Oh the stories we tell ourselves, and the programming that takes over our beliefs. People who are single can range from being really lonely to really connected, joyful, and at peace. People who are in relationship can range from being lonely to really connected, joyful, and at peace. Wowzas. Would you look at that? We’ve been told so many times before that people who are in relationships are happier than singles. But it’s not so simple and straight forward.
Let’s break this down a bit. Yes, research *does* show us that people who are truly happy in their relationships report happier and healthier lives than people who are happy and content with being single, but happy and content singles take the win when they’re up against people who are in relationships that are unhappy and dysfunctional (which...is a pretty high percentage). It’s not wrong to emphasize the value of healthy relationships, it’s just damaging to emphasize being in ANY relationship as the goal. And unfortunately, so much of our messaging and programming supports that. The fact that we don’t generally learn how to have healthy relationships as we’re growing up, the age constraints many women are constantly reminded of, the fears around youthfulness being lost, are all things that can easily walk all of us down the aisle to this programmed (false) victory and celebration we attach to being in a relationship.
Being in healthy relationships is the win. Being connected, supported, knowing you’re loved and cared for (and doing the same in return), trusting that your experience is as important as you’re partner’s (and vice versa), being able to share your inner most truths...these things improve our lives. Plain and simple.
So here’s the message. Being single and happy is pretty damn amazing. It’s a beautiful space to exist in. Wanting a relationship to just want a relationship and to avoid the story that there’s something wrong with you because you’re single is total bullshit. Wanting a relationship because you see the value in partnership and the beautiful things that can come along with that is incredible. Healthy relationships will change your world. Commit to that. Do THAT work. #mindfulmft