Single Bells, Single Bells, Single All the Way!

As they say, ‘tis the season to be jolly, and as I often see people upset about their single status, I’d like to sprinkle some merry advice in the hope to chase any blues away.

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The only time in life where you have the opportunity to do what you like, without negotiating your whereabouts with someone, is when you are single. It is a time to hone in on your ‘true self’ and discover what you really are about. Do you remember the article about the things dying people most regret in life? One of them was ‘I wish I had let myself be happier’. Being single allows you to reflect on what things make you happy. This can be difficult for some. The idea of allowing oneself to be happy can bring up some discomfort and is related to one's feelings of worth. The lower your self-worth, the more difficult it is to gain access to thoughts of what makes you happy. When was the last time you did something nice for yourself?

Ok, perhaps we should take a look at your bucket list. You have one right?... Get a PADI certificate off the Great Barrier Reef, go on silent retreat in the Sahara desert, overcome your fear of flying, write that novel you always keep dreaming about, sign up to 5-aside football, learn to knit or take up Swahili. That sort of thing? You needn’t create a long list, but create something. Having a bucket list gives you an idea of things you would like to experience and achieve, and by experiencing them, you create stories which enrich your sense of being.

Here is a suggestion. Make one change today that will lead towards achieving one thing on your bucket list. Pick something and put a date by when you will follow through on it.

For those of you putting ‘I want a relationship more than anything else’ as first entry on your bucket list, may I gently remind you, that embracing your ‘singledom’ paradoxically makes you more attractive. Economist John Kay, author of Obliquity, unpicks the paradoxes of life, surmising that many things cannot be obtained when tackled head on. For example, the most happy people do not pursue happiness, nor are the most profitable companies the most profit-orientated. He covers a whole book it. Suffice to say, being single can be great, but by embracing it, you are more likely to find love.

In fact, let’s do a little positive psychology exercise. This will help you embrace 'singledom'. List 5 things you are grateful for that your single status allows you to be, have, experience or achieve that you would otherwise have lost had you been in a relationship. New friends? hobby? venture? skills? Have you ever thought to thank yourself for that?!

In summary, embrace being single, think of things that make you happy, create your bucket list, practice gratitude et voila! Everything becomes a jolly with single-bells ringing all the way.

Merry Christmas and Happy New You.

Madeleine Mason Roantree

Dating Psychologist, The Vida Consultancy Ltd

Dating and relationship expert, with an MSc and BSc in psychology, pending counselling psychology doctorate, Cert. in Applied Positive Psychology, plus cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), person-centred and psychodynamic training. Madeleine offers personal coaching and counselling sessions as well as seminars and workshops. Having experience in marriage, divorce, dating and relationships, Madeleine is passionate about helping people to understand their own needs and getting successful results in their personal relationships. She was shortlisted for Dating Expert of the Year 2014 and 2015 at the UK Dating Awards, plus nominated best dating expert in the world at the 2016 iDate awards. She has worked with various publications such as TimeOut, Daily Telegraph, The Independent and continues to blog at LifeLabs. In 2016 she founded the UK Dating Fair, an annual event for singles to get dating advice and meet the best dating experts in the UK, she is open to collaboration and idea exchanges within the helping profession.