'll never date again after hanging out with them.
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5. Assuming Everyone Sucks
Well, everyone doesn't suck, but it's easy to convince yourself this is true after enough bad experiences.
6. Looking Down
Being alone is scary, but if you keep yourself busy, you might not feel so isolated and alone. If you stop and analyze the situation (look down), lonely anxiety might set in.
7. Looking Back
Looking back at old relationships and happier times should be saved for when you're ready to do so. If you're not over it, you'll dredge up sad feelings upon looking back.
8. Convincing Yourself You'll Be Single Forever
Sadly, I'm assuming I'll be single forever. Because I've accepted that fate, it's tough to get out of it and envision myself in a relationship.
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9. Settling for an Easy Cure for Your Loneliness
"Easy" cures for loneliness are often unhealthy: staying with a bad boyfriend/girlfriend, having a one-night stand. Loneliness can't last forever, and it's part of everyone's life. Try to find healthy ways to deal with it.
10. Celebrating Singleness Too Much
It's OK to embrace the "single and proud of it" position, but if you get too rebellious about your singleness, you might end up swearing off dating completely. So fly your anti-dating flag at half mast.
11. Viewing The Wrong Art at the Wrong Time
Certain songs make me feel lonely. Then there's the dreaded romantic comedy. Depending on your mood, romantic comedies are uplifting, or they bring you down...like the time I cried at the end of Sleepless in Seattle wondering why that can't happen to me.
12. Getting Your Hopes Up When You Finally Meet Someone
Once you finally connect with someone, it's easy to see that person as a savior, so you get high hopes as things progress. Unfortunately, relationships are rare, and things often fizzle, or go awry. If you get your hopes too high, you'll fall harder when it doesn't work out, or you'll settle too quickly.
When I watch DiscoveryID, even serial killers and bad guys on Who the Bleep Did I Marry? have girlfriends. If they can get girls, how bad does that make me? This is just discouraging. And of course, I sometimes envy better looking guys, which brings me down.
Do you agree with my "bad single habits," and what bad single habits are you guilty of that you'd add to the list?
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