There is no right way to live your life. If you’re single, it doesn’t mean you’re unlovable or alone. If you’re in a relationship, it doesn’t mean you’re not an independent person. Let go of these ridiculous ideas, firstly.
The only time that being one or the other is bad is if it is affecting your mental health. Firstly, let’s start with being single. If you’re always single, and can’t seem to settle down no matter how many perfectly great people come into your life and show an interest, there may be something off with your mental health. You could be experiencing a fear of commitment. You could be insecure or be suffering from low self-esteem, where you feel you aren’t worthy of being in a relationship or being loved by someone else. You may be experiencing deep-rooted feelings of self-loathing or fear of relationships due to abuse or past experiences.
If so, be honest with yourself.
Ask yourself if you’re single because you want to be (or because the right person hasn’t come along) or because of a more serious reason. If you feel like it may be something more serious, then speak to a friend or speak to a doctor. They will help you to deal with these thoughts, feelings, behaviours, or past experiences in a healthy way. Then, your mental health will be in a stronger position for a potential relationship, should you want one.
Being single can affect your mental health in some common ways, like feeling as though you’re never going to find “the one”, you’re not good enough, or you’re better off alone. These are very negative but are some common feelings and thoughts amongst some single people. But cut it out. On the other hand, some people find themselves to be more independent when single and able to be wholly themselves – this is good. As long as you feel good and honestly intentive about your position, that is positive.
*Please note, also, that if you’re single but you were in a relationship that didn’t work out, you need to accept where you’re at and work on you. Try not to hold on to the past or beat yourself up. You deserve self-love, always, and only through practicing self-love will the right relationship manifest in the right way with the right person.*
On the flipside, being single is good for your mental health for the following reasons. One, you can explore yourself and your desires more freely. Two, you can literally explore the world without having to consult with a partner. And three, you get to put all your wants and needs above all else (within reason). This is not to say that you should want to be single because it’s better than being in a relationship, though! Everyone is different, and of course, life happens in mysterious ways so being single or not isn’t always our choice, is it?! Plus, read on to see what being in a relationship and mental health have to do with each other.
If you are in a relationship, it can affect your mental health in many ways. Firstly, the negative (because ending on a positive is always good). You could be in a codependent relationship, where you feel you NEED them to an unhealthy extent. This is referred to as attachment issues and is not healthy for your mind at all to cling to someone, only do what they do, and basically turn into them when in a relationship. A relationship should be about two independent individuals sharing the life experience together. (In my opinion, that’s a healthy relationship).
If you are in a relationship where your partner doesn’t support your dreams and pursuits, you are likely to feel defeated and quit. This is awful. Sometimes people remain in relationships for the pure fear that being alone is worse. Again, this is awful and is no reason to be in a relationship. It’s better to be single and potentially go through some changes and uncertainty and anxiety for a while, in order to set yourself free and open yourself up to goodness and positivity instead. You deserve it.
Of course, there’s the more serious side of things – abuse. Abuse can be emotional, physical, verbal, cyber, sexual, mental, and so on. Abuse isn’t simply hitting a person. If your partner is constantly rude to you, makes you feel low, is saying awful things to you, and forces you to think badly about yourself, then they are abusive. They are blackening your mentality. They are hurting you, without you realising it, by slowly chipping away at your confidence, your personality, and your spirit. This is not OK, and cannot continue. Please end such relationships (with any kind of abuse, big or small) or seek the help you may need to do so.
Another few things to consider about your relationship and your mental health:
- Does your partner support your dreams?
- Do they encourage you to grow and explore and be more YOU?
- Do you even get along? Do you fight too much?
- Do your family members and friends like them? Do you cut people off because of your partner?
- Do your trust them? Do they trust you?
- Does your partner use words like ugly, fat, stupid, boring, weak, loser, or useless on you?
- Does your partner make offhand remarks that hurt your feelings, but then say it’s a joke to make it seem OK when it’s not?
- Does your partner limit you in any way? Like not leaving the house without them, not wearing what you want to, not doing what you want to do?
If any of these things are sounding negative to you, then please end the relationship, speak to your partner to fix it, or seek help (from friends, family, or professionals).
*Here is a link to an abuse helpline should you need it.*
On the other hand, being in a relationship can be wonderful for your mental health, too. This is through things like supporting your dreams either with their time, energy, money, listening, or advise. Having a partner to lean on in hard times can be really beneficial, and keep you from collapsing in on yourself. Two people tackling the world together can be stronger and better than one. This is not to say that single people can’t take on the world, but we all need help whether that’s from friends or family, too.
Here are a few ways a good, healthy relationship can be beneficial to your mental health:
- Partners can make you feel good about yourself with a simple compliment when you really need it.
- They can be your shoulder to cry on whenever you need them.
- Someone who accepts you in your entirety; someone you can be vulnerable with, naked with, and be unapologetically YOU.
- Someone to share your likes, pursuits, travels, dreams, family, and more with.
- Someone to build a LIFE with; family, home, lifestyle, travels, business, etc.
- Someone to just sit in silence with, or watch boring TV with, or play games with, or cuddle with, just…BE together.
- Someone to listen to your incessant ramblings.
- Someone to hold your hand as you do you. (I for one don’t like the damsel in distress, prince saving the girl kind of tale. Be your own hero; your partner is just someone who helps remind you now and again that you got this life thing, and you’re doing OK).
- Someone who you can look after, too, because it’s a two-way street.
- (ANY OF THESE THINGS CAN BE DONE WITH A GOOD FRIEND, REALLY…)
Again, this is not an encouragement to go out and find someone to start a relationship with. I am a firm believer in bettering and strengthening and loving the Self first before entering a relationship. You will never be perfect or ready or DONE when on the path to bettering yourself, but I mean when you focus on you and your dreams, you will be mentally stronger and spiritually aligned with the universe and so you’ll attract the right people to you, as well as be better equipped to be in a loving, giving, wholesome relationship anyway.
So, take care of you, and what will be, will be.
A quick last word will be that whether you’re in a relationship or not, you should care about your mental health. Care about whether your relationship is constantly darkening your mentality. Care about whether being single is something you want or something you feel you are because you’re not in the right mentality. Relationships are HUGE factors that influence our mental health. Therefore, we can’t take them lightly. We can’t go in and out of them without paying attention to who we are letting in and what dirt they are treading through our minds. Be mindful.
Take care, be kind, love yourself.
If you need any help in bettering your mental health, or better coping with anxiety, depression, and stress, then my book “You’re As Mad As I Am” may be for you. Check it out here, and download a free sample to see what it’s all about.
If you want to hire me to write about mental health (or other), then don’t hesitate to get in touch!