Still single in 2022? If you’re down about your relationship status, or lack thereof, here are a few New Year’s resolutions to adopt for keeping the single life blues at bay.
No More Comparisons
When you’re single, it’s easy to feel inadequate or like a failure when most of your friends and former classmates have found spouses, are on their second and third pregnancies, and are building a home for their family before the age of 30. In fact, it’s nearly impossible not to question where you took a misstep throughout your life to be in the loveless position you’re currently in. When you find yourself in this headspace, it’s important to remember that your life has value in the same way your married friends’ lives have value – and that they might even be envious of your freedom. Comparing your life to the lives of those around you is one of the easiest ways to deceive yourself and harm your mental health. As clinical psychologist and best-selling author Jordan Peterson writes in his book 12 Rules for Life, remember to “compare yourself to who you were yesterday, not to who someone else is today.”
Stop Being Ruled by Fear
Similar to how society reacted to the pandemic in early 2020, when toilet paper became a hot commodity, fear often causes us to act irrationally and coerces us to make decisions we will likely later regret. The illusion of scarcity when it comes to dating might put pressure on you to snag the first satisfactory partner you come across, even if you find yourself overlooking a few red flags in the beginning. If you find yourself compromising your values or long-term goals to please a potential spouse or partner, this might be a sign that you’re acting out of fear and desperation rather than true love. Cognitive distortions lie to us and tell us that our days left for love are numbered, and that we must settle for less to avoid missing out in the future. Keep in mind that while being single year after year can be lonely and depressing, being legally bound to someone you’ve slowly grown to despise would be just as dreadful, if not worse.
Don’t Believe Everything You See
One of the only things more deceitful than the negative voices in our heads is how relationships are portrayed on social media. If we learned anything from the Gabby Petito tragedy, it’s that not everything is as it seems on the surface – or on YouTube and Instagram. Social media users typically only post photos or videos that highlight the best parts of their lives, rather than the cheating, lying, or abuse that might be happening behind closed doors. It’s wise to be skeptical of any couple flaunting their seemingly perfect relationship in front of the eyes of their Instagram followers. In the words of William Shakespeare, “The lady doth protest too much, methinks.”
Realize What You Want
Pause and consider whether finding a life partner and settling down is what you truly want or if it’s something you feel like you should want. Going against the grain is never comfortable and can make you feel like an outsider. Are you putting pressure on yourself to find love because it would be pleasing to your family and friends? Would you be emotionally available enough to be a good spouse or partner to someone? Are you ready to make sacrifices and compromise for the health of your relationship? Be honest with yourself about your strengths, weaknesses, goals, and desires. You might find that the pressure you feel to find a relationship is externally-based rather than a desire from within. It’s okay to admit to yourself that love isn’t what you want out of life in the present moment. Accept your current mindset and take the societal burden of marriage off of your shoulders.