For the month of February, I want to challenge myself to blog everyday.
It’s going to focus on dating and relationship encouragement for both singles and those who are coupled and maybe even get a little personal and share my story, my testimony of how I found God again, and a couple of my unpopular opinions.
We’ll see where this goes in the next 28 days since I don’t have things TOTALLY planned out but I think it’ll be fun!
I also might fall off the wagon but let’s give it a shot!
Here we go!
Today, I wanted to write about how to be single.
Coming out from an eight and a half year relationship, becoming single was both different and not so different.
Let me explain.
It was different because I no longer had a partner to love.
I went from fighting for someone and for a marriage to work to releasing that stress and obligation.
I went from coming home to having another adult to “be” with (in quotation marks because he was so shut off from me that it was like he wasn’t there anyway) to having to be my own adult company (I think we can all agree kids don’t really count for that kind of mental sanity).
I went from having at least having those good memories to not creating any new ones with someone I’ve know for years.
I went from relying on him for certain things to having them completely taken away from me.
Instead of coming to a messy home with him sitting in his boxers playing video games, it was taking a different street home to my parents.
Instead of waking my kids up and getting them ready to take the bus to school, I was dropping them off.
Instead of making dinner for four, it was making dinner for three.
But what wasn’t so different was that I was already living my own separate life in my marriage.
We didn’t have much of a partnership in our marriage so going our separate ways was easy.
It didn’t take much to adjust to a drastically different lifestyle.
It was hard for my kids but it was easy for me.
Aside from the emotional healing and recuperating from the financial loss, being single was preferable for a good long while (note that I am coming from a very toxic marriage).
So how did I do this single mom thing?
The key to being single is falling in love with YOU all over again.
In every sense. Physically and mentally.
After being neglected for so long, you don’t feel attractive.
You see all the flaws and the reasons why you think your ex probably neglected you for so long (which isn’t true – you are not responsible for the choices that he made).
For me, it was my acne-prone skin, my weight gain, the deep tissue scars on my face, my lack of “eyebrow game” and scarce eyelashes, the stretch marks and the wrinkly skin from pregnancy.
I felt ugly. And the poisonous thoughts of wondering if I had just looked a little prettier that maybe he might have treated me better took me to a tunnel of self-hate and self-pity.
But your LOOKS have nothing to do with the way your HUSBAND should treat you.
He should love you no matter what. He should speak life into you, not take it away.
And as hard and awkward as it was, I did one of those cheesy exercises for awhile where you look at yourself in the mirror and say out loud, “I am beautiful.”
And I would name something that I liked about myself.
After awhile, you don’t notice your flaws as much anymore.
You realize you have a pretty smile.
And your hair looks great.
And that booty of yours… girl, get it!
And your flaws? They aren’t so bad after all.
It’s what makes you, well, you.
You start finding your confidence.
And then there was the issue of wondering what was wrong with me as a whole.
Maybe I was too stupid.
Maybe I was annoying.
Maybe I didn’t give him enough space.
Maybe I didn’t give him enough attention.
All of a sudden, you’re living a life of uncertainty and self-doubt, living your life for someone else.
All the years of him mocking your dreams, criticizing your passions, saying that you couldn’t and shouldn’t takes away the core of your existence.
Being single for two and a half years now, I believe that every soul has a purpose.
It’s not an accident that we are here.
Oh, and the little quirks that you have? They are lovable.
Someone is going to adore the attention you have to give.
Someone is going to appreciate your self-assurance and the space you give them.
Someone is going to love when you feel like a one woman army and will still love you all the same when you feel insecure.
Someone is going to love you both when you are strong and when you can’t hold your head up when the world is crashing down on you.
The guy you had that didn’t appreciate you didn’t know how to love you. That doesn’t mean you are unlovable.
So fall in love with you all over again.
Blow the dust that collected over your passions and get back at it.
Do that thing you’ve always wanted to do with your ex but he never wanted to do it with you.
Go places. Do things. Enjoy yourself. Live life.
Because you no longer have a Negative Ned draining your heart and soul out of you.
You are free.
And listen, I know it can be excruciatingly hard as a single mom.
This is a process.
Be patient with yourself and give yourself the time and space to heal.
When I moved in with my parents, I had none of those.
I sat on the bathroom floor and just let my mind wander.
I allowed my insecurities, fears, and nervousness flow through me.
Heck, I even prayed on the bathroom floor.
And the funny thing is, I literally put on a 5 minute timer so I wasn’t away from my kids for too long.
And I did the same thing at night before I went to sleep. I just lied there in the dark, my kids snuggled up next to me, on the floor (the only space my parents had at the time), riding through the emotions.
I never cried for the way my ex treated me and how our marriage ended.
But I did cry because the life change was overwhelming and the fear of failing my kids was more than I can handle after already feeling like I had.
Realize you aren’t alone and God is right there beside you, picking up the pieces and putting you back together again.
Slowly but surely, you’ll find yourself finding peace and joy.
Things will look up.
You’re going to be okay.
How to be single?
Fall in love with you.
Whether you are single or not, you should always love yourself like no man ever could.