I went to a great party last weekend given by our dear friends, Heidi and Jack. There I was at dinner and I couldn’t help but marvel at the 7 happy couples sitting around the table…they all seemed to be quite connected. As they sat next to each other they had ongoing eye contact, listened to each other intently, laughed as they shared stories and opinions, and showed affection for one another. They were clearly happy to be there sharing the moment with their partner.
Looking back over my single decades, it’s clear that I created my own reality. I believed that there were no good men and no happy couples. And that’s exactly what I saw.
As they sat next to each other they had ongoing eye contact, listened to each other intently, laughed as they shared stories and opinions, and showed affection for one another. They were clearly happy to be there sharing the moment with their partner.
Now, if you know me you know I was married for the first time when I was 47. So I was single for about 30 years – a freakin’ long time. During those years I knew only one or two couples who were happy together. By that I mean they loved and liked each other, and were each other’s trusted best friend. Things weren’t perfect, but they were fulfilled and safe in their partnership.
Conversely, I knew many divorced and never-married women who had experienced some pretty bad relationships and the pain that goes with enduring them and ending them. Those were the women I spent most of my time with.
Over my 30 single years as I was actively dating, on my “I don’t need no stinking man” hiatus’, or avoiding but still hoping…I was sure that I was single because there were no good men. I had evidence, right? I wasn’t meeting any, and I didn’t see many women enjoying their lives with men they loved.
Now I see happy women with fabulous men all around me. So the question I have to ask is:
Was it true that I only knew a few happily matched couples? Did I only see what I wanted to see all those years???
The answer is decidedly “yes!” Looking back over my single decades, it’s clear that I created my own reality. I believed that there were no good men and no happy couples. And that’s exactly what I saw.
Looking at the dinner table the other night, as well as the reality all around me, there are countless fabulous women who are living great lives with good men who love them, have their backs and provide wonderful companionship.
I’m quite sure that if I had allowed myself see that reality over my many lonely years it would have given me a huge amount of encouragement to get out there and meet one of those good men. (Instead of complaining with my single girlfriends about how crappy men were.)
In fact, can you guess what happened after I met my husband? Our happiness ignited new desire in some of my single girlfriends. They began dating with optimism and belief that they, too, could meet nice men. Several have since found relationships after being single for many, many years.
Are you living your single life like I did? If you are not consciously searching out and surrounding yourself with happy or content couples, I challenge you to start. I know it can feel shitty to be the only single woman among couples. But I know as a married woman that that may bother you, but not us. We love to hang out with our single friends. Besides, being a third wheel sucks way less than letting the pessimism creep in and spill out all over your chances of meeting that good man who’s out there waiting for you.
Step outside your comfort zone and find those men and women who are happily sharing their lives. They are everywhere. Ask them to share their happiness and be open to enjoying it and participating. Because what you see, sister, will be what you get.
Read my eBook, 7 Secrets to Finding Love After 40, and learn how to joyfully find the man you dream of and deserve….JUST by being yourself! Pssst… After you read it, you’ll realize that you already have most of the tools to Date Like a Grownup!