Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Finding Love while Single

Finding Love While Single

   Being single has its benefits and drawbacks, just ask anyone who is. At first they may beam about how its great not to have to check in with anyone or the freedom to act on whim but there is always a downside too. Being single can leave out one of the most important human factors in this world, Love. It has been shown that without some form of love and compassion humans and many animals would not be able to survive life on earth. There is something about sharing existence with someone and having faith that you aren’t alone that eases ones external fears. Also, caring about someone else often times forces us to care about ourselves so that we are able to be who we need to be and do what we need to do to protect the person we love, if called upon to do so. Being single can be fun and exciting but sometimes this need for love, connection, and a deeper purpose can leave one feeling empty and unsatisfied with their life.

   That brings the question, where and how do we find love when we are single? The general trend of humans is to become closer to family and friends to fulfill this void of purpose and interaction. While this can satisfy our need for interaction, communication, and physical touch in the form of hugs, handshakes, and other non-sexual activities it does not address some of our internal needs. For the purpose of this article I won’t go into sexual needs as much as the need to love or to be loved in the sense of feeling a positive emotional bond or connection at the deepest level.

   What many people fail to observe is that “love” is a mysterious emotion, which can manifest in many ways and can be directed like any emotion for good or bad purposes. Humans crave love and attention and we do extraordinary things to feel the emotion and experience the joy and happiness associated with it. We look for it constantly and are told by society and Disney from a young age that it is, in fact, a “thing” that will be perfect and magical and everything ends happily when you find it. While this may or may not be the case it has indoctrinated people about what “love” is and where they look for it. The one problem with being single is many people think that love is something that occurs between a man and a woman (or whatever floats your boat) and without the other half of their equation they are unable to share their love with the world. This can lead people down a mental spiral of anguish, heartache, loneliness, and fear when they don’t find it right away or go through a ton of people looking for it. By thinking that love is waiting for the “right” person to come along they inadvertently tend to look too hard, since they are desperate to find it. This can lead to people jumping at any opportunity and calling it “love”. This flaw in the perception of what love is, or what people wish it was, can be one the building blocks for poor relationships. So how do we avoid this?

   We must first understand what love is before we can find it. In my experience and opinion Love is an emotion that occurs within each one of us. Love does not absolutely require another party to be involved, it just happens to manifest in a big way when there is a special one (if that makes sense). Love can also be embraced and accepted when dealing with all sorts of things. I guarantee whoever is reading this has at least one or two things that they “love” to do. Immediately your subconscious says “well, yeah but it’s not the same thing”. I beg to differ. When you “love” something you experience a strong positive reaction to it emotionally. While replacing love for humans with love for objects, nature, animals, music, art, and other forms of beauty is not ideal, it can however serve a purpose to aide a person’s overall happiness and quality of life. The strength of the emotion can vary depending on circumstances and past influences but at its core, love for anything is the same emotion you feel when you stare into the eyes of the person you love and care deeply about. Although we tend to associate the feeling with love because when looking in the eyes of your soul mate, the feeling is more intensified than the one you get as you take the first bite of your favorite food when you’re starving. While we don’t normally see these situations as the same thing, they actually are similar. If we change how we perceive love and realize that we encounter this emotion daily we can take the mystification out of the relationship aspect of it. The weight of love can essentially be lifted so that you can see it for what it is and you can actually enjoy it. Now I’m not saying by any means that you can replace your girlfriend/boyfriend with your favorite pizza but what you can do is enjoy your pizza more when you don’t have a girlfriend/boyfriend. Let me explain.

   By experiencing pleasant emotions we feed our brains with the pleasure chemicals responsible for us liking what we like. When you are single and don’t have someone to love or to love you back our brains produce and receive less of these chemicals. This resulting experience can be one of depression, loneliness, and self loathing. To interrupt this process we can learn to feed our brains with the same chemicals from other sources. While it is no replacement for a deep meaningful relationship with someone who makes your stomach tingle, it can help us to avoid irrational choices while chasing happiness. If we can learn to draw positivity from other sources to supplement our need for love we can sustain a healthy and happy life until we find our soul mate or better half. Like anything worthwhile, this is much easier said than done but let’s discusses how to approach life from this angle.

   The question is how do we replace “love” in our life with objects or experiences and still be happy? The answer is to figure out what moves you, and experience it passionately. Draw the most out of every situation and everything that makes you happy. In order to accomplish this task it takes being mindful of your emotions when you experience something that gives you a positive feeling. Say for example you love music and a song comes on that feels like it touches your soul and takes the words right out of your heart. For that 3:30, exist to be in love with that song. Feel every cord, sail with the high notes and cry with the low. Share its existence. Examine the happiness that it’s bringing you, close your eyes, and be a part of the experience instead of being a spectator. Let yourself be drawn into that feeling of love and feel it’s warmth as it lifts the stress of the day away higher and higher with every note. Too often we find our self enjoying something but not fully experiencing it because we are self conscious about who is watching or we are reserved in our emotions. To experience life fully we must actually allow ourselves to truly enjoy it. After all, life is only the experience of our consciousness. It is up to you to embrace the emotions you choose to keep and discard the negativity you wish to eliminate.

   What about the purpose and meaning a relationship brings to your life? Well this can be sustained by other methods just like satisfying the feeling of love. When we are in a relationship we tend to take purpose, and pride, in making sure our loved one has safety, food, shelter, love, and all the basic human needs met. This caring and nurturing attitude is ingrained in many people, especially women, and can actually be a big part of what provides satisfaction in a relationship. It’s not so much the act of taking care of things but the overall purpose it gives our life. We need a purpose in life just as much as we need air, food, water, shelter, and love. Often times when this is not available via a healthy relationship members of our modern society revert to work to provide meaning for their existence. While this can be done, it usually drags the stress of your job into your personal life and that can be just as damaging psychologically as being miserable.

   So what to do? Find purpose in the things that define what makes you happy. If you love to take pictures plan a trip just for photography. If you love music, plan to go see a band you’ve always wished you could see and never got around to. It doesn’t matter what you’re into you can find a way to draw purpose from it. Maybe you just want to brighten somebody’s day or make people happy. If that’s the case, help a friend, visit a nursing home or children’s hospital, and really try to make someone genuinely happy that you care that much about them. Again, while it may not replace love, the look in the eyes of someone who is genuinely grateful to you for taking the time to care about them when most people don’t is priceless. Purpose will vary by the person and you have to find what works for you. It can be something simple or outlandish. All that matters is that it gives you something to look forward to, to care deeply about, and it makes you feel good.

   Ok, so again, just to reiterate I’m not suggesting that being single is good, bad or indifferent, I am just suggesting that you don’t have to be miserable and lonely if you’re alone. The human mind is an incredibly powerful tool and can be harnessed by the consciousness experiencing it. While the draw to a loving relationship is incredibly powerful bear in mind that it’s not a requirement for happiness. Don’t chase poor relationships, fit a round peg in a square hole, or settle for anything just because you are alone and want to be happy! I understand very well that you may be incredulous about this fact, as I have been in the past, and you may not agree with me. Hell, I might not have agreed with me 5 years ago, but, I have come to learn a lot after extensive soul searching in the last few years. I’ve spent the majority of the last year alone and single, mostly by choice, to try and really analyze what I value and what I am looking for. It has given me clarity in the fact I am now beginning to understand that happiness and sadness lie within. In this simple understanding I have gained the confidence to face the world alone and succeed where many other may fail. By understanding the fact that I can be happy alone, it has given me the courage to know that whatever life may bring in terms of love, I am capable and able to accept it for what it is. I am ready to accept love in whatever form it finds me. Not only does this knowledge comfort me in times of loneliness and self doubt but it strengthens my resolve to live life unafraid of commitment and heartbreak. While love can sting as much as it can heal, knowing this and preparing for it at a fundamental level will help you navigate the world of emotion safely. I’m not going to lie and say that it’s always easy because it’s not. There are times I lie awake at night and wish for nothing more than a beautiful girl to hold me, to kiss me, to tell me everything’s gonna be alright, and that she loves me. There is not a human alive that wouldn’t feel the same at some point, but the strength in knowing that it’s alright whether she’s there or not has given me all the motivation in the world to ensure I stay positive and happy until I find her. I don’t need to rush towards it, or find something that’s close but not quite it. I know I can sustain my spirit and happiness until that day arrives. This is what gives me comfort when I feel that loneliness creep in. I just focus on something that makes me happy or find a purpose and a reason to be happy. While I concede that having a lover to truly care about and having someone who cares about you is much more comforting than substitutes, I am convinced that single people don’t necessarily need to be unhappy people.

   In conclusion this theory may be idealistic and does not address the constant pounding life can give us in our journeys of love and adventure but it is meant to open your eyes and your heart to more possibilities than you think you might have. Learn to leave the negative aspects of situations on the table and take only the positive things in life to heart. Love deeply in anything you do, care about people, and focus on positively affecting peoples’ lives. Don’t underestimate the power of your consciousness and it’s ability to change your outlook for the better. Viewing life in this manner isn’t an interchangeable replacement for love but it can allow you to experience a whole different form of love. Sometimes, this can be just enough of a push to get you through a lonely and rough period without losing hope. So don’t lament single people! Go out and find something you love today and really LOVE it! Experience life as it is and don’t focus on how you wish it to be. That day will come if you keep working towards it but for now embrace what you have and make the best of it. Remember you can only live each day once and tomorrow may not come for some of us. Find happiness now and share it with those around you. You’ll be surprised at just how much more you love your life! Good Luck!



  1. deep dude, this is a very pivotal point in modern culture. to be content with the now, many of us chose to use relationships as safety blankets which in reality are covering true problems. what a better time tan now to experience and analyze your inter self contentiousness. Awakenings will come after breaking up with someone but those suttle visions are what life's journey is about. thank you for writing this blog , it has helped .

  2. Excellent comment! I could not have put it better! Thank you for reading and responding! It makes writing worth while!

  3. Very insightful article. Thanks for posting it.

  4. Very insightful and very well written...
    Going to recomend it to couple of my friends. :-)