There are certain times of the year when being single can be especially tough. Long Bank Holiday weekends, Valentine's Day, family holidays and key social events can often appear to be cosy twosome or family arrangements and at those times being single can feel particularly lonely and unloved.
The fact that the days and weeks post-Christmas and holidays are two of the busiest times of the year for divorce lawyers can do little to provide comfort or alleviate the loneliness and sense that we're missing out on something special. Sometimes we can sigh and feel that we really don't want to be single any more.
- Many people who don't want to be single choose to join online dating sites and these can be an efficient way of finding someone with similar tastes and interests who fits our criteria. These sites often offer good practical advice when making their introductions. For example, be careful how much personal information you disclose and limit a first meeting to an hour so that neither person feels trapped for an indefinite period of time. If you hit it off your next date can last as long as you like.
- Stay safe. Trust your gut instincts if something feels wrong and arrange for the first meeting to be in a public place. An increasing number of people use these sites successfully, but it's still a good idea to tell a friend where you're going and maybe get them to phone you after an hour to ensure that you're okay.
- Accept if friends, colleagues or someone in your circle offers to introduce you to someone they know. The person may be a good fit for you so why not agree to meet them. Even if nothing comes of it you've met someone new and done something different. Being able to mix and talk to new people is an important skill which can be quickly lost if we're out of practice and haven't dated for a while.
- Manage your expectations. It might be exciting if fireworks go off when we meet someone for the first time, but don't invest all your hopes and dreams in a new relationship from the outset. Having a pleasant hour or two over coffee, lunch or a walk can be a great way to initially meet someone and may lead to you making a special new friend even if they don't become a lover.
- Make invitations. Be proactive and get on mailing lists for what's happening locally. Then you can organise trips to shows, exhibitions and events. Join in when others do the same and invite you to join them. Circulate regularly so that you're adding to your network of contacts whilst having a good social life and keeping in touch with what's happening around you.
- Do things you enjoy. Volunteering, joining a class, walking group or undertaking an activity you enjoy keeps you occupied and also enables you to mix and meet with people who have similar interests to yourself. Enjoy meeting, sharing activities, becoming friends and gradually you may develop a loving relationship with someone you've already established a fun connection with.
- Don't try too hard. Relax and be yourself. And remember that being single isn't the end of the world! Many people in unhappy relationships no doubt envy you your freedom and ability to do whatever you want whenever you choose.
Appreciate each stage of life and enjoy the opportunities that come your way. Single or partnered, each situation has its pros and cons. Being comfortable with yourself and your life takes the pressure off finding a new partner and often leads to a new relationship coming your way when you least expect it to.
Susan Leigh, Altrincham, Cheshire, South Manchester counsellor, hypnotherapist, relationship counsellor, writer & media contributor offers help with relationship issues, stress management, assertiveness and confidence. She works with individual clients, couples and provides corporate workshops and support.
She's author of 3 books, 'Dealing with Stress, Managing its Impact', '101 Days of Inspiration #tipoftheday' and 'Dealing with Death, Coping with the Pain', all on Amazon & with easy to read sections, tips and ideas to help you feel more positive about your life.
To order a copy or for more information, help and free articles visit http://www.lifestyletherapy.net