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Single by Choice: It's a Real, Powerful Thing

Shannon Kaiser
mbg Contributor By Shannon Kaiser
mbg Contributor
Shannon Kaiser is the best-selling author of 5 books on the psychology of happiness and fulfillment including The Self-Love Experiment, Adventures for Your Soul, and Joy Seeker. She has a B.A. in Journalism and Communications from the University of Oregon.

Ever since I declared an official break from dating, it seems almost anywhere I go, people are telling me, "Your man is just around the corner." Or, "I bet you will meet him when you least expect it."

At first, this didn't bother me. But the longer I stay single, the more people are asking me why I am alone? There seems to be a grey area in society that makes people uncomfortable. It is called the "I am single by choice" club, not the "I am single because something is wrong with me,” or “I am single because I can't find a person” club.

Maybe you can relate: Are you single by choice and get comments from people about you independent status? If you are happily single, people cannot fit you into a box. If you are not actively looking for love, in a relationship or married, then there seems to be a big question mark glued to your forehead.

For me, being single at this stage in my life is about cultivating a deep sense of self-love, awareness and respect. By dedicating my time to falling madly in love with me, I am creating space for a harmonious relationship in the future, the kind that soul mate love is manifested from.

I have a history of not running, but sprinting into relationships. I was the ringleader for falling too hard, too fast and ignoring all of the red flags. In my desperate attempt to feel love, get love and give love I would inevitable lose myself. I would morph into my partner and become their shadow, all in an attempt to please them and make them happy.

It wasn't until I got to know myself that I started to speak up. And, in my last relationship, the more true I was to me, the less the other person understood me. Which meant I had a choice: to stay in the relationship and fit what society thought was best for me (and hide my true self while being miserable), or leave and be happy but alone.

There is a difference between being alone and being lonely. Today, I live my life much differently than the person who was addicted to dramatic love. Today, I choose self-love first. Which means, I lead from my heart and I always listen to my inner voice.

If I didn't take this sabbatical from dating, to get to know me on a soul level, I would jump back into my old patterns and stay in relationships with the wrong people. Being single is not a declaration of independence or a status born out of a jaded heart. Choosing to be single means I have learned the importance of self-care and self-love.

If we want to cultivate a real meaningful relationship, we need to put ourselves first. It is more important to be in a fulfilling, respectful relationship than it is to just be with someone to fill an empty void.

Whether you are in a relationship or single, these tips can help you be true to yourself.

Let Go of Romantic Illusions

“What happens to Romeo and Juliet? They kill themselves so that we don’t see them struggle with their lives. A relationship is an addition, not a solution. If you are broken and find the perfect person, you are now broken with the perfect person.” - Isis Leeor

Take time to get to know yourself. By loving you in the best way possible, you will create space for a more fulfilling, romantic partnership.

It Is Not About You

Recognize that society is always going to try to fit you into a mold. If you are single, they will wonder when you will get a mate. If you are married, they will ask when will you have kids… the cycle never ends. Most of the comments that people say are reflections of their own insecurities. If these comments bother you, there is something inside of you that is uncomfortable with the situation, as well. However, if people say things and you are unaffected by their sly comments, this is when you are truly aligned to your authentic self. You know it is not about you, but their own issues.

Trust Yourself

You know yourself better than anyone else. Many times, we hide our true self in relationships in an effort to please the other person. When you feel angry inside, or resistant, that is an indication that you are out of alignment with yourself. Always check in with you, because as Oprah says, "The real point of being alive is to evolve into the person you were intended to be."

Shannon Kaiser
Shannon Kaiser
Shannon Kaiser is the best-selling author of 5 books on the psychology of happiness and fulfillment...
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Shannon Kaiser
Shannon Kaiser
Shannon Kaiser is the best-selling author of 5 books on the psychology...
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