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The Single Life, Part Two
by Horsefeathers. February 7th 2014, 07:40 AM

The Single Life, Part Two
By Dave (dr2005) and Katrina

Questions and Answers

Thus far, we have conjoined our thoughts and views on each of the above issues presented. However, to give readers a more comprehensive look, we have chosen to answer each of the following questions separately. In doing this, readers are given a male perspective as well as a female perspective, each from different countries, backgrounds, and upbringings.

Question #1: “I’ve been single forever. Where do I look for love?”

Katrina says: Reread your question; I think you may have misunderstood or accidentally disregarded a huge part of this article. “Looking for love” seems to be such a commonly used phrase, but in my opinion, that’s not how it works! Madonna got it right in saying, “first love yourself then you can love someone else” in her song, “Hey You.” Shift your focus from looking for love to utilizing some of the tips we have provided in this article, such as not framing your thoughts around the fact that you are single. Furthermore, as you meet new people, its okay to not always be categorizing them into “potential future partners”; remember, when relationships do form, they very often evolve from friendships.

Dave says: There isn’t any real place to look for love, and in any event when you’re actively looking for love you’re unlikely to find it. I know there were plenty of occasions where I really wanted to meet someone and nothing ever came of it, and then as soon as I stopped chasing the idea and focused on just enjoying here and now it suddenly happened. It isn’t a coincidence – thinking that you need to be in a relationship will have the side-effect of making you feel unhappy if you’re not in one, which makes you appear less confident and thus makes it harder to meet a potential partner in the first place. Confidence is after all a big part of attraction. If you want to “find love”, the first step really is to accept yourself – and more importantly, LIKE yourself – so that when you meet new people or catch up with friends you come across in as positive a way as possible. Not only does that give your relationship chances a boost, it’ll also make your friendships and general socialising more enjoyable, so it’s really a win-win scenario.

Question #2: “Can I date someone or date multiple people without being in a relationship?”

Katrina says: The concept of “dating” has evolved so much and likely varies immensely depending on who you talk to. To me, dating means going on more than one date with the same person without being exclusive, while being “in a relationship” typically does imply exclusivity. So, in my opinion, yes, those of us who are single can certainly be dating one or more people without being considered to be in a relationship. Just remember to always communicate with the people you may be dating in order to avoid any confusion or misunderstandings concerning each other, and once again, I believe there are more important things to focus on (as a single) than the fact that you’re not in a relationship. To me, its kind of a “go with the flow” situation.

Dave says: There aren’t really any restrictions on how you approach dating outside of a relationship – as Kat says, dating means different things to different people. In its most basic form, all a “date” actually means is meeting up with another person to have a good time, with the possibility of some kind of romantic development later – the old “looking for friendship and maybe more” cliché. So as long as you are fully honest about things and communicate properly with people (and that is important in any situation, not just the one above) then there isn’t a problem in dating more than one person. Just make sure you don’t end up getting indecisive if it becomes more serious, otherwise that can bring all its own problems!

Question #3: “I’ve just recently gotten out of a relationship and become single again; where do I draw the line, as far as going on dates goes, in making sure I’m not rebounding?”

Katrina says: If you’ve only recently become single, it’s certainly no accident you’ve stumbled upon our article about making the most of singledom! As you’re feeling out this new concept of not being committed to someone, do give yourself time to get used to the things that may be a bit different than they were when you were in your relationship. During this time, it’s important that you are able to reconnect with yourself, particularly if the break-up was difficult. In the same regard, there’s something important you must consider if you’re looking to start dating again. Are you trying to start dating again to fill a void you associate with not being in a relationship, or are you back in a place where you’re in sync enough with yourself to know that you’re fine either being in a relationship or living the single life? Question your motives, but do so in a constructive way that can hopefully lead you to draw your own line concerning rebounding from relationships.

Dave says: The best way to make sure you’re not rebounding is to be absolutely honest with yourself as to what’s motivating you to go on dates. Is it because the person you’re dating is someone you’re genuinely interested in and would want to meet in normal circumstances anyway, or is it just a way to fill a hole in your life? You’re the best judge of your own actions, and while you don’t want to go to the other extreme of questioning every action or looking for sin in every shadow a healthy dose of introspection can go a long way. If you have doubts, take a step back and think, “How would I react if one of my friends was doing this?” Sometimes that can bring up surprising answers. Try and make sure you strike a balance between going out on dates and general socialising, particularly meeting up with friends or doing activities you want to do or indeed need to do – don’t feel as though you need to go on dates to prove a point. You don’t. The main thing is to enjoy what you do, give yourself time to heal if you need to heal, and as our article says focus on the upsides of being single. Everything else will come in time.

Question #4: “I’ve been invited to a party, but I know some couples are going and don’t want to feel like the only single person there. Should I ask a friend to go with me or just go it alone?”

Katrina says: Up to you, really! Just because you know that there will be couples there certainly doesn’t mean that there won’t also be singles there. In fact, I think you’d be surprised as to how many people come solo to parties, school dances, and other things of the sort. If you think you’d have more fun with a friend, go for it! If you’re not really too concerned about that and are focusing more on wanting to dance it up, I’m sure you’ll be just find flying on your own.

Dave says: It’s entirely normal to feel worried about an unfamiliar situation, especially if you feel like you’ll stand out. However, being able to “work the floor” without having to track down a partner every so often can not only result in some surprising socialisation, it also does wonders for how others perceive you and how confident you are. That in turn attracts people to you, even if you don’t have a partner to bounce off or show off.

Question #5: “I don’t mind being single, but Valentine’s Day/public displays of affection etc. REALLY bug me. Any tips?”

Katrina says: I learned this past year that Valentine’s Day REALLY is all about what you make it. In years previous, I’ve held a grudge against those in relationships and been a scrooge the entire day. This V-Day, though, I chose to spend it with those I love. Why does it matter if I don’t love them “romantically?” I love and care about them all the same! So, you have two ways to go about this: you can choose to have a great day and be happy for those who are in relationships, or you can choose to base your entire day around the fact that you’re single. If it was up to me, I’d try and choose that first option! Give it a whirl; I think you may find that Valentine’s Day, even for singles, can be an incredible day.

Dave says: Ah yes, Valentine’s Day...the day when it can sometimes feel like the world’s rubbing it in! As we’ve said all the way through, though, it’s all about your own attitude towards being single as that has a big impact on your thought process. When I’d just come out of one relationship and saw all the stuff for Valentine’s Day it really wound me up – fast forward to this year and while some of the hype grates a little the day itself is a non-issue. All that changed was how I felt about being single. It’s also worth bearing in mind that Valentine’s Day and PDAs can bug couples just as much as well, so it’s not necessarily something to worry about. If you’re looking for ways to take your mind off it, try arranging a film night with your friends (single or otherwise) or something similar. As for PDAs, best advice is not to stare really!

So, there you have it – our easy-to-digest primer to the single life. Needless to say, if you’ve got any questions we haven’t covered here or want to know a bit more about certain things we’ve mentioned feel free to track us down on the forum and we’ll do our best to help.
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