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How to Cope With Being Single

Updated on June 19, 2013

Profile pictures

The photo I took for my profile on an online dating site
The photo I took for my profile on an online dating site | Source

For many people, being single is not a hardship but there are some who find it a burden. For those who do find it difficult, there are many different coping methods. Before you learn to cope, you do need to determine why you are having a difficult time.

Signs that you are not coping with being single

Do you....

  • Know the difference between burying yourself in work and being busy at work?
  • Know the difference between being immersed in you kids' lives or using them to hide behind?
  • Know the difference of being selective or finding fault in every future date?

These are examples of making yourself unavailable. You are coping with being single by overcompensating, much like the class clown. These things are giving a clear message. You may be coping with being single by armouring yourself against any future pain.

Don't hide behind your kids!
Don't hide behind your kids! | Source

Afraid to be alone?

I have a friend who has been married 4 times and another one who's been married 3. In fact, the older I get, the more friends I meet who have been married more than once. Although I don't doubt that at some point, they loved each of their spouses, I wondered how much their fear of being single motivated their multiple marriages. I have other friends who want to meet me and hang out but only if it is in a high-profile place where they are certain to meet singles. Some of the best evenings I've had with friends, have been the casual, no fuss ones. If I have to worry about how I look and who is looking at me each time I go out, I probably wouldn't go out too much. I no longer meet these friends, unless I want to go to a single's event. I feel that they devalue our friendship by consistently using it only as a means to meet other people.

Shiny Happy People

Penelope Cruz on being single.

"I have stepped off the relationship scene to come to terms with myself. I have spent most of my adult life being 'someone's girlfriend', and now I am happy being single."


Sighs that you are coping well with being single

  • You are comfortable being alone with yourself.
  • You are able to dine alone or go to a movie theater by yourself
  • You join in activities for the sake of the activity vs. meeting someone.
  • You don't use people or allow others to use you in order to meet others
  • You don't do things that you really don't want to do, just so you can say you did something.
  • Remember, being alone is not necessarily lonely, but....
  • Being lonely does not mean you aren't coping.
  • You know the difference between going out with someone because you are terrified of being alone or going out with someone because you enjoy their company.

Acceptance of your singularity

One of the first steps in being able to cope, is acceptance. Until you are comfortable with being single, you probably won't cope as well. There are some that will be simply resigned to being single and can still cope but those who do not embrace it, will probably have a tough time. So, first, STOP thinking of "single" as synonomous with "loser" Whether you have a partner or not, does not determine your winningness.Though for many of us, our partners, oft known as our
"better halfs, do help us to be better people, that is not to say that we aren't good on our own. Television, advertisements, music videos, book and movies are always pushing the idea that everyone has to have the perfect mate. Of course, we don't feel complete without one, everywhere we turn, there are smiling, happy people. We are led to believe that their happiness is a direct reaction to their relationship status. We are made to feel that we aren't complete without being in a relationship.This is probably the highest hurdle in learning to cope. The next difficult hurdle is in recognizing that "coping" does not negate "wanting." There are many people who would love to be in a healthy relationship but haven't found "the one." They may continue to search while still coping. Here is a glimpse of my quest for "One Sweet Love"

Two methods in one!

Get a pet and buy a single serve coffee maker!
Get a pet and buy a single serve coffee maker! | Source

Woody Allen on happiness.

"The talent for being happy is appreciating and liking what you have, instead of what you don't have."

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    • carol7777 profile image

      carol stanley 4 years ago from Arizona

      though I was only single for three years between husbands..I had already gotten comfortable being single. So when I met my current husband I was enjoying my life...I had dated a lot but went through a dry spell and loved it. So as you say you have to be comfy with your own skin and enjoying time alone...Great hub..Voting up, sharing and pinning.

    • btrbell profile image
      Author

      Randi Benlulu 4 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      Thank you, Carol. You have picked up on what is to me the most essential part, be comfortable in yourself, by yourself! Thank you for all the votes, pins and shares!

    • profile image

      lovedoctor926 4 years ago

      Useful information. Thanks for your words of wisdom. Lovely photo of you.

    • dragonflyfla profile image

      dragonflyfla 4 years ago from South Florida

      mmmm I am going to have to question the word "Cope" :-)

      I am single and I love it. Confirmed bachelorette.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      It is an interesting transition that we go through; some never do. I was single for twelve years during middle age, and I went from hating it to finding great freedom with it. Great suggestions here Randi.

    • Gordon Hamilton profile image

      Gordon Hamilton 4 years ago from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom

      Good advice - you have a good outlook on life. When I became single again nigh on four years ago it was not through choice and circumstances meant I had to up sticks and move location. It hit me hard and it took me at least a year (more, probably, if I'm honest) to adjust but since then I have become totally comfortable being single and actually prefer being alone to having company of any kind (other than my dog) most of the time. It means I can do what I want, when I want. I'm not saying that its beyond the realms of possibility that there could some day be another woman in my life, just that it's definitely not something I'm looking for at this stage in my life. Good luck to you in finding whatever you want in life and be happy above all else.

    • btrbell profile image
      Author

      Randi Benlulu 4 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      Thank you, lovedoctor! I appreciate it!

    • btrbell profile image
      Author

      Randi Benlulu 4 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      dragonflyfla, you probably missed the part in my first paragraph where I said this was only for those who have trouble coping! I'm happy for you! Life is all about knowing what works for you! Thanks for stopping by!

    • btrbell profile image
      Author

      Randi Benlulu 4 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      Yes, Bill and Gordon, the everchanging transitions we deal with in life! Like both of you, I have been on my own (if you call 2 kids and 4 cats alone!) for 8 years now. There have been times I longred to share the load but as I got better at doing things myself, I began to like it! I would most definitely enjoy a relationship but if it doesn't happen, I have friends, family, work, etc. to keep me happy. Thank you both! Gordon, thanks for stopping by. I look forwared to checking out your hubs!

    • dragonflyfla profile image

      dragonflyfla 4 years ago from South Florida

      Sorry...it is just the word that I reacted to. I have constantly having people trying to set me up as if there is something wrong with being alone. Maybe "adjust" would be a better term. It is a great article and I am voting you up and useful.

    • lindalou1963 profile image

      Linda 4 years ago from Texas

      I was married for 20 years and 1 day. I divorced him and 11 months later I met Billy who has been in my life for 5 years now. We live separately but close enough to visit OFTEN! He's been married 4 times, me... just once. Maybe we'll marry someday... I hope we do... but if not, thats ok too.

      I'm sort of single... I work and I come and go as I please. If I don't want to cook or do the dishes, nobody cares. It works for us!

      This is a great hub! Voted up and shared.

    • JenIncognito profile image

      JenIncognito 4 years ago

      I'm not currently single but was for a few years and I did okay with it. Good hub with some very good points. Voted up and interesting.

    • Amy Becherer profile image

      Amy Becherer 4 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      I was married twice, Randi, both for long periods of time. I had no self confidence and hid behind controlling men. I am not a man-hater, and am open to the possibility I will meet the PhD of my dreams. I have a special admiration for the intellect, determination and drive necessary to become a doctor. My BFF tried to encourage me to meet new men, despite my insistence that I am, indeed, fulfilled and happier than when I was treated like an ornament by the men I married. When I opted to be more available, the horror stories left her apologetic. Yes, I am not exaggerating when I say horror.

      These last few single years have been a time of self awareness, discovery and learning. When I lost my beloved Scottie, MacGregor, to cancer this July 2012, I lost the best man I've ever known. Last week, I adopted a Potosi puppy mill rescue, a 4 year old female Scottie, who is now discovering life outside a cage. I feel a sisterhood with her, a parallel universe, so to speak, as we are both enjoying the freedom to just be. I have discovered my own hard won resourcefulness, independence and the joy in doing so on my own. Life is unpredictable and there are times that I worry that my autoimmune disease might flare or a car accident could occur, but clinging to someone else for security is a poor excuse for a relationship. The male attention I've receive, which I would have been flattered by in the past, leaves me knowing I am taking care of myself far better than they are. I no longer wish to placate a male ego or babysit. In fact, I see better behavior in my canine companions...and a lot more unconditional love.

      Great article, Randi, and I especially love your idea about rescuing a homeless pet. They give far more than they ever take.

    • Maria Cecilia profile image

      Maria Cecilia 4 years ago from Philippines

      I like this hub....and I am happy to know that I am coping.... living alone I realized how majority of the people I know have this greatest fear of solitude

    • btrbell profile image
      Author

      Randi Benlulu 4 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      dragonflyfla, no worries. I do understand. It gets pretty tiresome when people are trying to force their belief systems on you! Just be true to yourself! Now about that title....as an apprentice, I have to use certain titles so I am a bit stuck but do get what you are saying! Thank you so much for the votes. I look forward to checking out your hubs!

    • btrbell profile image
      Author

      Randi Benlulu 4 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      lindalou, thank you so much for stopping by and sharing your personal tale! It sounds like you two have a good thing going:) I am happy for you! Thanks so much for the votes and sharing!

    • btrbell profile image
      Author

      Randi Benlulu 4 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      JenIncognito, thanks for stopping by and for your votes! Much appreciated!

    • btrbell profile image
      Author

      Randi Benlulu 4 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      Ah, Amy....parallel lives? Kind of, with only a few differences. I was married to one man for 20 years but somewhere in that time, I lost my self esteem because he convinced me that I wasn't good enough. I have tried dating, mostly fiascos. Yes, I worry that my auto immine disease will flair. I am sometimes afraid my car will break down, etc, etc. But I have been doing this simgle thing for 8 years now and I've found myself and I like who I found. Just a few more more crazy similarities. My first dog, Pippin was adopted (in 1979!) from....wait for it.....Potosi! I hope you enjoyed that as much as I did reading where your new little girl is from! My latest 2 babes are squirrelly, wild and very lovable but one of my older girls, Izzy was an abused cat. We brought her home 3 years ago when she was 2. She had no voice. She'd run around the house crying with no sound but a squeak here and there. I am happy to report that, like you and me, Izzy has found her voice! Also, those above mentioned emergencies have kind of happened and I got through them. So will you, if they, god forbid happen. I wish you, as always, only the best...

    • AMFredenburg profile image

      Aldene Fredenburg 4 years ago from Southwestern New Hampshire

      Excellent Hub; I'm glad to read a positive view of being single. I think a lot of people have trouble being alone with themselves and keeping their own company.

      I've seen a few amazing marriages, some good ones, more so-so ones, and a lot of real nightmares. Being alone is better than being lonely in a relationship.

    • btrbell profile image
      Author

      Randi Benlulu 4 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      Thank you, AMFredenburg, I appreciate your supportive comments!

    • Mhatter99 profile image

      Martin Kloess 4 years ago from San Francisco

      Thank you for sharing this insight. Since I was 22 I was only single 5 years. I don't remember how I felt as the masons kept me hopping.

    • btrbell profile image
      Author

      Randi Benlulu 4 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      Thank you, Maria Cecilia for stopping by and your comments! I think you are absolutely right! I look forward to reading your hubs!

    • btrbell profile image
      Author

      Randi Benlulu 4 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      Thank you Martin. Having things to do and people to be with, gives you a different purpose. Good you had the Masons to keep you busy.

    • epigramman profile image

      epigramman 4 years ago

      Well Randi at the age of 154 years too old I've never been married with no children - it's too late now - I need a new toupee, my teeth are falling out, my wooden leg doesen't hold me up anymore and 7pm in the evening is way past my bedtime. I constantly forget what I did 5 minutes ago and the only way the Hub photo profile guy would take my picture is if he were allowed to leave the lense cap on BUT I still don't need viagara.

      Sending you warm wishes from a very mild but damp and foggy lake erie time canada 7:00am where my cats sit outside on their deck contemplating 'spring' .......

      Great work here Randi , you make an awesome hub apprentice.

      and p.s. - you're far too pretty to be single. (call me)

    • btrbell profile image
      Author

      Randi Benlulu 4 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      Oh, Colin. Your comments are almost as good as your poems. Thank you for the very visual descriptions. It is 8 am here, very chilly. Me and sll4 kitties still being lazy, haven't gotten up yet! Probably why I'm still single! Have a wonderful day! Thank you for your as always, fun comments!

    • prasetio30 profile image

      prasetio30 4 years ago from malang-indonesia

      Very inspiring hub. I learn many things here and I'll share with my friend as a single mother too. Thanks for writing. You are a wonderful mom. Voted up!

      Prasetio

    • catgypsy profile image

      catgypsy 4 years ago from the South

      The older I'm getting the easier it has become to be single. I have been married twice and had tons of boyfriends and fairly long term relationships, so now I'm kind of enjoying being by myself. Every once in awhile I get lonely and wish I had someone I loved to cuddle up to, but generally I've accepted that I am meant to be alone right now. I think it's refreshing that more and more women are not bothered by this. This was a great hub about the subject!!

    • btrbell profile image
      Author

      Randi Benlulu 4 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      Prasetio, thank you so much for stopping by. Your kind words and vote are much appreciated!

    • btrbell profile image
      Author

      Randi Benlulu 4 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      Hi catgypsy! I know what you mean, I was only married once (20 years) but have had several relationships since and I know that the longer I am single the more comfortable and set in my own ways I become! But yes I do miss the shoulder to lean on. Thank you so much for stopping by and commenting!

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 4 years ago from Wales

      Interesting and thanks for sharing this gem .

      Have a great day Randi and here's to so many more to follow.

      I vote up,across and share.

      Eddy.

    • Amy Becherer profile image

      Amy Becherer 4 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      Thank you so much, Randi, for your wickedly awesome response to my comment to you. The magic of our similiaries is abundant. I suspect there are many women, like us, who discover their strength through surviving despite great difficulties, which I now see as learning opportunities. Honestly, when the living' was easy, I merely went with the flow. Had I not been forced to be proactive, I'd be a slug.

      Since my beauty pup has never had a name, I want her to have the best name possible. Nothing frou-frou, as she is a tough little survivor. I wanted to name her 'Rudy', after my Scottie loving sweet dad, but I don't think my mom appreciates that! I'm trying out McE (Micky), Kiko pronounced 'Kee-Ko' [hawaiian name for dog/spot or Makana meaning gift] my sis lives in HI), or my daughter's idea of 'Macavity', from a poem about a cat by T.S. Eliot. I like 'August' (Augie) too. She is coal black, so I considered Angus, too. As an animal lover, what do you think, Randi?

      After all of this, I hope you consider me a friend and not a burden! LOL

      I love this piece, Randi. It is a gem, just like you.

    • btrbell profile image
      Author

      Randi Benlulu 4 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      Thank you, Eddy for your ever present support and may I say, your live story is an inspiration! Have a great day!

    • btrbell profile image
      Author

      Randi Benlulu 4 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      Amy, first: it is an honor to call you friend! Second: when I see a comment or post notification with your name on it, I make sure I have some time to settle in for a good read! third: how honored I am that you would consiider my opinion valuable enought to help you name your precious new lady. Alas, I am of the simple, mundane and sill when it comes to my pets. My girls all have common feminine names, derived from funny reasons. Let me illustrate. 1)Phoebe, named for the song Smelly Cat that Phoebe sings in Friends (oddly she is the least smelly of all!) Isabella, nickname Izzy which rhymes with Frizzy (the awful name the shelter gave her!) and finally, baby Ella because she has an ash colored spot on her head like Cinderella (but mostly, she just looks like an Ella!) and finally, our little boy, Finnick named for Finnick Odair in the hunger games. I must admit I had nothing to do with the last name but it has grown on me mostly because the little body that bears it is so precious. That being said..I will try to think of something special for you! Take care, Amy!

    • Amy Becherer profile image

      Amy Becherer 4 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      All of your critters have absolutely adorable names! I esp adore the name Finnick. That's got panache. Thank you for being so nice, Randi. I not only value your opinion, I sincerely appreciate it. Hugs

    • btrbell profile image
      Author

      Randi Benlulu 4 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      Some people think it's short for finicky but he's a bit of a "garbage disposal" If you haven't already been there, check out the post about my life with them. I updated their pictures now that the babies are just about full grown! Thank you, Amy!

    • everymom profile image

      Anahi Pari-di-Monriva 4 years ago from Massachusetts

      Voted up, useful, funny and awesome, and shared! I have friends like some of yours, who seem to be afraid of being single. I am the opposite; like @dragonflyfla I am a confirmed bachelorette + 1 kid, though I used to question whether I were hiding, "armouring" as you wrote, myself against future pain. Then I realized I just don't really like to share with other adults (I don't mind sharing with my child). I don't like sharing the responsibilities or the fun times. I love my life...even through the "down cycles!"

    • btrbell profile image
      Author

      Randi Benlulu 4 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      I completely understand what you are saying Anahi! And the more I am alone, the more independent I become!thank you so much for reading and commenting

    • everymom profile image

      Anahi Pari-di-Monriva 4 years ago from Massachusetts

      PS I _love_ the photo you took for the online dating site. You remind me of an actress, though I can't think of her name right now. Also, love that song by REM! (I remember back in my daughter's Sesame Street days, seeing Michael Stipe singing that with the Muppets!)

    • btrbell profile image
      Author

      Randi Benlulu 4 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      Aw, thank you, Anahi! You just made my day! Well,actually, probably my week!

    • kj force profile image

      kjforce 4 years ago from Florida

      btrbell..love your attitude.."you don't need a man to feel like a woman"..life is too short to let something so trivial consume you..just think what you are missing..xtra laundry..pee on the seat..toilet lid left up..just to name a few..by the way " colin " appears to be quite a catch from his description, sounds like the Colin I knew that lives in a cabin in the woods of Canada..and he was a close to perfect as anything...hmmm

      couldn't resist the humor...

    • btrbell profile image
      Author

      Randi Benlulu 4 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      Thank you, Kj! Humour is always welcomed and appreciated! Thanks for stopping by! So am Im fighting you for Colin?

    • cam8510 profile image

      Chris Mills 4 years ago from Colorado Springs, CO until the end of March

      I think I have definitely progressed in this regard. I remember early on after losing my wife, I would go do volunteer work and other things in order to not be alone. There is nothing wrong with those activities, but I needed to be content being alone. I'm a lot more fun at social events when I am comfortable with myself as well. Great hub Randi. It is a very timely reminder for me, because a person can regress as well, I believe.

    • btrbell profile image
      Author

      Randi Benlulu 4 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      Hey Chris! I'm not sure how long it has been for you but I have been divorced since 2005. It isn't always easy and some times are easier than others. Like you, I have been up and down. While I have learned to enjoy being alone, I am sometimes, achingly lonely (and I still have 1 kid living with me!) Thank you for reading and commenting! I hope all is good with you. I have been so behind on my hub hopping but hope to catch up soon!

    • cam8510 profile image

      Chris Mills 4 years ago from Colorado Springs, CO until the end of March

      Randi, Sandy died in 2008, so coming up on five years. It has definitely gotten easier. I'm so glad I didn't get married sometime earlier. I was not ready at all. I'm comfortable alone, but I don't feel isolated. I have a 24 staying with me, but he tends to come and go for long periods too. Yes, you have a lot of my hubs to catch up on. Just kidding. Take care.

    • btrbell profile image
      Author

      Randi Benlulu 4 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      Yes. I am also glad I didn't marry right away also. I have enjoyed being on my own and making my own decisions. Last year both kids were away at school and even though I was a bit frightened, it was v pretty great.

    • Danext profile image

      Dan Lema 2 years ago from Tanzania

      Loneliness controls you after you think about it too much, and when you let it control you, you'll become desperate and settle for less than you deserve in order to fill that void....you can be single and yet still be happy, it's better to spend long time being single than make a harsh decision based on your negative feelings....i will write an article concerning this soon.....but you have done great job with this article, great job.....voted up/useful and interesting...keep up the good work, i really enjoyed your article....

    • btrbell profile image
      Author

      Randi Benlulu 2 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      Thank you, Danext and welcome to my page! I appreciate the comment and votes and will watch for your article!

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