Happily Single v Happily Married

Have you noticed how so many people spend their lives wishing they were something they are not?

Short people would like to be tall; plump people want to be thin; singles want to be in a relationship, possibly married, and those who are married eye their single friends and the freedom they have, with some jealousy.

Family gatherings are always a minefield for the singletons amongst us. Our friends and relations, who have found their significant other, can't wait for everyone else to do the same - thereby re-affirming their own decision to make a commitment.

It is as if they need us to follow suit to prove to themselves that they have done the right thing.

How often, as a single person, have you been grilled by an elderly, whiskery relative who smelt vaguely of mothballs, on whether you have a boyfriend or girlfriend?

How often have you heard them tell you that you had better get a move on or risk being left "on the shelf"?

As someone who is single, and loving it, even I leave such events hosting some niggling doubts about whether I should be searching for my, so far elusive, soul mate!

I watch married friends change. I watch them mould themselves into wives, housewives, mothers, step-mothers, superwomen who try to keep all plates spinning.

I watch elegant career women go through the door of matrimony and emerge on the other side as harassed frumps who need a good haircut (but I forgot, the partner likes her hair long).

I wonder why they do it? (And yes, I know, the men change too. Both parties to the relationship adapt to meet the needs of their partner, this is not meant to be in any way sexist!) And then I look at my best friend, and I know. She has been married for 14 years (to the same man). I'm sure they've had their share of the not so good times but they have worked together to make a true partnership.They do things together and separately. They have 3 wonderful children. They struggle financially. They communicate. They share. They exchange looks which negate the need for the spoken word. They forgive each other, they tolerate each other, they are two halves of a whole and yes, sometimes, I am jealous.

So is there a moral to this rambling tale? I think there is! What I want is for you to be happy with what you are and how you are right now and enjoy life as it is at this moment. If you would like something different in your life there is nothing to stop you making changes and taking the necessary action to attract that difference, but it does not mean you have to be dissatisfied and discontent with what you have at the moment.

Where you are in your life right now is the perfect place for you to be - or it can be if you decide to make it so. Why waste precious time wishing for something you haven't got? Because I can guarantee that, once you have it, you'll be wishing for something else.

I am not saying you must compromise on your hopes, dreams and wishes. Not at all. I simply suggest that there could be less suffering in your life if you were to be happy with what you have, whilst you plan your future and then be happy with how you are, whilst you execute that plan.

Hold your vision of your future and know that wherever you are today is taking you one step closer to achieving that dream. Above all, enjoy the life you have now, be it as a single or a married person.

For those who are single and seeking to be in a relationship, think about your presence in the world. How attractive is it to potential partners if you are moping around because you haven't got what you want? How much more attractive is the energy of someone who is making the best of their current life circumstances and embracing each day with enthusiasm?

Married but not sure if you want to be? Have you tried loving your partner in the way you want to be loved? What have you done to bring the joy back into your relationship?

I promise, the grass is not always greener on the other side of the fence. Our own grass can be very green if we choose to see it as such!

Donnie Harrison is a UK based Coach and Business Mentor. Donnie works with individual clients who are facing a life transition - she describes herself as a companion on the journey of change. Additionally Donnie specialises in working with individuals who are setting up or building a Professional Private Practice, particularly in the healthcare sector be it traditional, alternative or complementary. Further information is available from http://donnieharrison.com

In The News:

How to Mend a Work Relationship  Harvard Business Review
Long-distance relationships at U.Va.  University of Virginia The Cavalier Daily
Past Relationships  CBS Pittsburgh

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