Single On Valentine’s Day? Rock On!
“Omigod—it’s Valentine’s Day—and I’m still single!” How many of us have heard (or sung) this refrain? Why do we automatically assume that we are better off in a relationship (in this instance, referring to a primary romantic relationship with a partner)? Here are some possible reasons:
- We lack self-esteem. We have been devalued in previous relationships.
- Though mistreated in a relationship, we stay, because we have been taught that we deserve it.
- As gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people, we were told that we couldn’t be in a relationship—or that it wouldn’t last. We need to prove that’s not true.
- And, perhaps the biggest of all: Fear of being alone. We fear our inner demons, our unresolved conflicts from childhood.
Here, on the other hand, are some reasons to be single:
- “I’m tired of being tied down” (no, not in that sense!). When you’re in a relationship, you need continually to consider your partner’s needs, as well as your own. Want to go out night? I thought you agreed to sit for the baby!
- “I want to see what my life will be like on my own.” Being single is an excellent time to get to know yourself, to find out your deepest wants and needs. Then, you bring your best self to a new relationship.
- “I miss my friends.” Too many people sacrifice this when they enter a relationship.
- “I’m bored!” In relationships, we may forget to explore our unique interests and talents.
When Doctor Jon was young, he reveled in being single. A gay Cinderella, he toiled at a secretarial job during the day, and went to the piano bar/dance club at night, where, with his sidekick and best friend, Tim, he sang and danced the night away. And although his relationship with Tim was platonic, on Valentine’s Day, they had a “date” and exchanged cards and gifts.
OK, you say, but what about those of us who don’t want to be single? Do as Doctor Jon did–get out there and do something you love with other people, and know that even if you don’t meet that special someone, you will have enjoyed what you did. It could mean volunteer work, or joining a sports team, a faith community or a chorus. Do it for the most important person in your life–You!
Jonathan Lebolt, PhD (“Doctor Jon”) is a licensed clinical social worker, psychoanalyst, and group psychotherapist specializing in relationship issues. He lives with his partner of 14 plus years, Rev. Dr. Robin Gorsline, and their princely pooch, Cocoa. Robin and Jonathan are proud grandfathers of a beautiful one-year-old girl, Juna. Feel free to contact Doctor Jon at his website.
My sweetheart and I don’t pay much attention to roles in our marriage.February 15, 2016
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