dating

The Misconception of Singleness

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Whenever I tell people that I wrote a book on being single they immediately give support, saying “good for you, men aren’t worth the time!” Or, “I hear that, relationships are nothing but bad news”.

This is an understandable and relatable reaction to being told someone’s written a book called 101 Reasons Why it’s Great to Be Single. However, my purpose for writing the book was not to draw negativity to relationships. In fact, that was the furthest thing from my mind.

The Foundation of My Scripted Fruition

However contradictory it may seem, the purpose of writing 101 Reasons Why it’s Great to Be Single had nothing to do with being in a relationship or not – instead, it had everything to do with appreciating what you have in that moment.  The reason why I focused on singleness is simply because it’s a status that many people find inferior.  As if being in a relationship confirms your worth and value.

In fact, I’m currently in a relationship, and I see no conflict or hypocrisy in being in one and at the same time being the author of 101 Reasons Why it’s Great to Be Single.  “Why?” You inquire.  Well, I’m so glad you asked.  We all look on the other side of the fence.  Doesn’t matter what you have or what you do or who you’re with, someone will always have some thing or some circumstance that you don’t have, and the pull of envy can, at times, be too strong to deny.

So, I chose singleness as an example, but it could really be anything.  Feel too short?  Too overwhelmed?  Too heavy?  Too unattractive? Whatever it is, this book will hopefully make you question your perspective on your present circumstance.

So, let’s focus on singleness for now just as an example. Most people see those who are single as being less than; being unable to find someone.  As if…. being single means there is something wrong with you.

The Socially Accepted Misconception of Singleness

This view is backwards and needs to be addressed and eradicated. Being single does not mean there is something wrong with you – if you do seriously think that then sit down and list out all the people you could be in a relationship with.   You may say to yourself “pfft I would never date them though” – but that’s exactly it.  It isn’t that you don’t have anyone to date.  It’s that you don’t have anyone that you fit with, or want to be with.

If you’re rolling your eyes right now and saying “yeah well I actually have NO ONE who wants to date me so thanks for nothing”, well then you’re in luck because if you take advantage of these steps you’ll see the largest results.

The 5 Steps

When we focus on our problems, our problems seem larger.  When we focus on other areas of our lives however, we increase the positivity in our lives and our problems just don’t seem to bother us anymore until eventually they fade away.  The following 5 steps are ways to help you focus on YOU instead of your problems – whether that’s being single, not being good at something you wish you were, or other causes of discontent.

1. Know Your Worth

I don’t mean what you have in your bank account.  I’m talking about the internal value you place on yourself that no one else sees and only you know about.  Most people have baggage from past relationships that still affects them and seeps into present relationships (whether we acknowledge it or not). So we pick people to be with that we know aren’t good for us, but we feel an attraction to because “we’re just a really good fit”. (Not to get too into the psych mumbo jumbo, this scenario usually involves a link between your current cuddle muffin and your parent dynamic – thanks Freud ;)).

In summary, don’t be with someone who you aren’t excited about or who doesn’t treat you well just because you’re “unexplainably drawn to them”.

2. Work Towards Your Goals

You know what’s attractive?  Someone who has their shit together and is working on themselves. If you truly want to find someone in your life to be your life long partner, they better damn well be there to support you and your goals in life.  So what’s the best way to meet that person?  Why, focus on you of course! Do what you love and someone will just come along. I know it seems overly simple but it truly is the best way to meet someone (with no stress or over thought).

3. Surround Yourself with Good People

We’ve all had those friends that we know aren’t good for us, and yet you feel some sort of pull to them.  That pull is some good ol’ fashioned addiction.  Yep, as soon as you feel a need to see someone and yet cannot think of a positive outcome for seeing them, you’re stuck in the game.  Cut those people out completely.  It may seem harsh or cruel, but in reality it’s more cruel to keep them around while they slowly suck the life out of you.

4. Take Your ME Time

Almost every day after work I head straight to the gym.  I turn my phone off, put on my latest ipod jam and start out with some sort of cardio.  The next 2 hours are what I call my “me” time.  No phone, no small talk with randoms, no nothing.  Just gym, endorphins, music and muscle. The way life should be.

ME time is something that gets overlooked SO often, especially today where we have everything we could ever need right at our digital fingertips. We forget to shut off and live in the moment.

ME time is so important.  Whether its a bubble bath with a magazine, a gym session with no phone notifications or a coffee walk with coworkers, taking time out for you will always yield positive results.

5. Indulge When You Can

As soon as you deprive yourself of something, your body begins craving it more. Dieting is a great example – sure you may lose 20 pounds on Atkins by depriving yourself of carbs but as soon as you return to your normal it all comes back plus much more. Whether it’s restricting your food, your spending, your flirting, your shopping or other frivolous activities, if you see it as something you could do whenever you want to but choose not to do all the time, it won’t control your life or your happiness.

 

If there is something in your life that you’re discontent with – whether it’s your relationship status, how much money you have, the car you drive or some other discontentment, focusing on the problem only makes the problem bigger.

Instead, focus on YOU and doing things in your life that are positive and make you feel happy and fulfilled and eventually those things will just fall into place – without any meddling on your part 😉

Like my writing?  101 Reasons Why it’s Great to Be Single is available on Amazon, and Barnes and Noble!

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single travel

Single Travel Perks

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I’m 27 and single.  I’ve had long term relationships in the past, however I came to the realization that while I loved them I couldn’t see myself marrying them and wasn’t keen on sticking in a long term relationship that I knew wasn’t going anywhere.

Upon announcing my singleness to people I find the most common reaction to be surprise that I haven’t “found someone”. Sometimes I get inquiries as to how I ended up single at 27, and even suggestions on where I can go to meet a new guy. The common theme seems to be that if you’re single there is something wrong with you.

I don’t take this view at all.  I love being single, and in my book 101 Reasons Why it’s Great to be Single I outline MANY reasons (101 to be exact) why being single is wonderful.  Not sharing my bed, not having to shave all the time, and not sharing my precious Ben N Jerry’s ice cream are a few of my faves.

My top reason, however, is that I get to travel wherever and whenever I want.  I have a full-time job, I live alone, and I have no one to answer to.  And, I LOVE to travel.

This year I went to Huatulco, Cancun, Seattle, Whistler, and Kamloops… and it’s only July!  I also have trips to Edmonton and Vegas coming up and am toying with the idea of jetting off to LA for a weekend soon.

Sometimes I travel with family, sometimes friends, and sometimes just by myself.  I love travelling alone and getting to learn more about myself and meet new people along the way.  Could I do that if I was in a long-term relationship or married with kids?  Probably not…. certainly not as easily.

I may not be single forever, but while I am single I’m certainly enjoying my freedom!

101 Reasons Why it’s Great to Be Single is available on Amazon, and Barnes and Noble!

Follow me on Twitter @KarleenDee

Breakup Care Package

Staying Positive After a Breakup

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We’ve all gone through it – that post breakup slump. Where a big black cloud seems to come over your world and all of a sudden you’re encased in negativity and pessimism.

Thoughts of self doubt – “maybe I’m just not good enough for anyone”, fear – “what if I’m alone forever?” and rage – “why can’t he see what he’s missing out on!”, become all too familiar, and our happy-go-lucky selves slowly become grayed out….

These are all very normal thoughts.  All part of the process of working through feelings of pain of the experience.  Eventually we work through them and then gradually, or sometimes suddenly, we realize we’re starting to feel happy again.  We find our normal.

Sometimes when you’re in the slump it seems never ending.  But it does end, it always does.  Nothing lasts forever – not sadness, not happiness.  So, we just wait out the hard times and cherish the good ones.

If you have an awesome best friend they’ve probably already brought you a Break-Up Care Package.  However, there are things that you can do for yourself to help move this process along faster to get you out of your funk.

Here are my top 5 tips to a happy breakup recovery:

1. Get Some Rest

Breakups are emotional and stress out your body.  Your knee-jerk reaction may be to go out and party all night to forget whats-his-face, however all you’re doing is adding more stress on your already tired mind and body.  This is a good time to avoid too much alcohol and instead take care of #1: you.

2. Surround Yourself with Friends/Family

This is probably a time where you’re feeling alone and maybe vulnerable.  It’s easy to get stuck in your own head going over and over all the good times, bad times, the ups and downs and everything between.  It’s easier to get out of your head when there are people around you who care about you and can help you take your mind off things during this time.

3. Treat Yourself

Do things for yourself that make you happy, without guilt.  Go shopping and buy a new shirt, bake the whole roll of cookie dough, watch a whole season of your favorite show, or sit in that bubble bath for an hour with a good book (maybe 101 Reasons Why it’s Great to Be Single?!).  You know what makes you happy, so go ahead and indulge in those guilty pleasures because this is the time when you truly deserve them.

4. Exercise

Yeah, most of you probably hate me right now! Exercise is likely the last thing you want to do when you’re feeling low.  BUT if you get your butt up and go out there and do it, I guarantee you that it won’t be something you regret.  No one says “man I feel so gross after that workout”.  It doesn’t have to be something huge – even going to the gym and hitting the elliptical while rockin’ your favorite tunes is a huge energy booster.

5. Talk About it

Don’t get me wrong – I don’t mean dwell on every little thing about the relationship.  I’m referring to how you feel about it and how the experience impacted you.  It’s definitely much easier to just shut it out and pretend as though it never happened, but all that is doing is pushing that anger, hurt and resentment under the surface and those feelings are going to come up eventually.  It’s easier to talk about them now, so that they can come up and out and you can move on with your life.

Those are just the 5 that I’ve found work best for me.  Have others?  I’d love to hear them – please share in the comments below!

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Happy Satisfied Staying Single Day!

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Did you know that February 11th is Satisfied Staying Single Day?  Nope, neither did I – until I heard it on the news this morning.  Apparently today is a big deal.

I have to say I love the title.  It isn’t “Fuck Relationships Day”, or “Go to Hell you Canoodlers Day” – it’s just Satisfied Staying Single.  Satisfied.  Just the perfect word.

It really grinds my gears when I hear single people bashing relationships (and I should note that my gears get grinded very rarely). Why? Well, because there is absolutely nothing wrong with two people in love, and the fact that they have found each other does not make you more single than you were before they met.  The only problem there is perspective – the thought that the relationship status of ‘single’ is less than that of being ‘in a relationship’.  This thought is most certainly askew.

There are SO many things that are great about being single. However, the feeling of being alone at times can turn to feelings to loneliness and suddenly we’ve forgotten about all the great things that singleness brings.  That whole “grass is greener” scenario that we seem to say all the time but never really let sink in.

We forget that our grass is pretty freakin’ luscious right where we stand and sometimes we just need a little reminder, like Satisfied Staying Single Day, to kick things back into perspective.

Allow me to offer you some reminders:

  • BONUS INVITES: Your friend/family member is suddenly left solo for an event they bought two tickets to and they need a replacement!  Ta-da, you WIN.
  • GO OUT WITHOUT GUILT: No one to answer to if you want to hit the clubs, or take a weekend vaca with your friends.
  • THE TOILET SEAT IS WHERE YOU LEFT IT: That’s right ladies, no middle of the night bum-dunking for you
  • SAVE MONEY: No spending money this Valentine’s day unless it’s on yourself (and you always know exactly what you want!)

There are actually 101 Reasons Why it’s Great to Be Single.

So go ahead you single saucy devil, get out there and celebrate this Satisfied Staying Single Day #itsgreattobesingle

 

getting over a breakup

How to Get Over a Breakup

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Breakups are the worst.  Either someone has dumped you, or you’re sick of the BS you have to deal with on a daily basis and you’ve made a decision to kick them out of your life.  In any case, you’re left alone, thinking about all the good times you had and all the things you will miss about that person.

There is some sort of sick pleasure in continuing to feel that pain. We have one small thought… and then start to dwell on that thought, and all of a sudden that small pain is an immense torture and we’re sitting in a pool of tears bellowing out “why!?!”, “why?!???”, until eventually our neighbors come to hate us.

Well, that sadness is healthy.  Maybe not to the extreme of surrounding yourself with soggy Kleenex while you yell out to the gods for spiting you, but some sadness is good to sit in for a bit so that you can work through it and not have to deal with it again. Once that sadness is over though, it’s time to move on.  It’s time to visualize a giant STOP sign in your mind each time you think about the “good” times, and maybe even snap an elastic band on your wrist to physically pull yourself out.

Why?  Because it wasn’t good.  It ended for a reason.

Just sit with that for a minute.  For all the great, amazing times you had together.  For all the compliments, and laughs, and heart-melting conversations, there was something (or maybe lots of things), that made it impractical or impossible to continue a relationship.  For all good things, there were equally shitty things just sitting behind the corner not being acknowledged.

So, let’s move on.  You’re an amazing human being with tons of things going for you and there are a million reasons why it’s great to be single.

I’ve started out by outlining 101 of them to steer you on the right path.  This blog discusses a lot of them – they are light, humorous reflections of my own personal experience related to being in a relationship vs. being single.

I thought it would be hard to think of 101.  In fact, they came quite easily.  If you’d like to take a gander check out 101 Reasons Why it’s Great to Be Single.

So go ahead, you amazing individual – visualize that stop sign and start looking forward to all the great things that lay ahead of you. With hope comes all possibility #itsgreattobesingle