Successfully single – or not. The choice is yours.

About 20 or so years ago, I hosted a workshop titled “Successfully Single” and the objective was to guide others in living a single life – successfully.

What exactly does that mean?

It means finding peace, joy and contentment in your singleness. It means transforming loneliness into solitude and creating a space for interior exploration and adventures. It means changing your perspective and not feeling alone, but finding fulfillment within yourself. When you accept your single status and become comfortable on your own, the possibilities are truly endless.

My intentions were pure and sincere. I had excelled as a single woman and wanted to share my experiences, insight and wisdom with others – or, so I thought. Looking back, I knew nothing compared to my middle-aged self who remains, successfully single.

I was both excited and frightened as I entered the room that first evening. How thrilled I was that people had signed-up and how disappointed I was to see the scowling faces who crossed the threshold, one after one. With every bitter hello, my sense of optimism dipped lower and lower.

If I’m selfish in my recall, the workshop was not a total bust – for me. I learned so much! As the saying goes, “Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards.” —Vernon Sanders Law

As uncomfortable as I was throughout the sessions, it was worth it because they served as stepping stones on my upward climb in developing strength and resilience.

My enthusiasm was thwarted and I was temporarily disarmed. The people weren’t excited at all. They weren’t warm nor welcoming. They were angry, cold and pessimistic. It was a challenge to stand before them and maintain my composure – and spirit.

After two sessions with two to go I was made well aware that these people didn’t want to be single – never mind successfully so. Each of them wanted to meet their match. They wanted to be partnered, find love. They longed for a soulmate and misinterpreted my workshop as a means to meeting that special someone – not signing-up for what the description actually stated, which was learning to love your own company and creating your best life as a single person.

I looked back upon that workshop this afternoon, while in the throes of a near perfect day – just me and my little fur-wonder.

Most people don’t want to be alone. For some, it’s hell. For others, they get used to it. Yet for people like me, it’s something we excel at. We revel in solitude, cherish the solo time to pursue our interests and find excitement in every day. It is within ourselves that we find true companionship, contentment and more importantly, peace and serenity.

It’s not that we don’t want to share our lives with someone, but it’s not crucial or a must. Life is our priority and partnership should enhance it, if and when its meant to be. Being part of a couple doesn’t define us. We are successful on our own. We are busy living our best lives, becoming our best selves, so that we have more to give to the world – and to a potential significant other.

Needless to say, that workshop was a one and done. I actually felt like I’d made them more miserable, pushing them further down into their despair. I hope each of them found their own happiness in time – single or not.

Today, my life may not seem very exciting to others. My idea of a good time is being with family and friends, working, personal pursuits and peace of mind. And let me tell you, that’s very exciting to me and it’s what makes me, successfully single.

Author: E.M. Murphy

A voracious writer, lifetime learner and eternal seeker who aims to open minds and hearts. Armed with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and a NASM Certified Behavior Change Specialist, humanity and humor is at the heart of my writing, reminding us that the key to success will always start with a genuine concern for others while making sure to be true to our authentic selves.

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