By Jens W. Pedersen
Author and coach, Jens W. Pedersen, wants us singles to leave behind the who-do-you-think-you-are attitude* and get better at listening to what we actually need:
In my Danish book “Dating, desperation og selvudvikling” I listed five different types of singles:
1. You are a happy single and do not want anything else.
2. You imagine that you are happy, but basically you want to live in a relationship.
3. You are unhappy, but passive. You do nothing to get a sweetheart.
4. You are unhappy and active – you venture into meetings with the opposite sex.
5. You imagine that you are unhappy and try to find a love connection. But in reality you do not want it.
No. 5 is rather a queer fish (m/f), because he is trying to have a girlfriend, although he doesn’t really want it.
Today we have a lot of “serial monogamy”. When so many of us jump from relationship to relationship, it may be because we are singles no. 5: we want a relationship, yet not after all. Or at least we don’t want it enough for it to become a lifelong relationship and marriage.
If you are one of those who do so, do not degrade yourself for that reason, but remember to maintain a good self-esteem.
Believe in yourself, single!
One of the main sources of self-esteem is to realize that the psychological processes we pass through are both healthy and natural.
Unfortunately, the prevailing opinion and norms sometimes work against us, and we feel wrong or flawed – and therefore ought to seek out a psychologist to be cured of our misery.
Recently I read a book on dating and relationships in which the good therapist at every other page invited the reader to seek out a therapist. He, he. This may not be what you need. Certainly you don’t need to perceive yourself as guilty or wrong if you are not really interested in a relationship. Instead look at yourself with appreciation, often this is all we need.
Breaking up is not a weakness
When a relationship dissolves it hurts, and we would rather avoid that. But contrary to what many psychologists, family and couple therapists preach, I see no signs of weakness or error. We do not need to perceive breakups as indicators of bad morals, bad communication or childhood trauma.
It may be something else: we may experience a natural process due to less hunger, i.e. that our appetite for a relationship is simply not that big and thus we cannot maintain a real interest in each other over an entire lifetime. Maybe a couple relationship is not the very meaning of life for us.
Loving single culture
I believe that we need a culture that supports and promotes self-esteem – including for singles. Rather than “You’re not to think you are anything special” I say:
- You should not make less of yourself and follow the herd.
- Do not think that you are flawed, just because you do not fit into a traditional couple relationship.
- Be true to yourself and believe, that what you want and what you do is right.
If you would like a lot of love in your life, there’s only one thing to do: show love for yourself and others – in that manner we will have a culture where self-development can take place without undue criticism and condemnation. It is a culture that promotes your self-esteem.
In fact it is also a culture that enhances one’s ability to be in a relationship. If we avoid making ourselves and each other wrong, there is a greater chance that we can maintain our relationships and enjoy the benefits that come from them.
*The who-do-you-think-you-are attitude corresponds to what we in Scandinavia call The Law of Jante. Paulo Cuelho describes the saying of that law very well: “You aren’t worth a thing, nobody is interested in what you think, mediocrity and anonymity are your best bet. If you act this way, you will never have any big problems in life.”
This was taken from his blog: http://paulocoelhoblog.com/2012/02/03/the-law-of-jante-3/