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Do you ever get so lonely that it becomes debilitating?
Do you experience rough days and nights when your kids are with their dad?
Do you try to rush relationships because you crave a mate, and you’re tired of doing everything all alone?
I used to feel this way, and it was awful. Even though I’m the one who ended my marriage (for reasons that would make me do it again), it took me a very long time to get OK with being alone. And by alone, I don’t mean with my kids, I mean with a man.
I used to think that I would get remarried when my kids were young and that I’d find an amazing step dad for them. I came close once, but it didn’t happen. I was, however, in a few relationships, and some that were very nice. But what I found was that the highs of dating and the pain of heartbreak when relationships ended added a ton of stress and drama — they were a huge distraction to hitting my personal goals and to raising my kids.
So, after 6 years of post-divorce dating, I took a 3-year break.
It turns out, this time of not being in a relationship and for basically the first time since I was a teenager, was close to bliss! How so? I did whatever I wanted. I answered to no one. And I didn’t need to tell anyone when I was going out. By this time, my kids were well into their teen years, and they didn’t rely on me for their basic needs — suddenly I was glad that I hadn’t found my second spouse!
If I had, I wouldn’t have known how the single life would be.
But alas, after this hiatus, my therapist thought that I would benefit from a relationship, and I agreed. Now that I’m back on my feet, I’m in a new relationship. But what I learned from the single life is this:
Being single is the best time for personal growth. Now I only date men who let me grow as a person, but I recognize that there is no better time for growth than being single. Sure, there are challenges when you don’t have a partner, but I came to truly value my single time. I always knew that someone would come along one day when I least expected it, and so I came to appreciate every singlehood day I had!
I CAN achieve financial goals ON MY OWN! And that means you can too. But this realization was huge for me! I still struggle with it a bit, because my ex-husband and I founded businesses together, and I’ve always attached financial success to men in my life — it’s a mental block kind of thing. But it was when I let go of a relationship and gave space for myself that I built back up my career. A career that, within two years, allowed me to move back to Malibu Beach.
I’m a damn good mom, and I don’t care what my ex-husband thinks! I used to get really lonely when I needed to make decisions and lonelier when my ex-husband and his wife would criticize my parenting style. Eventually, I stopped replying to their nasty emails and texts (well, I slipped once in a great while!). At first, those emails still affected me emotionally, even though I didn’t reply. But finally, their words stopped hitting me in the gut like they used to. 10 years later, my girls are 20, 17, and 15 — and I can honestly say, “I’m a damn good mom!”
When you’re in the thick of all of the feelings, it’s hard to see past the pain. Loneliness sucks. But, by getting through the loneliness, I finally learned how to be happy alone.
And when it comes to your goals and aspirations, you can leverage the situation just like I did—for your own success.