Happiness and the Single Person; Changing Myth Into Reality

Does the expression "single and happy" sound like an oxymoron to you? Are you weary of others (especially other singles) reinforcing the belief that singles cannot be happy? Do you find yourself always planning for the future or putting things off until you "are married and settled? Do you often have a sense that the intense feelings of happiness and joy cannot really be experienced unless you "have someone to share it with?" Do you just feel there is not enough time and other necessary resources available to the single person to pursue experiences that can bring true happiness?

If the above resonates in your gut, do not despair. The following tips will offer ways to help you experience your present reality differently through changing behavior that is based on those negative (false) beliefs. Essentially, these tips will offer advice on how to live a joyful, fulfilling and balanced single life, which will also assist you in achieving a healthy, long- term, intimate relationship.

· Seek self-fulfillment as an individual.

Place emphasis on being truly alive and experiencing the things that bring you true pleasure. Do not let the feelings of peace and wonder slip from your life as you wait to share (beautiful sunsets) and other gifts of life with a future partner.

Do not place your focus on "getting there." Instead, learn to experience the journey of life. If you can only see the goal of a relationship - marriage, home, children, etc., you will not enjoy the experiences along life's way.

A good analogy for this is that of a person who bikes and sets (ie), a 40-mile goal for the day. They plan and prepare and off they go. The trip consists of thoughts about getting there, watching for problems in the road ahead, measuring the distance and looking forward to the sense of relief and accomplishment when the goal is met.

What about the sensory experiences missed along the way? This biker will not see the way the sun is reflecting on the river. They will not hear the sounds of the birds and other wildlife in the parallel world around them. The smells of fresh vegetation, moist soil and spring-drenched air will not reach their awareness. It is doubtful their mind will trip and play with thoughts of other (perhaps childhood) days like this.

In other words, they will not be IN the experience, just racing through it, and missing the magic available all around them.

· Do not put off important life decisions while waiting for that special someone.

If your desire is to own your own home, work towards achieving this now. Yes, it may be smaller than if you had a partner to share it with. Your list of must-haves with this first home may be different (as yours alone) than they would be if you were looking for a family. When that time comes, you can make the decision to remain there for a time, or sell/rent out your first place. In the meantime, you will have an investment that you can make into something that meets your needs now for comfortable and secure living. It will add stability and be a wonderful help at tax time.

If you are thinking about making a career change or going back to school for a degree, there is no better time than now.

Yes, this may involve re-working priorities, moving, giving up some income, etc. If this is something you have decided you want for your life, delaying it until you are settled in a relationship may make it impossible to achieve. Make that move now. Do not let this time in your life be placed on hold as you wait for things to happen in your life, instead of working to make them become reality.

· Pamper yourself

Do nice things for yourself now that you have been putting off until?

Go ahead and take that trip to the exotic place you have always wanted to visit. You can return there someday with your special someone.

Make it a habit to set the table for your dinner (for one). Use nice china and candles. Treat yourself as deserving of the things couples routinely provide to themselves as a unit. Ask yourself, am I less deserving because I am single?

Put care and love into how you decorate your home. It does not have to cost a lot of money or become another chore to accomplish this. Make it a comfortable nest and retreat from the world. You and your future mate can decide together what to keep, change or add to.

* Make a plan, not excuses

Make time for the things that matter. Do not let your job or other responsibilities take over your life. Set those priorities. Set limits on work and other functional tasks. We often cite work as our best excuse for not attending to our other needs and wants. This may mean making less money or not moving up as fast in the organization.

Without balance, there will be deficits in the emotional, spiritual, and social and leisure areas of your life. Write down your must haves.

Take time out each day for unwinding and relaxation. Keep a weekly inventory of how you are doing and make adjustments as necessary.

Learn how to productively "waste time". Turn off the blackberry and TV. Spend time alone with your thoughts. Reflect on your feelings and your life.

This is the season for new beginnings. Let this spring be your time for learning how to be truly happy and at peace within yourself. Immerse your senses in the many joys that the world around you has to offer. Don't shut out the beauty and happiness that is available to everyone, regardless of their relationship status.

Toni Coleman is a licensed therapist and relationship coach in private practice in McLean, Virginia. She specializes in working with singles that want to create lasting, intimate relationships. Toni has over 20 years of post-masters experience in relationship counseling and coaching with singles and couples. She is the founder and President of LifeChange Coaching and Consum-mate Relationship Coaching. She developed and teaches the Creating Lasting Relationships Training, a tele-workshop designed to help singles to define, implement and fulfill their life and relationship goals. She has also written numerous email classes for singles on all aspects of meeting, dating and relating. She is the author of the email newsletter, The Art of Intimacy, which goes out to thousands of subscribers monthly. http://www.consum-mate.com

In The News:


How to Maximize Your Vacation Happiness
New York Magazine
In terms of happiness-per-dollar-spent, vacations are the right idea in general. A lot of past research has suggested that experiences in general provide more happiness than material goods. That's partly because — excited new owners of the latest ...


The News Journal

Examining the illusion of happiness, and its impact
The News Journal
These experiences, in tandem with a lifelong fascination with what makes people tick, have led me most reluctantly to the judgement that while we may savor happiness episodically, it will invariably be disrupted by unwelcome negative feelings. Still ...


The Guardian

Happiness by Jack Underwood review – death, depression and boiled eggs
The Guardian
His reasonable implication is that you are going to need something pretty arresting to get the person in the supermarket to put down their shopping. Without a reader, a poem is nothing. That is what interests Underwood – and his first collection ...


Deseret News

Come on get happy: 6 lessons from the 2015 World Happiness Report
Deseret News
Happiness is having a moment. Long the focus of inspirational life advice like "Don't worry, be happy," it is now the subject of serious research and even government policies, as researchers noted in the 2015 World Happiness Report. "Growing awareness ...
India ranks behind Pakistan and Iraq on the World Happiness Index. Why is ...YourStory.com

all 3 news articles »

Men's Fitness

Parkinson's, Patriotism and the Pursuit of Happiness
Men's Fitness
My idea of happiness strikes many as odd. Here's what I enjoy: biking across America on a three-month, 14,000-mile journey where I climb the highest peak in every one of the lower 48 states. Or running 100 miles in 24 hours, from New York City, where I ...


Entrepreneur

The 12 Steps to Happiness That You Create (Infographic)
Entrepreneur
I love understanding how the universe works, what makes people do the things they do, and figuring out how to improve myself. It gives me deep satisfaction. That's why I felt quite pleased with the results of my happiness research, which taught me a ...
These two minute daily habits will make you happier immediately, researchers sayThe Independent

all 2 news articles »

New York Times

The Relentless Pursuit of Happiness
New York Times
The influence of the field of “happiness economics” is growing. Many corporations now employ “chief happiness officers,” and mood-tracking personal devices are gaining in popularity. But some say quantifying happiness only leads to anxiety, as ...

and more »

It's about love, but much of happiness is on us
Tallahassee.com
We don't know what inspired Thomas Jefferson to put into the Constitution the phrase regarding the right to pursue happiness. Just so, 200 years later, we don't have a clear definition of the concept. Which doesn't slow down a massive industry working ...


Dubai Police launch Pulse of Happiness
gulfnews.com
Dubai: Dubai Police said they are working on an app feature that will measure the public's happiness. Major General Khamis Mattar Al Mazeina, Dubai Police Chief, announced this at a press conference revealing Dubai Police's new internal system to ...
App to monitor employee satisfactionGulf Today

all 2 news articles »

Huffington Post

Funfetti Sugar Cookie Bars Are Pure Happiness
Huffington Post
Funfetti sugar cookie bars are one of those desserts that make their appearance over and over again in my kitchen. They're pretty darn tasty, but they also feed a crowd, which makes them a perfect dessert for parties and potlucks. And if you haven't ...

Google News

What NOT To Do To Feel Good About Yourself - 10 Tips

From the moment we wake in the morning our heads... Read More

Follow Your Bliss

Gail was a quiet, shy, young lady. She has been... Read More

Where do we Find True and Lasting Happiness?

For the longest time I was convinced that I was... Read More

Happiness Is A State Of Mind, Im Happy... I Think!

You have the power to attract and repel anything in... Read More

The ABCs Of A Great Life: J Is For Joviality

Laughter, humor, a lighthearted sense of being - all of... Read More

Forgive to Succeed - Im Talking to the You Behind Your Eyes

If your blood is still pumping through your veins, you... Read More

The Key To A Problem-Free Life

What comes to your mind when you see someone who... Read More

What is Happiness and How to Achieve It?

True happiness is such a rare commodity that the whole... Read More

Smile

How do we smile at each other? Is there a... Read More

Get Right! Make a Difference

Want to make a difference? What can one person do?... Read More

Creating Happiness

Whatever we want in life, a partner, more money, good... Read More

There is a Cure for the Summertime Blues

I have never lived anywhere else where when you walk... Read More

Stop Sickies and Make People Happy At Work

If you're an employer or a manager then work place... Read More

Hanging Out

Right off the top: What is the difference between dating... Read More

Happiness - A Choice You Must Make

Over the course of my life's journey I have come... Read More

Define Me

We've all had a vision or a great idea and... Read More

Happiness as a Habit

Health and Happiness are the two things that most people... Read More

About Happiness and Fulfillment

During a FULFILLMENT seminar, at the University of Arizona for... Read More

Divining your Number of Destiny

Your Destiny Number, which describes all of the talents and... Read More

Happiness Is Truly M.A.G.I.C.A.L. (TM)

The year is almost half over. Many of us are... Read More

How To Experience A Richer, Deeper, And Fuller Life

When we choose to move beyond the boundaries of the... Read More

Happiness Is In Our Own Hands

Other people can bring tremendous happiness to our lives but... Read More

Can Existential Therapy Give You a Sense of Wellbeing?

My journey to becoming a therapist began with a desire... Read More

Breaking the Cycle

Breaking the cycle is a term we have all heard.... Read More

Suffering and Happiness

The one feature that sets life on Earth apart from... Read More