Being single is hard. Being older and single is even harder. Sometimes it may feel like you’re stalled in an unending state of singlehood. But the main lesson I’ve discovered is that this time is rife with spiritual opportunity. Here are five strategies to help make the meantime meaningful.
You Complete Yourself: There’s a famous saying, “Wherever you go there you are.” No matter who you’re with or where you go, you’re always going to be there. Getting into a relationship doesn’t automatically complete you as a person. Only you can do that for yourself.
It’s important to get clear on any personal issues you have before you join together with someone else. Fill yourself up with things that you enjoy and add to your identity. You’ll have so much more to give, not only to your partner and your marriage but to other relationships as well. I’m so grateful for all the time and opportunities I’ve been given to work on my character traits. I’ve been able to focus on what I enjoy and figure out who I am. Although it can be frustrating to still be single in your mid-30s, I am so much more comfortable in my own skin than I was when I was younger. I have a greater clarity on my outlook on life and what I want to contribute to the world.
Be Grateful: Nothing in this world is for certain, especially in today’s economic climate and instability. Things can change in the blink of an eye. It’s so important to be grateful for every opportunity and every blessing that God gives you. I try to think of five things on a daily basis that I’m grateful for and they have to be different things every day. Keep a gratitude notebook; it can come in handy during those down moments. There will always be things that you want in life, whatever stage you’re at. You can either spend every day yearning for what you don’t have or appreciating what you do.
Acceptance: There have been times throughout the dating process where I’ve questioned my personal situation and wondered, “Why did things have to be this way?” This kind of thinking is understandable, but it’s not positive or constructive. Once I accepted the reality of my situation it was ironically rather liberating. I found that when I accepted my lot in life and came to peace with it that was the moment things started to open up and change. When we start looking at everything God gives us as a gift, even if we can’t understand how it’s good for us at the time, He is more likely to give us more.
Let It Go: The other day I had a situation at work. I was searching for information for a project, left many voice messages and emails and hadn’t heard back from anyone. I did my best and decided it was time to pass the ball to God. Not an hour later I had emailed a person by mistake and that email led me to the exact information I needed. I got what I needed because after putting in my responsible effort I “let go and let God.” We all need help from the Master Orchestrator. It helps to remember who is really in charge.
Have Fun!: The energy you send out to the world is usually what ends up coming back to you. The Torah commands us to be happy. It’s not always easy but work on coming from a place of fullness, instead of a place of lack. Pull out your bucket list (and make one if you haven’t!) and start crossing things off. Take advantage of this time to do things that really make you happy, whether it’s being outside hiking, mountain biking, traveling, taking up new hobbies, taking classes, doing volunteer work. All these things fill you up, add to your life in positive ways and make you more desirable as a potential mate.