Few people realized that last week, the third week in September, was National Singles Week (often referred to as Unmarried and Single Americans Week). Many assume that this is just another Hallmark Holiday, but probably had not considered the fact that a whopping 96 million Americans 18 years old and older are single (never-married, divorced or widowed).
This commemorative celebration was established to recognize the huge population segment who are living single (43 percent of Americans, up from 28 percent in 1969) and to advocate equal rights on their behalf in a predominately marriage-oriented society.
I felt compelled to keep bleating about the week even after the fact because while singles everywhere were supposed to be celebrating, one of my friends got dumped, another was rejected at a dating mixer and a third was stood up altogether.
No one ever said that single living is easy but when heartbreak happens it’s hard to imagine there’s anything about it to rejoice. So how does one deal with the vicissitudes and disappointments of dating while maintaining a happy face? Here are a few things to remember:
- There is Much More to You than Who You are With at the Moment: Your relationship status does not define you; it is only one aspect of who you are. By owning all the elements that make up who you are as a person, embracing your personal passions and recognizing your contributions, achievements and qualities, you will gain a more holistic perspective on life. When you have a broader and better-balanced view of yourself, minor romantic setbacks will not matter as much when they happen.
- Don’t Get Too Caught Up in Being a Couple: If your identity is wrapped up in finding a mate, then dating decisions can get clouded and lead to unsatisfactory compromises. Be sure to evaluate relationships honestly so you do not settle into or linger too long over a relationship that doesn’t work. By understanding that you deserve to be respected and adored there will be little tolerance for someone who stands you up or plays with your heart strings.
- Your Last Date/Relationship is Only as Good as the Next Successful One: The more recent the memories the easier they are to remember, especially the good ones. That’s why the best way to get over someone is to meet someone new. Rest assured that the minute you do, those lingering feelings of rejection, loss and resentment will suddenly start to dissipate.
- Don’t Let the Rejection Fool You: You simply cannot let a few unnoticed Flirts or a series of bad first dates send you into a tail spin. Yes, rejection is difficult. But is it rejection when you don’t even know the person on the other side of the screen? And if a person decides to blow you off after one evening of cocktails do you really know what’s going on in their head? So don’t waste time writing their story when you could be working on your own. If you take a step back you will realize it is not a reflection of what you look like, how much you make or where you live.
What’s important to remember is that each person you meet brings you one step closer to the person with whom you are meant to be.