Be careful if the saying “it’s better to be fighting than lonesome,” seems eminently sensible now- especially if you are single and in your 30s.
The single and unattached are finding themselves feeling more pressure as lock down continues. And although there is some easing of lock down measures, the time of socializing and meeting in groups seems quite far away. This is an age group who rely on their social network for much of their personal support- their hectic social lives being the envy of others, laced in to the burdens of childminding and mortgage payments.
But in lock down this support network is gone from view and it has occurred in one clean sweep. Now singletons are left with time on their own to reflect on their lives, forcing them to look at decisions they’ve made in the past and what their prospects are for the future.
They have jobs to think of, finances and the awful uncertainties of a global recession.
Some are alone and single, because they recently ended a relationship that was negative- but now looking back, second guessing and wondering if it could have worked.
Others have partners who have called an end to a relationship during the lockdown and are at a loss to understand what is really happening,guessing that stress is the reason and hoping to pick up the relationship after things get back to normal- whatever that is and whenever it happens.
Some have postponed finding a partner – focusing instead on work, career, getting studies finished but now find themselves missing being in a relationship. They’re even worrying about age and how long it’s going to take now to meet someone and get that relationship established. Thinking it will take a while and then there’s the biological clock – hell it’s just one more thing to worry about, as if there isn’t enough.
The future seems a bit far away for some and all of this mixes in with the omniscient uncertainties of our world. It’s tough and I’m not pretending that it isn’t.
But they need to be careful not to take the road of least resistance- it’s tempting to revert to a past flawed relationship rather than stepping forward onto new terrain.
Roisin Ingle, columnist for the Irish Times, tells us that 1 in 5 have reached out to an ex in lockdown and that she is one of them- the question is what are you reaching for- is it a little support, or is it to reignite a flame that quenched for all the right reasons- careful now.
If this is your situation, consider using your time to build new connections online. Yes, do the virtual dates and start dating old school, slowing things down- let’s be honest, no one is rushing anywhere.
Don’t forget that there’s always grief at the end of any relationship, even the bad ones.
It’s normal to miss someone that you have been close to, but in lock down your loneliness can urge you to long for the good times and what could have been, forgetting what drove you apart.
It’s painful to be alone without someone to lean on, confide in, share worries or grief, but you don’t want to waste time either.
As with all crises there is stress but there is also opportunity. If you only focus on easing the distress, you’ll miss the opportunity for newness.