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This post is the follow up to “Why are you STILL single? The struggle of long term singleness Part 1” where we dive into what a long term single is, the set up of the long term singles path and how it’s distinctively diffrent. Make sure to read it first here!
Let’s get back to it!
Not being in the vicinity of partnership norms on a “full time basis” tends to spark questions or attempts at rationalizing the “distance” between the long term singleness and the norm.
If you’re a long term single you might have been faced with questions and statements relating to having intimacy issues, commitment phobia, being too picky, being too independent, having bad karma etc. Even long term singles who are genuinely content with their life can get side eyed or face reactions of doubt as if that cou’lnt possible be true or it must be some sort of denial.
These are classic attempts or reactions in order to close the gap to the norm. Well intended or not, the responses share an undertone of suspicion hinting at something being ”wrong” with the long term single or their path.
Similar inspections can occur internally. Not keeping up with social expectations can create an inner emotional distress and/or distorted self-image. And no wonder! Romantic relationships are praised to the sky in today’s world and have to do with matters of the heart. Romantic relationships (at least in the western world) are directly seen as reflecting sensitive aspects of ourselves such as our value, lovability, validation, attraction and so on. Therefore singleness automatically becomes connected to the opposite of the mentioned Remember the flawed conclusions resulting from simplified categorization processes? (If not check out Part 1 here).
From this point of view, the absence of a spouse for longer periods of time can (understandably) elicit negative feelings based on defaulted conclusions. I can guarantee, that many long term singles, are questioning or have at some point questioned, themselves and their value, second guessed their lovability, attractiveness and what they have to offer.
To take it a step further, self-doubt, the perception of rejection, missing out, being stuck, disposable, blocked or punished can also be common themes in the long term singles life. I also know that because being in a relationship can be seen as an achivment, many long term singles feel as if they have “failed” somehow. These different type of cynical feelings/perceptions can be a constant undertone in life in for some or ebb and flow with certain phases in life. Typically when the norm has dictated emphasis on “love life” such when to be married or have children, the negativity and sense of preassure can intensify.
Could this explain why some singles don’t embrace solitude instead distract themselves away from it to avoid discomfort? The constant business is an avoiding strategy because being in silence might take the single to dark places and it becomes painful to face what might surface.
The truth is though, meeting a partner in sort of scenario also can become a form of distraction and justification not to look at the darker aspects because a partner is “proof” of lovability, validation worthiness etc. But how does the person actually feel about themselves? And what message is society constantly dumping on the long term single? When summed together, the long term singles journey can contain different forms of perceived rejection when not following the standard protocol because generally speaking that’s the message sent.
I really want to highlight that all negative conclusions made about long term singleness (steaming from the inside or out) are not solid truths. They convincingly appear so as a side effect of blindly buying a deep rooted programmed norms and sloppy judgment processes.
Here is where solitude comes into play. The truth is solitude can be a place of deep healing and realization. Its where we get to face ourselves. Although it can be painful and scary at first, because we might not be used to it, its also where we transmute dark to light. What the single often times has is lots of access to being alone, meaning more opportunities to self-knowledge and growth. So all negative feelings and thoughts arising from long term singlness is meant to be processed and healed in solitude. I belive this is one of the purposes of long terms singlness, to reach a point of wholeness internally and then serve as a walking example. This is the process that I belive all satisfied long term singles out there have been through and mastered.
But what does wholeness mean? That will be the topic of next weeks series where I’ll get further into the deeper meaning of long temr singlness, and how to utilize it in the best way.
I hope I’ve made my case establishing that long term singleness is a distinct phenomenon with its unique set of challenges steaming from within and without. Couples and short term singles simply don’t hang around outside the normative box long enough to face the hurdles accompanying norm breaking lifestyle.